Just a few short weeks ago it felt as if the country was making a comeback, and all signs pointed towards a regular football season even if it meant the stadiums would only be filled at half capacity or less. Now though, there’s more cause for concern, and if we’re being honest no one has a definitive answer as to what is going to happen in the world of sports. However, one constant remains: do your part and wear the mask so we all can get back to some sense of normalcy even if it’s a different norm than before.
In relation to the Buckeyes and recruiting efforts, the beat goes on. Yes, the momentum for Ohio State football recruiting in the current 2021 class has seemingly slowed down, but that should cause concern in your mind. Since this recruiting dead period, Ohio State has landed most of their top targets, and while COVID-19 has certainly played a part in them losing out on a few highly-touted prospects who have decided to go elsewhere, it’s important to keep in mind there are still multiple national top 10 targets Ohio State is very much in the mix for.
There’s still plenty of time to go in this recruiting cycle, and while the prevention of campus visits is still in effect, have faith that the Ohio State coaching staff has everything under control to hammer down the crown of the best class in the country.
Is Oklahoma becoming a bigger threat?
Speaking of one of the top 10 national recruits, the Buckeyes are still in on a name you have heard likely a hundred times: Emeka Egbuka. The top overall receiver in the class, Egbuka has long been associated with Ohio State and position coach Brian Hartline. After releasing his top four of Ohio State, Clemson, Washington, and Oklahoma, the Washington native hasn’t really had a chance to do much on his end in terms of his recruitment strictly due to the inability to get on a campus.
In all likelihood, if he were able to get out and make the trips his finalists, it’s probable Egbuka would already be committed to the school of his choice. This summer has done nothing but put a damper on his process, but fortunately the Buckeyes have had arguably the greatest relationship with the five-star prospect.
This update specifically is in regards to Oklahoma and their chances of persuading Egbuka away from his other finalists — mainly Ohio State. When Clemson was able to land the commitment of Florida’s Troy Stellato, another receiver Ohio State was after, it really shifted what felt like Egbuka’s two favorites of Ohio State and Clemson to Ohio State and Oklahoma. Since then, the Sooners have tried their very best to steal all of the momentum they can in order to sway Egbuka to Oklahoma.
In fact, tomorrow, five-star signal caller Caleb Williams will announce his commitment and it would be a shock if that pick wasn’t Oklahoma. In regards to Egbuka, Williams has long been vocal that he is and has been recruiting the talented wideout, which would bode well for the Sooners. While it’s Egbuka’s decision in the end, it never hurts to have class leaders and especially quarterbacks doing some work on the trail as we see Ohio State pledges doing daily.
The bigger news on Thursday in regards to Egbuka was a Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Oklahoma. While the Crystal Ball is never perfect, it is usually a telling sign of where a recruit may end up. As it stands now, eight of the 10 predictions are in favor of the Buckeyes (with one undecided), but this Oklahoma forecast certainly gave Buckeye fans something to think about.
Not to throw too much shade or to downplay this Sooners prediction, but you have to consider the source of the forecast overall. Brian Bishop, who is an Oklahoma insider, was behind this pick, and while Ohio State insiders sometimes do the same, forecasting in favor of the program you cover has been a factor for many years. In other words Buckeye faithful, don’t worry about this one — at least not yet. Bishop’s percentage of being correct is pretty low at the moment (1-of-6 all-time) which should give you a sense of ease.
It’s important to follow the Crystal Ball predictions in terms of who is submitting them. Right now, the analysts to put the most stock in are guys such as Steve Wiltfong, the Director of Recruiting for 247Sports. His prediction is of course in favor of the Buckeyes as are several other national insiders. Oklahoma is not one to scoff at, but where the Buckeyes stand right now for the top receiver in the country is solid to say the least. Of course the staff wishes they could get him on campus, but until then, Hartline and company will be doing all they can to pull Emeka to Columbus. When betting on Brian Hartline and this Ohio State staff, there is certainly reason to be confident.
- This week the Elite 11 quarterback event wrapped up, and while five-star Buckeye commit Kyle McCord performed really well, proving why the Buckeyes were after him from the start, the praise continues to roll in for McCord as Barton Simmons of 247Sports gave his full analysis of the future OSU QB and the other signal callers in attendance. As it stands right now, McCord is the No. 3 pro-style QB in the country and the No. 24 overall recruit in the 2021 class, but could see a ratings bump after his latest performance.