Everyone knows that the incoming 2021 Ohio State class is good. Like, really good. Like, No. 2 in the country good. But, do you really understand just how rare a class with this level of talent actually is (even for Ohio State)? Let’s compare.
The 2021 class has five 5-stars:
DE Jack Sawyer — No. 4 overall, No. 3 at his position
WR Emeka Egbuka — No. 9 overall, No. 1 at his position
OG Donovan Jackson — No. 17 overall, No. 1 at his position
RB TreVeyon Henderon — No. 24 overall, No. 1 at his position
QB Kyle McCord — No. 25 overall, No. 3 at his position
Joining them are 4-stars like Jakailin Johnson and Jordan Hancock— the No. 3 and No. 4 cornerbacks in the class, respectively— as well as the No. 2 all purpose back in the country, Evan Pryor.
But to really understand how good this class is (and you can check out the full list here), we must compare them to the successful classes of Ohio State past, using stars as our sole form of measurement (looking at you, Stars Matter™crowd). So, how does the 2021 class stack up against other Ohio State recruiting classes in recent years? Well, it’s rare. Like...almost unprecedented. In fact, the only other class to have five 5-stars was the class of 2017— a class that included the following 5-stars:
DE Chase Young— No. 7 overall, No. 2 DE
CB Jeff Okudah— No. 8 overall, No. 1 CB
LB Baron Browning— No. 11 overall, No. 1 LB
CB Shaun Wade — No. 17 overall, No. 2 CB
OG Wyatt Davis— No. 24 overall, No. 1 OG
Again, if your a Stars Matter Guy, this list is your holy grail of proof, considering the two top recruits in this class went No. 2 and No. 3 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the following three will almost definitely find success in this year’s draft.
Honorable mention 2017 four-stars include RB J.K. Dobbins, QB Tate Martell and OG Josh Myers— all No. 2 at their positions— as well as some other familiar names like S Isaiah Pryor, DT Haskell Garrett, CB Kendall Sheffield, LB Pete Werner and OT Thayer Munford.
The classes of 2017 and 2021 are nearly identical in ratings. The 2017 class consisted of 21 members with a total score of 312.14 and an average per player rating of 94.59, compared to the 21 members (so far) in the class of 2021, who received a total score of 310.39 and an average per player rating of 94.56.
Again, these numbers are impressive. Historic, even. Before 2017, the closest Ohio State had come to a class with five 5-stars was its four 5-stars in the class of 2008 — QB Terelle Pryor, OC Michael Brewster, OT Mike Adams and LB Etienne Sabino. Before that, it was their four 5-stars in 2002 — LB Mike D’Andrea, OT Derek Morris, QB Justin Zwick and RB Maurice Clarett.
Even the most successful and talented classes of the Urban Meyer Era don’t hold a torch to the class arriving in Columbus this week.
The infamous class of 2013 included 24 commits, was ranked No. 2 in the country and had a total score of 303.35 with an average per player rating of 93.14 (again, the 2021 class had a score of 310.39 and an average per player rating of 94.56). It only had two 5-stars in S Vonn Bell and WR Jalin Marshall. Behind them include 4-stars DE Joey Bosa, CB Eli Apple, RB Ezekiel Elliott, TE Marcus Baugh, QB J.T. Barrett, CB Gareon Conley, DT Billy Price, DE Tyquan Lewis, and 3-star ATH Darron Lee (because sometimes, stars don’t matter).
Then there’s the No. 3 ranked class of 2014 (average per player rating of 90.59 and a total score of just 296.08) that included LB Raekwon McMillan as its lone 5-star, followed by 4-stars CB Damon Webb, LB Dante Booker, CB Marshon Lattimore, ATH Curtis Samuel, OT Jamarco Jones, WR Parris Campbell, ATH Sam Hubbard, WR Terry McLaurin and my personal favorite, 3-star (!!) Malik Hooker.
The class of 2015 ranked No. 7 in the nation and had one 5-star (LB Justin Hilliard) and a total score of 279. The four-stars of the class included guys like CB Denzel Ward, QB Joe Burrow, DT Robert Landers and 3-stars like CB Damon Arnette, DE Rashod Berry and DT DaVon Hamilton. The average player rating was 90.31.
Do you see a trend here? One more.
The No. 4 ranked class of 2016 had one 5-star, DE Nick Bosa, followed by 4-stars DE Jonathon Cooper, WR Austin Mack, QB Dwayne Haskins, WR Binjimen Victor, OT Michael Jordan, ATH Jordan Fuller, LB Tuf Borland, and 3-star ATH Malik Harrison. The class received a total score of 289.12 with a player rating of 91.56.
Here’s how the other classes compare, in terms of 5-stars and player ratings:
2018 — No. 2 nationally, Avg. rating of 94.29 with three 5-stars (OT Nicholad Petit Frere, DT Taron Vincent and S Tyreke Johnson)
2019 — No. 14 nationally, Avg. rating of 91.87 with three 5-stars (DE Zach Harrison, WR Garrett Wilson and OC Harry Miller)
2020 — No. 5 nationally, Avg. rating of 91.79 with three 5-stars (WR Julian Fleming, OT Paris Johnson Jr. and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba)
Look, I know more goes into recruiting 5-stars. Some years the demand isn’t there and sometimes you have to rebuild. I’m also not saying that the more 5-stars, the merrier, as some of Ohio State’s best of the best weren’t even 4-stars. But if we’re going to do the bare minimum, and solely predict the future of Ohio State based on stars, per player ratings, and looking at the success of the last time the Buckeyes brought in a class like this (2017), then go ahead and buy your 2022 National Championship ticket now.