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Ohio State’s early enrollees arrive on campus

The Buckeyes welcomed 15 members of their 2021 class to Columbus over the weekend.

Five-star 2021 RB TreVeyon Henderson (second from right)
via @OhioStateFB on Twitter

Ohio State’s 2021 class is another stacked group for Ryan Day, who has quickly proven his ability to recruit at the highest of levels in his early stint with the program. Coming in as the No. 2 class in the country, the Buckeyes incoming crop of freshmen features 21 total players, with five five-star prospects and 11 total top-100 national recruits — with still a chance to add another pair of blue-chip prospects before the cycle is officially wrapped up.

Nowadays, kids like to take advantage of early enrollment, allowing them to get acclimated with their new school and begin working out with the team as soon as possible. That is especially true with this group, as 15 total players are enrolling early at Ohio State. If you’ve followed recruiting closely, you are very familiar with this latest collection of Buckeyes, but let’s run through all of the fresh faces that began calling Columbus home this weekend.

All player rankings are via the 247Sports Composite.

TreVeyon Henderson (Five-star RB)
Hometown: Hopewell, VA
Position Rank: No. 1 RB
Overall Rank: No. 24

One of the crown jewels of this Ohio State recruiting class, Henderson is a player many expect to contribute right away, and perhaps even win the starting job at running back in 2021. The top player at his position, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound ball-carrier features tremendous speed with elite vision and change of direction skills. He is the highest-rated RB recruit the Buckeyes have brought in since Beanie Wells in 2006.

Evan Pryor (Four-star RB)
Hometown: Cornelius, NC
Position Rank: No. 2 APB
Overall Rank: No. 81

Pryor will join Henderson in the Ohio State backfield as coach Tony Alford looks to further restock his position group. After some misses on the recruiting trail a year ago, the Buckeyes will now bring in a pair of running backs that would likely be sure-fire picks to start on day one at most other programs around the country. Like Henderson, Pryor is a track-level athlete and is one of the better pass-catchers at the position in this cycle.

Emeka Egbuka (Five-star WR)
Hometown: Steilacoom, WA
Position Rank: No. 1 WR
Overall Rank: No. 9

The most recent addition to the 2021 class, Ohio State has hauled in the nation’s No. 1 wideout for the second year in a row (Julian Fleming in 2020), and is looking at three years in a row with Caleb Burton committed in 2022. Already getting first-round NFL Draft projections before even playing a snap of collegiate football, Egbuka is a strong and gifted receiver with good top end speed and the ability to separate from defenders.

Kyle McCord (Five-star QB)
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Position Rank: No. 3 PRO
Overall Rank: No. 25

With Justin Fields entering the NFL Draft, McCord will get a chance in year one to compete for the starting quarterback job alongside CJ Stroud and Jack Miller. Already with great size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, McCord won multiple Pennsylvania 6A State Championships, and was named the 2020 MaxPreps PA High School Football Player of the Year. He broke Philadelphia Catholic League career records for passing yards (6,887) and touchdown passes (88) and will now bring that big arm to Ohio Stadium.

Denzel Burke (Four-star ATH)
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Position Rank: No. 8 ATH
Overall Rank: No. 192

Burke is one of a handful of incoming defensive backs, and a guy that the Ohio State staff is very high on. Choosing the Arizona native over several players ranked ahead of him, Burke projects as a corner at the next level, and possesses great ball skills and the fluid athleticism needed to stick to opposing wideouts. He will likely spend his first year under Kerry Coombs developing his skillset as he moves to the position full-time.

Ben Christman (Four-star OG)
Hometown: Richfield, OH
Position Rank: No. 6 OG
Overall Rank: No. 124

Christman is one of three offensive lineman in this year’s class — two of which are on the interior. One of the top in-state prospects in the cycle, the Richfield native is listed at 6-foot-6, 299 pounds. He is a two-sport athlete, also playing basketball at Revere High School, and is both strong and well-balanced. He is described as playing with a mean streak, something offensive line coach Greg Studrawa will surely love.

Zen Michalski (Four-star OT)
Hometown: Floyds Knobs, IN
Player Rank: No. 23 OT
Overall Rank: No. 318

A late flip from Louisville, Michalski is another one of those incoming offensive linemen. More of a diamond in the rough type of prospect, Michalski was originally a three-star recruit before earning a fourth star late in 2020. He has bulked up a ton as he worked his way to becoming a Power 5 type of player, and is a good athlete with both quickness and coordination.

Jack Sawyer (Five-star DE)
Hometown: Pickerington, OH
Player Rank: No. 3 SDE
Overall Rank: No. 4

Both the highest-rated player in Ohio State’s class and the longest-tenured among the group — committing all the way back in February of 2019 — Sawyer is a guy who could make a huge impact in year one. The top player out of Ohio in 2021 and the No. 42-ranked recruit of all-time on 247Sports, he seems like the clear next-in-line to join the Bosa brothers/Chase Young lineage of elite defensive ends in Columbus.

Tyleik Williams (Four-star DT)
Hometown: Manassas, VA
Player Rank: No. 12 DT
Overall Rank: No. 161

If not for the return of Haskell Garrett, Ohio State’s defensive tackle group would have been very thin this upcoming year, but Williams will add to that depth. He has a good frame with a lean build, but will likely have to add some weight at the next level — which should be no problem once Mickey Marotti gets his hands on him. He is a strong tackler, and could develop into an important player up the middle for the Buckeyes down the road.

Marvin Harrison Jr. (Four-star WR)
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Position Rank: No. 15 WR
Overall Rank: No. 91

The son of NFL Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, Harrison Jr. was the high school teammate of McCord at St. Joseph’s Prep. A long receiver at 6-foot-3, he is a great route runner with big, strong hands and quick release. Harrison Jr. is very smooth and tracks the ball well in the air, making almost every catch look effortless. He will join an incredibly deep room of wide receivers at Ohio State, where despite his talents he will likely have to wait before making a big impact in Columbus, but his time will come.

Reid Carrico (Four-star LB)
Hometown: Ironton, OH
Player Rank: No. 5 ILB
Overall Rank: No. 84

The only linebacker in Ohio State’s 2021 class, Carrico will have a chance to push for playing time among a position group that lost all three starters at the end of this past season. The No. 4 in-state prospect in the cycle, Carrico features above average height and length at his position, standing at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. He has a great vertical and ball skills, thanks in part to his basketball career, which could make him a valuable asset in coverage.

Jesse Mirco (Three-star P)
Hometown: Australia
Position Rank: No. 5 P
Overall Rank: N/A

Mirco, a punter, hails from ProKick Australia, the same program that produced former Buckeye punter and current Philadelphia Eagle Cameron Johnston. Like many of the Ohio State punters before him, Mirco is a former Australian-rules football player, and spent four months learning the art of American punting at ProKick.

Jantzen Dunn (Four-star S)
Hometown: Bowling Green, KY
Position Rank: No. 12 S
Overall Rank: No. 203

Dunn, a two-way athlete, projects as a defensive back at the next level — specifically a safety. He is a track star, with his tremendous speed accentuated by strong marks in the vertical, long jump and broad jump. His physical traits will allow him to develop into a sturdy tackler and run stopper, while his experience as a wide receiver aids with his ball skills in coverage. Dunn is a player with very high upside who could make a big impact in the Ohio State secondary.

Sam Hart (Three-star TE)
Hometown: Aurora, CO
Position Rank: No. 15 TE
Overall Rank: No. 389

The lone tight end in this Ohio State class, Hart will provide depth at the position as a freshman. Thankfully Jeremy Ruckert is returning, but the departure of Luke Farrell leaves the room otherwise pretty thin. At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Hart is a strong player with a wrestling background. The 200-pound Colorado state champion last winter with a 38-0 record, Hart will look to utilize some of that athleticism as he works to get on the field in year one.

Quick Hits

  • Speaking of the 2021 class, one of the two remaining targets for Ohio State is four-star linebacker Raesjon Davis. The former LSU commit spent the weekend in Columbus with his family, and based on his social media posts and videos seemed to really enjoy his time. The nation’s No. 4 OLB has been Crystal Balled to USC, but perhaps this latest visit to Ohio State could have swayed him in the Buckeyes’ favor.
  • Ohio State’s 2022 commits continue to do a bunch of recruiting of their own, as guys like C.J. Hicks and Dasan McCullough have been going hard on social media after four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa. McCullough and Nwankpa teamed up at the Championship7v7 tournament over the weekend, and it would be great for that duo to do the same with the Buckeyes. Nwankpa is the No. 7 safety in the country in the junior class.