There aren't enough words to describe how much sports are missed right now, but thankfully Ohio State is always finding itself in the headlines to scratch that sports itch. A surprise to nobody, the Buckeyes continue to find good fortunes on the recruiting trail and while it may feel like the success has to wear off, Ryan Day and his staff have no intentions of letting that happen.
It worked before, so why not try again?
The Buckeyes struck gold back in the 2017 recruiting class when La Grange, Texas native J.K. Dobbins committed to Ohio State without ever setting foot on campus. A career that worked out pretty darn well for both he and the Buckeyes, Dobbins will always be a special player to Buckeye Nation thanks to his incredible work on the field each of the last three years.
With previous fortune like that, the Buckeye staff would be crazy to not try the fertile recruiting grounds the Lone Star State has to offer to find another elite running back that can carry on the tradition Dobbins helped to continue in Columbus.
Yesterday, Ohio State began the journey to finding their Dobbins 2.0 when they offered 2022 running back prospect, Jaydon Blue (Houston, Texas/Klein Cain) after he spoke with position coach Tony Alford. A 5-foot-9, 195 pound high school sophomore, Blue already has an impressive offer list with nearly 20 programs all vying for his future pledge.
With schools like Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, and more already in the fold, it’s no surprise to see that Blue checks in as the No. 7 running back in the 2022 class, as well as the 11th-best player in Texas (the state’s No. 1 RB) and the No. 80 player overall according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. With another two years of development at the prep level, the potential for Jaydon to be one of the most highly touted backs in the country is basically a lock.
Bless to announce that i’ve received an offer from Ohio State University! #GoBuckeyes ⚪️ @KLEINCAINFB @RoSimonJr @CoachTonyAlford @MikeRoach247 @Perroni247 @samspiegs pic.twitter.com/GB3gMEfCVx— 23 (@JaydonBlue) May 12, 2020
Now that the Buckeyes have entered the ring by offering Blue, all they need to do is pitch the Dobbins effect. By showing him their NFL Draft success and more, it’s not out of this world to believe they’ll instantly be contenders. He currently looks to be favoring Texas and LSU, but look for the relationship between Blue and Ohio State to greatly improve from here.
Another boost to the 2021 class and keeping the top spot
Yesterday, Rivals released their updated Rivals250 list for the current cycle. As if the Buckeyes 2021 commits couldn’t get any more national praise, once again, that feat occurred when both Donovan Jackson and Tunmise Adeleye received their fifth star in the updated rankings. A move that will almost certainly bump them up in the 247Sports Composite, Ohio State could now have as many five five-star prospects already committed in 2021.
However, with programs like Tennessee hot on the recruiting trail, Ohio State needs to keep up their momentum to remain in the driver’s seat to win the recruiting crown. While their lead may already be insurmountable, they can put the nail in the coffin by landing their top remaining targets to close out an historical class.
Five-stars like Emeka Eqbuka and J.T. Tuimoloau are still out there. With Egbuka specifically, the Buckeyes are considered to be the clear front-runner in his recruitment, and while Clemson has long thought to have been next in line, it’s actually Oklahoma who is taking the second slate as of late. With a commitment likely coming near the fall, the priority to get him on campus when finally allowed will definitely help to seal the deal in landing yet another elite five-star receiver.
As the Buckeyes race for No. 1, 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong laid out exactly what Ohio State needs to do to keep the top overall class while others are closing in and trying to take it away.
May edition of the Race for the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. #OhioState #Georgia #LSU #Clemson #Alabama: https://t.co/t768abZ2u2 via @247sports— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) May 12, 2020
- The hardwood Bucks sent out an offer to 2022 center, Dereck Lively II, the nation’s No. 4 center prospect and the 39th best player overall in the class. Lively, hailing out of Bellefonte, PA, already holds at least nine offers at this point, including the likes of Miami, Penn State, Providence, UCLA, Xavier and others.
Dereck Lively, a class of 2022 Big Man from @WTbbasketball (PA)/@TeamFinalEYBL (PA), just picked up an offer from Ohio State.— Pat Lawless (@PatLawless_) May 12, 2020
- Current Buckeye defensive back commit Jakailin Johnson announced yesterday his intent to play his final high school game in the 2021 All-American Bowl, making him the sixth current 2021 pledge committed to play in the contest.
Following my dreams @ErikRichardsUSA @rlacey23 @AABonNBC pic.twitter.com/m5jbv9Ejqd— Jakailin “JK” Johnson (@jakailin6) May 12, 2020
- Late Tuesday night, Ohio State made the short list for another 2021 defensive back prospect. Denzel Burke, the nation’s No. 9 athlete, listed the Buckeyes in his top five alongside Colorado, Oregon, USC and Washington. The four-star recruit is the No. 4 player from his home state of Arizona, and also plays wide receiver at Saguaro. Being recruited by Kerry Coombs, Burke would likely project as a DB at the next level.
Blessed to be in this position. #Top5 #noorder Edit: @Hayesfawcett3 pic.twitter.com/663KuKl01b— Denzel Burke (@King10Burke) May 13, 2020
- According to Bucknuts.com analyst Bill Kurelic, Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs has been in communication daily with Jaylin Davies, the nation’s No. 10 cornerback in the country. Davies, a native of Santa Ana, CA, is a top-100 prospect in the 2021 class, and currently holds over 21 offers. There are four Crystal Ball predictions in for the talented DB at this time, with two in favor of Ohio State, one for Arizona State and one undecided.