We’re getting into the real summer months now, which would usually be a popular time for many of the nation’s remaining uncommitted prospects to visit their top schools. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made that a nonstarter, and so we will have to wait and see if those visits will take place at any point during this year. However, that does not mean recruiting has come to a standstill by any means.
Ryan Day and the rest of the Ohio State staff are continuing to put in work each and every day as they look to finish off this impressive 2021 class. However, with only a few more guys remaining on their target board, the focus begins to shift toward the 2022 class. Scouting high school talent is tough COVID-imposed recruiting dead period, but the Buckeyes have still been intent on sending out a ton of early offers to get their foot in the door with the cycle’s top prospects.
As a result, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of the guys OSU will be focusing in the next class. Bill Kurelic over at 247Sports has compiled a list of Ohio State’s top targets in the site’s 2022 database, and details the top two or three guys at each position. Let’s take a look at some of the names we’ll likely be seeing more of moving forward, especially at positions of need for the Buckeyes.
Two biggest positions of need in 2022
There is still a ways to go in the 2021 class, and we don't know for sure how Ohio State’s current group will finish out. Therefore, it’s a bit tough to truly get a read on what the biggest points of emphasis will be in the upcoming cycle. However, one position that will almost certainly need to be restocked is the tight end spot.
Currently, the Buckeyes only have one TE committed in 2021 — three-star Colorado native Sam Hart. The team was hoping to grab two tight ends in this cycle, but with the team’s top target Hudson Wolfe committing to Tennessee on Monday, it is unclear whether they will be able to haul in another guy at the position before things are said and done.
Luckily, the staff has already sent offers out to a pair of the nation’s top tight ends in 2022. Donovan Green, a four-star TE and the No. 1 player at the position in the class, and Benji Gosnell, another four-star and the No. 5 TE in the nation, a certainly two guys at the top of Ohio State’s board. If the Buckeyes are unable to grab another TE in 2021, they will almost definitely need to haul in two in 2022, and that search begins with Green and Gosnell.
On the defensive side of the ball, the biggest point of emphasis will almost certainly be at linebacker. Ohio State currently only has one LB committed in the 2021 class — four-star ILB Reid Carrico. If another does not enter the mix by the time the current cycle is wrapped up, the Buckeyes will need to sign at least three and maybe four LBs in 2022.
Fortunately, the team is already off to a fantastic start in that department, as one of their three early commits in the 2022 class is four-star LB C.J. Hicks. One of the top players from Ohio in the entire class, the staff is hoping he will be joined by a fellow in-state talent in four-star OLB Gabe Powers — the state’s No. 1 player who current has three Crystal Ball predictions in favor of OSU. Also at the top of Ohio State’s board at the position are the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect and No. 1 ILB Shawn Murphy as well as four-star athlete and the No. 1 player in Kansas Dasan McCullough
For the full list of Ohio State’s top targets at each position in 2022, check out Kurelic’s article linked above.
- According to Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts, Ohio State was one of many teams to contact five-star shooting guard Chris Livingston on Monday. One of Ohio’s highest-rated players since Lebron James, Livingston (Western Reserve Academy/Hudson, OH) is the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect and the No. 1 SG in the 2022 class. Despite his status, 247Sports currently only has him listed as holding three scholarship offers, with Ohio State being one of the first few in on Livingston alongside Akron and UAB. Expect that offer number to shoot up tremendously moving forward, but it’s a good sign that the Buckeyes are in there early.
- Ohio State’s 2021 class has done a great job of taking a little pressure off the coaching staff and doing some recruiting of their own. Guys like RB commits Evan Pryor and TreVeyon Henderson have been actively trying to convince guys on social media to join them in Columbus, and they may know the inside scoop on some upcoming commitments. Is there another BOOM coming, or are they just toying around?