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Buckeyes make the cut for top 2022 LB, five-star DB hints at possible commitment date

With the season completed, Ohio State’s attention can now be focused on recruiting.

Five-star 2022 LB Shawn Murphy
Bill Kurelic, 247Sports

Now that the season is completed, though it didn’t end how Ohio State wanted, the time to finally unwind is here. After hearing Ryan Day in the championship post-game presser talk about how long of a road this season has been, you can really sense the exhaustion in he, the players and the rest of the coaching staff as well. Day mentioned it’s time for those in the program to get away and see their families, which they haven't been able to do much in the face of a pandemic. While the Buckeyes take some much deserved time away, the program will be looking to what is on the horizon in the near future.

Simply put, recruiting will once again take the first priority when this coaching staff starts to hit it again. Ryan Day and his crew are always focused on recruiting, but it’s obviously easier to give that area of the program your full attention when games aren’t being played. Doing their very best to hammer down the one or two remaining spots in 2021 and continuing their incredible hot-streak in 2022, the loss this past Monday night stings, but shouldn’t worry you too much. Considering the amount of elite talent continuing to choose Ohio State, there’s every reason to believe the Buckeyes will be back on the biggest stage in no time at all.

Buckeyes make the cut for Murphy

In Ohio State’s 2022 class, the linebacker position is a major priority. With the current veteran status of the position group and the fact that Ohio State only took one true linebacker in 2021, Al Washington knows this next cycle is a big one for the health of his crew. Fortunately, the Buckeyes and Washington have been able to get off to an incredible start already having three top caliber linebackers in the fold and committed.

Thanks to C.J. Hicks, Dasan McCullough, and Gabe Powers, the class is already pretty much set in terms of both quality and quantity. However, that doesn’t mean Ohio State won’t try their best to add even more elite talent to the fold.

One target the Buckeyes would love to make it four linebackers is the nation’s top inside linebacker and the 17th-best player nationally, Shawn Murphy. The five-star has been a recurring topic of discussion in regards to Ohio State recruiting because of the mutual interest between the two sides. Boasting nearly 50 offers from any and every top college program in the country, Murphy will be pursued relentlessly by everyone until he signs on the dotted line. Whether the Buckeyes were the thought to be leaders at one time and have since fizzled a bit or not, Murphy is a can’t miss prospect and would be another gem in an already loaded class.

Yesterday, the Virginia native updated his recruitment with the latest news that he’s come to a final list of eight schools still in the running to land his services. Making the cut for the top linebacker in the class included Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, and Ohio State. Trimming the list down to a final eight from the nearly 50 offers he has is quite impressive, and for any program to make this list is a great feat considering how talented Murphy is.

As this recruitment moves on, the Buckeyes will do their very best to not only stay in the mix but separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Currently, there is not a single prediction forecasted on the 247Sports Crystal Ball, but it looks as if Alabama has become a serious player here. While Ohio State does have three guys already in the fold, they’ll still work tirelessly to bring in a fourth with the likes of Murphy.

A commitment date being set?

Much like the linebacker position, Ohio State will continue to recruit with relentless effort at defensive back even with top-10 national prospect Jaheim Singletary committed in the 2022 class as a cornerback. The Buckeyes are going to reload at the position of importance and as usual are off to a great start but want more. Fortunately, in the 2022 class the cornerback position is as loaded as it has ever been with five corners ranked within the top 10 overall players in the entire country. Ridiculous depth like this couldn’t come at a better time with the priority the staff has at adding elite talent in the secondary.

The top corner in the country and the No. 3 player overall, Domani Jackson isn’t a new name to Ohio State fans, and sent shockwaves just months ago when it seemed he was on the verge of committing to the Buckeyes after several social media posts of his hinted towards a pledge. Fast forward a bit and things have definitely slowed down. He has since visited rival Michigan, and USC is the nearby program that has also seemed to gain some serious momentum in the last few weeks. Still, Ohio State has more than a puncher’s chance at eventually landing Jackson and adding him to their stellar 2022 class.

Yesterday, Jackson took to his Twitter account to release something of importance coming on Jan. 23, which is of course now just over a week away. Whether it’s Jackson releasing an updated final schools list or him actually giving a program his commitment, no one yet knows, but certainly something worth paying attention to is coming down the pipeline. Until then, Ohio State will have to pick back up their momentum and stay in his ear.

Regardless of the nature of the announcement, a top caliber player like Jackson would be someone Ohio State will be in on until the very end. In the coming days we should know where they sit in regards to their chances with the five-star CB.

Quick Hits

  • Five-star cornerback Will Johnson is slated to visit USC this coming weekend. Johnson has trimmed his list to a final five schools including Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona State, USC, and Oklahoma. Before committing, Johnson wanted to see his other finalists, and USC was one of the remaining schools he’s yet to visit. With this trip coming, look for Johnson to commit within the coming weeks. It will be tough to fend off Michigan here, but Ohio State does have a legitimate chance.
  • 2022 four-star running back prospect Terrance Gibbs named a top 12 schools list yesterday. The Winter Park, Florida native included Ohio State, LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, West Virginia, Miami, Texas A&M, Michigan, Penn State, Texas, and Alabama. Though the Buckeyes are in it for the 16th-best running back in the country, it doesn’t look as if Ohio State has a real shot here — at least right now. Other backs look to be more of a priority to the program at this point.