With a number of former Buckeyes off to the NFL, the roster building process at Ohio State continues. The recruiting game never stops — even for a pandemic — and although many restrictions apply, there are few who have adapted to the changes better than the staff in Columbus.
OSU is continuing to put together its 2021 class that ranks No. 1 in the country, but have also began putting in a ton of work in the 2022 cycle. Ryan Day and his colleagues are making sure the Buckeyes are one of the most talented teams in the nation for years to come, and that begins with recruiting.
Keeping tabs on 2022 RB
Tony Alford caught a lot of flack in the 2020 cycle when the team missed out on all of its top targets at the running back position. So what did he do to make up for it? Well, just haul in two of the nation’s top RBs in 2021 in five-star TreVeyon Henderson and four-star Evan Pryor — both ranked in the top-five at their position.
While the results in this current cycle for Alford are certainly impressive, it doesn’t mean he can sit back and rest on his laurels. Recruiting at a position as important as RB must be constant, and the team must always have high-caliber talent and depth in the backfield. Luckily, he and the staff are doing some early heavy lifting in the 2022 class.
Four-star RB Kaytron Allen spoke with the Buckeyes on Monday. Allen, currently listed as the No. 14 RB and No. 110 player overall in the cycle, already holds 15 scholarship offers, including one from Ohio State. Alford and the staff are clearly keeping a close eye on the IMG Academy product, and the two parties have plans to hop on Zoom together this Thursday, according to Bill Kurelic of 247Sports.
Allen is one of seven running backs already to receive an offer from Ohio State in the 2022 class. It is unclear how much mutual interest currently exists between he and the program, but with the pipeline the Buckeyes have built between themselves and the Florida prep school, they likely have an early leg up on the competition.
The best of the rest
It’s tough to ask for a lot more from Ohio State’s 2021 class, but when you've done this well this early on, you can start to get a little picky. The Buckeyes have a whopping 17 commits in the class, including three consensus five-star recruits and 12 guys in the top 108 nationally. That being said, there are some obvious guys still on OSU’s roster that should be top priorities moving forward.
As Jeremy Birmingham of Lettermen Row laid out, two of the biggest pieces at this point are five-star DT J.T. Tuimoloau and five-star OT JC Latham. Tuimoloau is one of two huge recruits out of the state of Washington that Ohio State is currently involved with — the other being five-star WR Emeka Egbuka. As the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the 247Sports rankings, Tuimoloau would be a massive addition to fill a need at defensive tackle.
Latham is the other top priority, as the nation’s No. 1 OT and No. 3 recruit overall is seemingly trending towards the Buckeyes as is. With Thayer Munford on the way out and other guys looking at upcoming draft eligibility, OSU would love to add another incredibly talented offensive tackle to the fold.
While Ohio State would obviously love to land all three of these five-star recruits, which isn’t out of the question by any means, Egbuka comes in third in this trio given the Buckeyes’ depth at wide receiver. That being said, the nation’s No. 1 WR has been trending toward OSU as of late, garnering 92 percent of the 12 currently submitted Crystal Ball predictions.
- Michigan was able to secure a commitment from an Ohio wide receiver on Monday, as three-star prospect Markus Allen chose to continue his playing career with the Wolverines. The No. 20 player from the Buckeye State, and the No. 83 WR in the country, chose UM over his 29 other offers, which included programs like Cincinnati, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Allen did not have an offer from Ohio State.