When you look at Wednesday’s success of bringing in 21 elite players to the future roster, it’s clear why Ohio State is once again back in Indy this weekend. Recruiting is at the forefront of any successful program, and the Buckeyes are incredible at proving that to be true. The two go hand in hand. Having great players brings championships, and championships continue to help bring in those top caliber prep prospects. As seen in each cycle, the Buckeyes are on a mission and it’s paying off in the best way.
2021 Buckeye signees continue to reap the rewards
Like everything else in 2020, recruiting has been tough. Tough on the players, tough on the coaches, tough on everyone involved to be quite honest. With the inability to visit in person and beyond, it’s just been unprecedented times on the recruiting trail. Fortunately, the Buckeyes have faired as well as they could in the midst of all the craziness.
Of all the opportunities taken away from top prospects — and there has been several — one major downfall of the pandemic is the cancellation of the All-American games many of the nation’s best players get to play in as one final contest before heading to their schools of choice. Both the All-America Bowl and the Under Armour All-American game were canceled for the class of 2021.
Every year Ohio State is more than well represented, and in 2021 that would have of course been the same story. With several of the guys in this cycle having invites to play in these prestigious contests, it’s a way for fans to get a little glimpse into what is headed to Columbus and how the Buckeyes will fare in the years to come. Though that can’t happen this year, you don’t need an all-star game to know Ohio State is going to loaded for years to come in large part thanks to classes like this one.
Though the All-America Bowl will not be played, there are still awards to be given out, and Ohio State was still well represented yesterday. Buckeye quarterback signee Kyle McCord was named one of five finalists nominated for 2021’s Offensive Player of the Year. After another state championship and more awards than you can imagine, it’s pretty fitting for the Buckeye QB to be up for at least one more top honor. It’s just further proof that Ohio State repeats history by landing one of the best signal callers in the country.
2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣— All-American Bowl (@AABonNBC) December 17, 2020
- @ShadrachBanks (Houston, TX)
- @jjmccarthy09 (Bradenton, FL)
- @kylemccord16 (Philadelphia, PA)
- @ty_thompson7 (Gilbert, AZ)
- @BrockVandagriff (Bogart, GA) #AAB21 #AllAmericanBowl pic.twitter.com/P7gPvV8Jv5
In addition to the future quarterback getting some attention, one of the important pieces to protecting said quarterback also received some honors. The nation’s top offensive guard and Buckeye signee Donovan Jackson was also nominated for a top player award. Making the cut for the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year award, Jackson is one of only five players in the entire country selected for the honor, further proving how impactful his commitment to Ohio State is for the Buckeyes and the future of the offensive line.
Ryan Day raved about Jackson on multiple occasions this week, and stated the best attribute of the Texas native is his versatility and potential to also play outside at tackle. Knowing how physical he is already and touting the frame he has before even stepping foot on campus, Jackson is truly the type of player you covet when it concerns protecting your quarterback. Rest assured, the future of both the offensive line and quarterback is in really good shape.
2021 Anthony Muñoz— All-American Bowl (@AABonNBC) December 16, 2020
➖ @DylanFairchild6 (Cumming, GA)
➖ @D_jack78 (Bellaire, TX)
➖ @nolanrucci (Lititiz, PA)
➖ @maassoonn_ (Houma, LA)
➖ @56reasons_ (Miami, FL)#AAB21 #AllAmericanBowl https://t.co/089BwTSO6H pic.twitter.com/42jBE3lWh0
Bucks dish out latest offer to 2023 prospect
Being that the Buckeyes staff is incredible at getting a jump start on each recruiting cycle, it’s not a surprise to see Ohio State offering players two years away from signing. Having the ability to key in on players and build lasting relationships has worked like a charm to this point, and clearly it’s a tactic the staff will continue to implement as they look to stay hot on the recruiting trail.
Yesterday, the latest Buckeye offer went out to Denton, Texas native Anthony Hill, who is regarded already as a four-star prospect and the third-best inside linebacker in the country for his class. Position coach Al Washington has been lights out lately with landing elite linebackers to join the fold, and it looks as if he will look to do the same in 2023. When it comes to Texas, no school has more momentum than Ohio State when it comes to poaching the best talent out of the Lone Star State.
With already nearly 20 offers to his name from the likes of Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and a host of others, it’s clear that Hill will be a top caliber player when is all said and done. Being a top 65 player already shows this is a can’t miss prospect that the Buckeyes are wasting no time at all trying to make an impact on. With this staff’s recruiting efforts, you can assume they’ll be a serious player moving forward.
Who could be next in line?
With all but one or two spots filled in 2021’s class, the class of 2022 is getting majority of the recruiting attention from the Ohio State coaching staff moving forward. Having done an incredible job this early on and boasting the top class in the country already, the Buckeyes can afford to be a little bit picky with who they add to this future cycle.
As fans it can be easy after a commitment comes to wonder who the next in line will be, and if we’re placing bets, the likely option is recent Arizona decommit Kyion Grayes. The Chandler, Arizona native is currently ranked as the 47th-best receiver in the class, but has seen his stock really begin to rise as of late, and the odds of Ohio State’s interest having something to do with that is pretty likely. Picking up his fourth star recently, Grayes is becoming more of a household name and a player Brian Hartline has serious interest in.
Drawing comparisons to current Buckeye Chris Olave, Ohio State would love nothing more than for Grayes to follow in those footsteps. Grayes could be on the brink of committing to Ohio State really at any point. The only aspect that could possibly prevent that is the staff wanting to see him in person, which of course could be the case, but odds are Grayes could be in the 2022 class before that’s able to take place.
Current pledges have taken to Twitter to hint at another “Boom” coming soon, and with the recent decommitment of Grayes, it makes you feel like it could be him. Another aspect that makes him a strong case to be next in line is this receiver room that is filling up rapidly with the nation’s best guys. With the success Hartline is having, there aren’t many spots to go around, and that could speed up Grayes’ decision making process to lock in his place in the class.
- On Thursday night, Ohio State sent out a new offer to 2023 offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor. A native of Des Moines, IA, Proctor is the No. 3 OT and the No. 31 overall player according to 247Sports. The Buckeyes are always looking for elite tackle prospects to help shore up the offensive line, and they are making sure to get in early with one of the nation’s top guys at the position.