Even after a surge of commits at Tennessee and a five-star RB commit at Clemson, Ohio State is still firmly entrenched as the No. 1 class in the nation in 2021 — and by a rather wide margin. With 17 total verbals at this point, the Buckeyes are sitting at 295.41 points according to 247Sports, which puts them more than 60 points ahead of the now No. 2 Volunteers (despite the Vols having an extra commit with 18 total pledges).
While the grind in 2021 continues, Ryan Day and his staff have been hard at work starting to put together their target board for 2022. Already holding three commits in the next cycle, the evaluation process has become a bit harder without the luxury of in-person visits. Nonetheless, the Ohio State coaches are off to a great start in the class, and have been sending out offers seemingly every day to some of the nation’s top sophomore talents.
This proved to be the case yet again on Thursday, as the Buckeyes sent out a new offer to 2022 linebacker Justin Medlock.
After a great talk with @CoachWash56, I am blessed to receive an offer from THE Ohio State University!! ⭕️ #GoBucks @ryandaytime pic.twitter.com/zziMbJr5AU— Justin Medlock † (@_JustinMedlock) May 7, 2020
Currently a rising three-star prospect, Medlock is the No. 8 ILB in the class, and the No. 43 recruit from the state of Texas according to 247Sports’ own rankings. Despite his star rating not exactly jumping off the page, his recruitment is only expected to heat up from here. The 6-foot-1 sophomore already has a total of at least 14 offers at this point, including the likes of Baylor, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, to name a few.
Even with the Ohio State offer just recently being added to the fold, there is already some buzz surrounding the two parties. Shortly after Medlock’s announcement Tweet, which came following a Zoom call between himself, Ryan Day, Al Washington and other Buckeye staff members, both Ohio State insider Bill Kurelic and 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong submitted Crystal Ball predictions for the linebacker to end up in Scarlet and Gray.
“Today I have put a Crystal Ball pick in for Medlock to Ohio State based on what I know and what I am told,” said Kurelic. “Don’t worry that Medlock is ‘just’ a 3-star prospect. He can play and I see him playing his college football in Columbus, Ohio.”
As previously mentioned, Ohio State’s 2022 class already features a trio of verbal commits, which includes CB Jyaire Brown, ATH/LB C.J. Hicks, and OT Tegra Tshabola. Coach Washington would love to add another key player to his position room early in the cycle, and Medlock could just be that guy.
Where’s the beef?
On Thursday afternoon, both Ohio State staff and current 2021 commits began sending out cryptic Tweets containing just the steak emoji. Almost everyone was getting in on the action, including guys like director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, current commits including TreVeyon Henderson and Tunmise Adeleye, among others, and even current tight end target Hudson Wolfe.
— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) May 7, 2020
— Hudson Wolfe (@HudsonWolfe80) May 7, 2020
While it is pretty unclear what this could mean, some speculated that it alludes to a potential incoming offensive lineman commit. AKA, Ohio State could be adding some “beef” up front in the near future.
If this is indeed the case, two guys worth keeping an eye on are four-star OG Jager Burton and five-star OT JC Latham. Latham has long been deciding between Ohio State and LSU, but wants visit each school before making his final choice. Burton is in a similar situation, deciding between OSU and Kentucky for his college destination. It is certainly possible that COVID-19 restrictions force a change of plans, and either athlete (or both) instead chooses to commit sooner than anticipated.