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Impact of Tunmise Adeleye’s decommitment from Ohio State

The Buckeyes lost some traction in their chase for the nation’s No. 1 class in 2021

IMG Academy DE Tunmise Adeleye
Brian Perroni, 247Sports

Theres a good chance you could have missed it in the shuffle of everything going on yesterday, and if that is the case then I am sorry to have to bring you even more bad news. On Tuesday afternoon, four-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye decommitted from Ohio State.

With all the uncertainty going on within college athletics and in the country as a whole, it’s honestly surprising we haven’t seen more players across the nation testing the waters. Nonetheless, Adeleye, the No. 4 SDE and the No. 30 player overall in the 2021 class in the 247Sports Composite, felt like it was in his best interest to re-open his recruitment and evaluate all his options.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Florida native committed to Ohio State back in on April 15, but has seen him name associated with numerous other top programs around the country even more since that decision. Alabama and Florida have seemingly gained the most traction with Adeleye as of late, but he has also been linked with Oklahoma through the process. He received a pair of Crystal Balls to the Sooners last year, and one each in favor of Alabama and Texas. Even still, it seems like the Gators are the most likely landing spot for Adeleye, as even Buckeye commits are aware of his close relationship with the school.

Adeleye is the second player to decommit from Ohio State’s 2021 class, the other being corner Devonta Smith — who the staff of course turned into Jordan Hancock. Theres always the chance Adeleye winds up back with the Buckeyes, as nothing is set in stone at this time, but we have to look forward assuming that he is gone.

In terms of how it impacts Ohio State’s class rankings, they are still the No. 1 group in the nation, but their margin for error has slimmed significantly. Dropping under 300 total points once again (298.52), they are now just about 18 points ahead of Alabama (280.75) for that top spot, with the Tide having two fewer commits. The Buckeyes also still hold a nation-high 94.75 average player rating, just barely edging out Bama (94.48) and Clemson (94.16).

When it comes to personnel, it has created a big hole in a key area at defensive end. Without Adeleye, Ohio State’s only DE commit in the 2021 class is Jack Sawyer — who, to be fair, is the No. 3 player in the country. This has made securing the commitment of five-star DE J.T. Tuimoloau even more critical. Tuimoloau, the No. 2 player in the class, has long been linked to the Buckeyes, having four of his five Crystal Balls in favor of OSU. However, the lack of in-person visits has made it more difficult to lock in the Washington native.

Ohio State’s current commits, who have done an excellent job on the recruiting trail in their own right, also understand the importance of adding Tuimoloau to the class.

If Ohio State wants to finish the cycle at No. 1, they will now likely need to not only secure Tuimoloau, but also fellow Washington native Emeka Egbuka. The nation’s No. 1 wide receiver has also been heavily linked to the Buckeyes, with a whopping eight Crystal Balls in favor of Ohio State. However, Oklahoma has seemingly gained traction with Egbuka lately, and without the ability to get him on campus anytime soon, it could be difficult to lure the Steilacoom product away from the West Coast — or the Sooners if that is indeed where he is currently leaning.

If OSU really wants to put a lock on 2021’s top class, they could haul in not only Tuimoloau and Egbuka, but also five-star offensive tackle Tristan Leigh. The nation’s No. 11 overall player has flirted with the Buckeyes current commits on Twitter the past few weeks, and Ohio State has seemingly upped their pursuit of the OT after missing out on JC Latham.

It’s pretty much a dream scenario to land all three guys, as Ryan Day would likely be more than happy to come away with just two. However, without a football season to prepare for this fall, the coaching staff can commit nearly all of their efforts to the recruiting game. If they can somehow pull in the talented trio, it would give Ohio State a ridiculous seven five-star prospects in the cycle, which would easily be the Buckeyes’ best recruiting class in program history and the top group by far in 2021.

Quick Hits

  • On Tuesday, Ohio State sent out a scholarship offer to 2022 three-star running back Damari Alston. A native of Georgia, Alston is currently the No. 35 RB in 247Sports’ own rankings. Despite his relatively low spot in the rankings, the 5-foot-11 back has already garnered an impressive 37 offers, including some of the nation’s top programs among the likes of Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.