While fans would love nothing more than to see Ohio State on the field continuing their development, this weekend’s bye serves as a way for the team to get even healthier. After a few consecutive weeks of seeing both the offense and defense improve, it’s becoming clear that the lofty expectations for this 2021 campaign and goals are still out there for Ryan Day and his crew. Sure, the Big Ten East is no joke and may be the best division in college football right now, but Ohio State looks like they’re hitting their stride and that’s bad news for the rest of their opponents.
With no game to plan for, the coaching staff can look to other assignments, and none bigger than hitting the recruiting trail. The grind never stops for the Buckeyes, and the staff can focus on doing some traveling and scouting. As the 2022 class comes close to the early signing period with only 14 commitments in the fold to this point, there is work to be done. Fortunately, good news will come sooner rather than later, and may even come in less than a week’s time.
A decision date set for Jackson
It was just Thursday morning that 2022 target, Kenyatta Jackson was the main topic of discussion, with a ton of recruiting buzz that he was on serious commitment watch thanks to multiple Crystal Ball predictions. All bets were off knowing that the Crystal Balls made were in favor of Ohio State and Larry Johnson winning this recruitment. After months since their last commitment in the 2022 class and having not even one along the defensive line yet, the positive rumblings were certainly welcomed with open arms.
Thursday afternoon had a bit more news regarding Jackson, as an official time was set for his big announcement — this coming Tuesday at 2pm EST on CBS Sports HQ. Down to Alabama, Oklahoma, and of course Ohio State, the four-star edge rusher looks to have his mind made up and is ready to shut his recruitment down for good after giving the school of his choice his pledge.
Ranked as the 78th best player in the country and the seventh best edge rusher for his class, Jackson would be a huge addition as well as a much needed player to get the ball rolling again for the 2022 class as this staff looks to close out another top caliber cycle. All signs right now look to be very pro-Buckeyes, and that’s just what this class needs.
With his current ranking and the 247Sports class calculator, a commitment from Jackson would move Ohio State’s current seventh-ranked class up into the No. 5 spot overall, just passing Oregon and Notre Dame. More importantly, this would only be commitment 15. The sole reason the Buckeyes would be sitting at fifth and not higher is just due to quantity of committed players. Ohio State would have the highest per player ranking, and in the end that’s probably the most important aspect to consider when talking national class standings.
The wait for the next BOOOOM looks to be coming near an end.
- As mentioned before, this bye week allows the staff to hit the road and check in on their top targets from around the country in multiple recruiting classes. Whether it’s locally in Ohio and attending various prep games or going more national, the Buckeye coaching staff has all hands on deck as they look to finish a great 2022 class and jumpstart a 2023 cycle that could be very special as well.
On Thursday, running back coach Tony Alford was in Florida as he has been many times. While on his trip, the most important stop was checking in at Lehigh High School — the home of the nation’s top running back in the 2023 class, Richard Young. Also the 21st best player in the country for his cycle, Young has been the top guy on the board for Ohio State at his position for sometime now.
A true phenom with over 40 offers to his name, Young is coveted by every top program in the nation, but Ohio State can sell what they are doing currently with freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson at an early age in his college career. Alford and the staff have their sights set in on Young, and while so too will everyone else, the Buckeyes are very much in the mix and a heavy threat to land his services as they’ve shown multiple times how much of a priority he is for this 2023 cycle.