Over at 247Sports, Bill Greene took a stab at what players he thinks will end up rounding out the Buckeyes’ currently top-ranked 2021 football recruiting class. In addition to the 17 players already pledged to join the Ohio State Buckeyes, Greene believes that five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka will join the class, as will four-star defensive tackle Tywone Malone.
On the defensive side of the ball, Greene said, “I feel REALLY GOOD on that pick,“ in reference to the No. 2 player in the country, five-star defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau joining the Buckeyes in 2021. He also thinks that Al Washington could flip five-star linebacker Raesjon Davis from LSU, but isn’t ready to crystal ball it yet. However, Greene has CBed Davis’ high school teammate, four-star cornerback Jaylin Davis to the Buckeyes, so perhaps that could help persuade Davis to make the jump.
Greene also thinks that four-star safety Derrick Davis Jr. will eventually choose between OSU and Penn State, but he’s not yet leaning one way or the other.
Greene does add that because of the odd, coronavirus-impacted recruiting that there could be more decommitments in the fall than normal, so we shouldn’t get too attached to all of these players just yet.
Recruiting in the new normal
The biggest news in all of sports on Wednesday was the recommendations that came down from the NCAA’s working group on name, image, and likeness compensation for student-athletes. While there is still a long way to go before I will ever believe that the NCAA will ever allow something so logical and equitable to happen, Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises looked into how the opportunity for future college football players to be paid for various purposes might impact Ohio State’s recruiting.
He notes that if the current plan remains on track, it would go into effect at the start of the 2021-22 academic year, meaning that everybody in OSU’s top-rated recruiting class would benefit from the rule change for their entire career. Lesmerises and Eleven Warriors’ Colin Hass-Hill noticed that Ohio State’s football coaching staff — led by assistant athletic director for player personnel Mark Pantoni — were already trumpeting the fact that there is no better place for big-time recruits to play than Columbus if they want to have the best shot to make the NFL and the chance to make some money while in school.
Ohio State's football staff wasting no time reacting to this morning's news. pic.twitter.com/EIewcOJ0x2— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) April 29, 2020
Lesmerises gets into the potential impact that the new policy could have in recruiting, but while most people tend to see this as just another way for the rich to get richer, there is another potential outcome that is just as likely. Of course all systems in our society are slanted towards the rich and powerful, so I certainly don’t anticipate this hurting Ohio State, but I could see smaller schools — be they Power Fives or otherwise — benefiting from the new system than they are now.
If a stud-player knows that he’s going to be gone after three years anyway, but is going to have to sit or split time for two seasons at Ohio State or Alabama — forgoing potential endorsement deals — might it be better to go to a Maryland or Georgia Tech or Arizona State where you can make a name (and money) for yourself right away while you are bidding your time before heading off to the NFL? Time will tell, but I’m not convinced that this will be simply another feather reserved exclusively for the caps of the already bluest bloods.
Another offer extended
On Wednesday, Ohio State offered a scholarship to 2022 Virginia offensive lineman Zach Rice. The 6-foot-6, 278-pounder from Lynchburg’s Liberty Christian Academy doesn’t yet have a composite grade, as those won’t become available until at least this summer, but 247Sports has him as a high three-star prospect, the 30th OL in the country, and the 13th player in his state.
In addition to the Buckeyes, Rice also holds offers from Georgia, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and other.
Speechless and beyond blessed to receive an Offer from The Ohio State University❗️‼️ pic.twitter.com/8IM7iJAnd3— ZACH RICE (@od_zach) April 29, 2020
The best recruiters aren’t always coaches
On Wednesday, former Florida commit turned newly pledged Tennessee defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson claimed that he was going to be the No. 1 recruiter in the country this season. However, Buckeye commit Jaylen Johnson begged to differ; even using head coach Ryan Day as a reference for being the best recruiter in college football.
Johnson followed that up with a tweet highlighting OSU’s top-rated 2021 class and asking the important question, “Who wouldn’t want to join this class[?]”
On Wednesday, Bill Kuerlic posted an article in which he spoke with 2022 top-100 player, four-star Texas running back Jadarian Price in which the high school sophomore said of OSU, “It is a great school that I am still interested in and excited to look into a visit on their campus. And maybe even a rivalry game in the fall.” Good job not mentioning the rival by name, Jadarian.
Kuerlic also ran through a slew of names that appear to have been added to Ohio State’s target list. Get to know these names now, because at the rate they have been coming, some of them might start BOOMing sooner rather than later.