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Ohio State’s Early Signing Period preview

The Buckeyes will sign a majority of their 2021 class on Wednesday.

Five-star 2021 defensive end Jack Sawyer
Steve Helwagen, 247Sports

College football recruiting is a long and winding road, but the process for many commits in the 2021 class will come to an official end this week with the commencement of the Early Signing Period. This year’s seniors have faced unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19 cancellations and a never-ending NCAA dead period, but they will finally be able to exhale when they sign their name on the dotted line for the school of their choice.

Ohio State’s 2021 class currently sits at No. 2 in the country, trailing by the slimmest of margins to Alabama for that coveted No. 1 spot. With 21 total commits and an average player rating of .9456, Ryan Day has managed to put together one of the greatest classes in program history — falling just behind the 2017 group’s .9459 player average with still a chance to add another five-star prospect before things are said and done.

Most if not all of these 21 players will sign their National Letter of Intent this week to officially become Buckeyes. Let’s run through this year’s commits and their plans to take the next step, listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to follow us @LandGrant33 on Twitter, as we’ll be tweeting out the singings as they happen on Wednesday.

Jayden Ballard
(Four-star WR/Massillon, Ohio)

Ballard is one of the most under the radar players in Ohio State’s 2021 class. Ranked as the nation’s No. 8 wide receiver and No. 66 player overall, the Ohio native has been committed to the program since June 2019. He plans to sign early and enroll in January.

Denzel Burke
(Four-star ATH/Scottsdale, AZ)

Burke is the No. 8 athlete in the 2021 class, the No. 192 player overall, and the No. 3 prospect out of his home-state of Arizona. Listed as an athlete, he will likely play defensive back at the next level, having experience both as a DB and a wide receiver. Burke plans to sign on Wednesday and enroll in January.

Reid Carrico
(Four-star LB/Ironton, OH)

Carrico is another in-state prospect who has been committed for the long haul, joining the Buckeyes’ class back in September of 2019. An elite linebacker prospect as the No. 5 player at the position and the No. 84 player nationally, the Ohio Division V Defensive Player of the Year will sign his NLI this afternoon and enroll in January.

Ben Christman
(Four-star OG/Richfield, OH)

Christman has been one of the leader’s of this Ohio State class, actively helping the program’s recruiting efforts on social media and behind the scenes. The nation’s No. 6 offensive guard and No. 124 prospect overall, Christman will not have to move very far after signing his NLI this week. The Richfield native will make the two-hour trip south to Columbus when he enrolls in January.

Jantzen Dunn
(Four-star S/Bowling Green, KY)

Dunn was a nice recruiting win for the Buckeyes as they beat out the in-state team in their neighbors to the south for the Kentucky native. The nation’s No. 12 safety and No. 203 overall prospect in the country, Dunn plays on both sides of the ball but really excels at safety — which is where he’ll play at the next level. He will sign on Wednesday and enroll in January.

Emeka Egbuka
(Five-star WR/Steilacoom, WA)

Ohio State’s newest commit, Brian Hartline hauled in a huge W when he secured a commitment from Egbuka, beating out Oklahoma and Washington for the elite wide receiver’s services. The nation’s No. 1 WR and the No. 9 player in the class overall, Egbuka should push for playing time right away in year one even in a deep position group. He will be signing early, but is unsure when he will enroll as he waits for the state of Washington to make concrete plans on the high school football season.

Mike Hall
(Four-star DT/Streetsboro, OH)

Hall has been another very outspoken member of this Ohio State class helping to lead the charge. Committing to the Buckeyes back in February, Hall is quietly the No. 4 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 49 player overall. The talented in-state prospect plans to sign later this afternoon, but does not plan to enroll early.

Jordan Hancock
(Four-star CB/Suwanee, GA)

An especially sweet recruiting win having stolen Hancock from Clemson, the Georgia native is the No. 4 cornerback in the country and the No. 67 player overall. Originally committed to the Tigers, Ohio State never stopped applying the pressure, and the mutual interest was apparent throughout until his eventual flip in July. Hancock will sign early on Wednesday, but his high school will not allow him to enroll early.

Marvin Harrison Jr.
(Four-star WR/Philadelphia, PA)

The son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, the St. Joseph’s Prep product is coming off three-straight Pennsylvania 6A State Championships. The 6-foot-3 wideout is the No. 15 WR in the country and the No. 91 player in the class overall. Committing to the Buckeyes all the way back in October of 2019, Harrison will sign early and enroll in January.

Sam Hart
(Three-star TE/Aurora, CO)

The lone tight end commit in Ohio State’s 2021 class, Hart comes in as the No. 15 tight end in the class and the No. 389 prospect overall as the third-best player out of Colorado. Hart committed just over a year ago, and plans to sign this week and enroll in January.

TreVeyon Henderson
(Five-star RB/Hopewell, VA)

One of the crown jewels of this Ohio State recruiting class, Henderson comes in as the No. 1 running back in the country and a top-25 player overall. Even with Master Teague returning next year, there is a very legitimate chance that the elite tailback not only competes for playing time but starts in 2021. Henderson will be signing his LOI this afternoon, and will enroll early in January.

Donovan Jackson
(Five-star OG/Bellaire, TX)

Another five-star prospect in this stacked group — and another win for Ohio State in the state of Texas at that — Jackson is the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard and a top-20 player overall. With Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers off to the NFL after this season, Jackson will get to compete for playing time in year one. The 6-foot-4, 308-pound interior lineman will sign early with the Buckeyes, but will not be allowed to enroll early per his high school’s graduation rules.

Jakailin Johnson
(Four-star CB/Saint Louis, MO)

Johnson is another elite corner prospect in an Ohio State recruiting class that is bringing in a ton of talent in the secondary — something that is much needed with the current state of affairs. The nation’s No. 4 cornerback and the No. 47 player in the country overall, Johnson committed to the Buckeyes back in March. He does plan to sign his LOI this week, but will not enroll early.

Jaylen Johnson
(Three-star S/Cincinnati, OH)

Yes, Ohio State will be signing players named Jaylen Johnson and Jakailin Johnson who both play in the secondary. That will certainly not be confusing at all in any way. Regardless, they are getting a pair of solid prospects, as Jaylen Johnson is the No. 29 safety in the country and is just outside the top-400 nationally. Johnson will be signing on Wednesday afternoon, but won’t be enrolling in January as his high school won't allow him to graduate early.

Kyle McCord
(Five-star QB/Philadelphia, PA)

Teammates with Harrison Jr., McCord is yet another five-star quarterback commit on his way to Ohio State. Committing to the program all the way back in April of 2019, McCord is the No. 3 pro-style QB in the country and the No. 25 player in the class overall. With Justin Fields off to the NFL, he will immediately be thrown into a three-man competition for the starting quarterback job. McCord will be signing this week and will enroll early.

Zen Michalski
(Four-star OT/Floyds Knobs, IN)

Michalski was a late addition to Ohio State’s 2021 class, as the Buckeyes pulled a late steal flipping the Indiana native from Louisville where he was previously committed. OSU was right to pounce on him when they did, as almost immediately following his commitment Michalski got bumped from a three-star prospect to a four-star, now rated the No. 23 OT in the country. He will both sign and enroll early.

Jesse Mirco
(Three-star P/Australia)

Mirco is actually the only official member of Ohio State’s class heading into Wednesday, as the Australian was already allowed to sign his LOI since he is 23 years old. Mirco comes from ProKick Australia — the same program that produced former Buckeye punter and current Philadelphia Eagle Cameron Johnston. With Drue Chrisman being a senior, Mirco will likely function as Ohio State’s starting punter next season.

Evan Pryor
(Four-star RB/Cornelius, NC)

Lost in the shuffle a bit with the commitment of Henderson, Ohio State has a second very talented running back in its 2021 class in Pryor. The nation’s No. 2 all-purpose back and the No. 81 overall prospect, Pryor would likely be an instant starter at most programs around the country. It will be interesting to see how he fits in the Buckeyes’ plans at a suddenly deep position group. He will sign this afternoon and enroll in January.

Jack Sawyer
(Five-star DE/Pickerington, OH)

An integral part of this Ohio State recruiting class, Sawyer is the longest-standing member of the group, committing to the program all the way back in February of 2019. The top prospect in Ohio, Sawyer comes in as the No. 3 strong-side defensive end in the country and the No. 4 overall recruit in the class. Sawyer helped set up and hosted Buckeye Bash, as he has worked hard to assist the staff in the recruiting game. He will sign early and enroll in January.

Andre Turrentine
(Four-star CB/Nashville, TN)

One of the more quiet members of this 2021 class, Turrentine is yet another talented defensive back in the group. The impressive athlete is ranked as the No. 9 safety prospect in the country and the No. 167 player overall. Turrentine committed to Ohio State back in March knowing that COVID-19 likely wouldn’t allow for a normal process, and he saw no reason to wait when he knew where he wanted to go. He will sign his LOI this week, but will not enroll until the summer.

Tyleik Williams
(Four-star DT/Manassas, VA)

Last, but certainly not least, is defensive tackle prospect Tyleik Williams. A fellow Virginia native alongside Henderson, Williams is the No. 12 DT and the No. 161 player overall nationally. Having been committed to Ohio State since August, the 6-foot-3, 330-pound tackle will sign on Wednesday and enroll in January.