The Buckeyes have been on a hot streak to begin the 2021 class, currently owning the top class in the country for the next cycle, but the momentum they have built is something they want to keep going for the long haul. Ohio State has seen sustained success in the win column for years. As Ryan Day and the other staff members have mentioned numerous times before, recruiting is the lifeblood of the Buckeye program, and their commitment to bringing the best talent to Columbus is well underway yet again.
Whose on the radar?
The running back spot is arguably the most important position of need in this cycle, and while the Buckeyes may have “missed” on their top targets the last couple of years, this class cannot be a repeat of the past. The Buckeyes will likely not look to add just one elite prospect at the position. Fortunately, Ohio State is in on many of the nation’s best backs, and just need to close the deal effectively.
The first prospect on the list is Ohio’s top-ranked running back, Corey Kiner out of Roger Bacon in Cincinnati. Kiner has every intangible Tony Alford and the Buckeyes are looking for, and keeping him at home for college is a big priority for the staff. Kiner has been linked to both Michigan and Ohio State the most, but as of late many have given the Buckeyes the nod for who has the slight edge in his recruitment. With the 247Sports rankings update for the 2021 class, Kiner is now the No. 7 prospect in Ohio and the No. 10 RB in the country.
Interestingly enough, only one spot behind Kiner is Ohio’s eighth-best player, Jaylen Anderson of Perry High School. The No. 16 RB in the country, the Buckeyes have not offered Anderson at this point, but he could certainly be one to keep an eye on if OSU decides they need to look at other options.
Looking out of state, North Carolina’s Evan Pryor is certainly not a new name to Buckeye recruiting followers. Pryor checks in as the No. 5 RB in the nation and the No. 84 player in the entire country. Having been in constant communication with Ohio State the past several weeks, Pryor is easily a top priority in this cycle.
Having been visited by three different coaches in the past few months, with Kevin Wilson, Brian Hartline, and Tony Alford all making the trek to see the four-star back, Ohio State will likely be involved in Pryor’s recruitment until the very end. In regards to where the Buckeyes stand, the amount of contact between the two parties and Pryor’s feelings himself seem to show a good extent of mutual interest.
Heading north behind enemy lines, Michigan native Donovan Edwards is currently the No. 3 back in the country and Michigan’s top prospect in the 2021 class. Ohio State has been in this one for awhile already, but with Edwards being right in the back yard of the Wolverines, TTUN is certainly going to be a serious player in this recruitment, and possibly the team to beat. If it truly is a two-team race, that pair of teams appears to be those involved in the biggest rivalry in sports. This one will surely go down to the wire.
Finally, a running back that has really seen a boost in his stock thanks to the newly updated class rankings is TreVeyon Henderson, a Virginia native is now checking in as the No. 2 back in the country and a top-30 prospect overall. A true every down back, Henderson checks every box you’d want in terms of size, speed, strength, and overall talent.
A prospect with 40 scholarship offers from every top program in the country, this recruitment is not going to be an easy one for those looking to land his services. Fortunately, per 247Sports, Henderson plans to take an unofficial visit to Ohio State for the upcoming spring game. On top of that, Henderson mentioned to Wiltfong that the Buckeyes are one of two programs that are currently recruiting him the hardest — the other being Oklahoma.
At this time, the Buckeyes’ chances at landing not only one, but maybe two really solid guys at RB seem very good. Ohio State has not landed their top target at the position of need for multiple classes in a row, and they can’t allow that to happen again., Look for the full-court press to be on each of these recruits until Ryan Day and Tony Alford finally find their guy(s).
- Per Bucknuts analyst Bill Kurelic, La Salle (Cincinnati, Ohio) product Devonta Smith will be visiting Columbus shortly for a spring practice after being invited by Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs. Smith, the No. 29 cornerback in the nation and No. 15 recruit in Ohio, will be making the trip with current teammate and Ohio State commit Jaylen Johnson.