Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting class got off to a blazing hot start, and although it’s still poised to finish off strong, things have gotten a little quieter as of late. The Buckeyes’ last commit was almost a month ago, but even still Ryan Day and his staff are sitting atop the class rankings with a few more pieces yet to join the fold as they maintain a commanding lead over Clemson’s No. 2 class and Tennessee’s at No. 3.
Over the weekend, the Bucks found out when they could potentially expect to hear their next BOOM, as two top targets announced changes to their intended commitment dates.
Tony Grimes, the nation’s top cornerback and the No. 7 player overall in the 2021 class, had for the longest time intended on making his college decision on Dec. 1. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Beach defensive back has moved up his commitment date to June 30, which he announced on Sunday via Twitter.
Speaking to Rivals, Grimes said that he and his family were going to use the fall to help make his decision, as he was hoping to be able to make visits to his top schools. However, with that off the table, he is now ready to make his commitment and has already made his choice as to where he will be continuing his football career.
Cutting down his list from over 40 offers, Ohio State had made the top four for the talented DB, but was fighting an uphill battle from the jump. Even with co-defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs keeping in constant contact with Grimes, the likelihood of No. 1 player in Virginia coming to Columbus has been incredibly slim without the ability to get him on campus. The staff is aware of this, and so it makes sense that Grimes told Rivals that OSU has backed off a bit in his recruitment.
The change in commitment date is obviously a very bad sign for the Buckeyes, as we know for sure he will not be able to make an official visit beforehand. Could Grimes shock the world and decide to suit up for Ohio State and become the next member of BIA? Absolutely. Is he actually going to? Probably not. It seems to really be down to a two-team race between Georgia and UNC, and I would put my money on the Tar Heels. We’ll find out for sure in a little over a week.
Whereas the pandemic has made Grimes move his commitment up, it is making others decide to push theirs back. That is the case for Jager Burton, the nation’s No. 7 offensive guard and the No. 1 player from the state of Kentucky in 2021. He too announced via Twitter on Sunday that he will be moving his decision date, delaying his commitment until he can take his official visits.
I will be pushing my commitment back from August 24. I want to weigh all my options and take all five of my official visits to make the best possible decision for me and my family.— Jager Burton (@jager_burton) June 21, 2020
Originally slated to make his choice on Aug. 24, there is now no clear date for four-star lineman to put out his official announcement. Having dropped his top seven back in December, Ohio State made the cut alongside Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky, Oregon, Penn State and Texas. However, since that time his focus has really seemed to shift to just two programs, with those being the Buckeyes and the in-state Wildcats.
Ohio State has the fortune of being the last school to host Burton before the pandemic shut everything down, with the guard coming to Columbus for an unofficial visit back on March 18. It is unclear if recruiting visits will be allowed at any point for the rest of this cycle. Either way, the Buckeyes seem to be in a pretty good spot for Burton, sitting at the very least in his top two. The Crystal Ball predictions are currently split 50/50 between Ohio State and Kentucky (although UK has the higher confidence rating), and so we will really just have to wait and see how this one plays out.
- On Friday, Ohio State missed out on a West Coast cornerback target, as four-star DB Jaylin Davies committed to Oregon. The Buckeyes had made the top four for Davies alongside Arizona State, Oregon and USC, but the Ducks had long been viewed as the favorite in his recruitment and so the decision did not really come as much of a surprise.