If you’ve been following Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting class closely, then this is a moment you have been waiting for for quite some time. The Buckeyes have nearly wrapped things up in the current cycle, but still have a pair of five-star recruits waiting out there that Ryan Day and his staff hope to be able to reel in before all is said and done.
This Friday, Dec. 11, they will get an answer on one of those guys, as five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka is set to make his college decision. A native of Steilacoom, WA, Egbuka is the No. 1 player at his position and the No. 9 player in the 2021 class overall. He will be choosing between Ohio State, Oklahoma and Washington.
Commitment dropping on Dec. 11th at 5:00 PM PST ..— Emeka Egbuka (@emeka_egbuka) December 8, 2020
The announcement is coming on the heels of Egbuka’s visit to Oklahoma’s campus this past weekend, wherein he got some throws in with Sooners QB commit Caleb Williams and was in the stands for the team’s game against Baylor. Egbuka reportedly really liked his time in Norman, gelling well with current Oklahoma commits and getting a good feel for the area.
“Just walking around the campus, I really liked it,” Egbuka told 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman. ”I liked the look of all the buildings, all the buildings are old looking and I think thats cool. I liked the Palace, the dorms are so close to everything you need access for as a football player. There is nothing to really knock. The stadium, I liked it a lot. The fans were screaming, they were crazy and some times I realized, if they’re this loud at only 20%, what would a non-covid capacity crowd sound like.”
While Oklahoma is a very legit contender for Egbuka’s services, Ohio State fans shouldn’t read all that much into this latest visit. The Washington native always planned to visit Norman, and said he planned to commit before the early signing period opens if he could make that happen ahead of time. Having just spoken with the Sooners’ coaches, Egbuka plans to have more conversations with the Buckeyes and Huskies before making his final decision.
“I feel like I’m ready to make a decision and I’ll be announcing on Friday,” said Egbuka. ”I’ve talked with every single head coach and receiver coach at my finalists and I’ll talk with them again. I kind of have in the back of my head where I’m going to go.”
This is especially important, as Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline has been building his relationship with Egbuka for quite some time — a huge reason why the Buckeyes have long been pegged as the favorite in this recruitment. Hartline’s relationship with both Egbuka and his family is incredibly strong, and with the stud wideout not being the type of player to make a rash decision based on recency bias, many still view Ohio State as front of the pack.
However, it is tough to really nail down exactly where Egbuka will end up, as he has played his recruitment very close to the vest throughout his entire process. As things stand, Ohio State still holds eight of the nine Crystal Ball predictions for the five-star prospect, with many of the most respected sources — including Steve Wiltfong, Bill Kurelic and Brandon Huffman — all not yet hearing enough to switch their picks from the Buckeyes.
Still, nobody knows for certain which program the wideout will choose come Friday, although it seems pretty certain that Ohio State and Oklahoma are both ahead of Washington. As Birm of Lettermen Row broke down on Tuesday, in a post in which he too doubled down on Egbuka to OSU, Brian Hartline could ultimately be the deciding factor in this recruitment. It will be worth keeping an eye on any changes to the Crystal Balls leading up to Friday’s announcement, but it is possible we don't learn anything until the decision is actually made.
My money would still be on Ohio State at this time, but it wouldn’t be totally shocking if Egbuka ends up with the Sooners.
- Speaking of No. 1 wide receivers, Caleb Burton won't be on campus for two more years, but the nation’s No. 15 overall prospect in 2022 is already itching to take part in The Game.
Need 4 Gold pants ⭕️— Caleb Burton III (@calebburtoniii) December 9, 2020