You can almost get lost when trying to keep up with all of the major headlines that are currently surrounding college football. Whether it’s the NIL or conference expansion, each time you blink, there seems to be something new in the fold. Just last week at Big Ten Media Days, Ryan Day said, “in five years we may not recognize college football,” and he may be on to something here.
On the recruiting side of things, the theme is pretty constant. The Buckeyes are still doing incredible on the trail, and that’s because of how well prepared they are and the effort this staff puts towards making each desired player feel like a top priority. Sure, setbacks can come to anyone in the likes of de-commitments, but the good news far outweighs the bad for Ohio State, and that’s all one could ask for. On the verge of having another big recruiting weekend, the Buckeyes will look to do what they always do — dominate.
Ewers considering skipping senior year for early OSU enrollment
Speaking of the craziness surrounding college football, Wednesday sent some shockwaves through not only Buckeye Nation, but all of the college football landscape when Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports released a report that the top overall recruit and quarterback in the country, Quinn Ewers, was considering skipping his senior year of high school to enroll at Ohio State a year early.
Obviously not something anyone is used to seeing, this could and would be a huge development for the Buckeyes and the future of major recruits for years to come.
Yahoo Exclusive: No. 1 overall recruit Quinn Ewers tells @yahoosports he’s “leaning” toward skipping senior HS year and attending Ohio State. Ewers could then sign NIL deals worth nearly seven figures, which aren’t allowed in Texas for high school players. https://t.co/KFcXyafcQs— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 28, 2021
Ewers has been committed to Ohio State since November of last year, and hasn’t given off a single vibe Columbus wouldn’t be his eventual destination, but this update makes it a very real chance that he could be a Buckeye much sooner than expected. Motivated likely by the financial compensation Ewers can receive as a part of the roster thanks to new NIL rules, it’s becoming more and more likely this happens, and the final decision doesn’t seem too far away from being made.
Though it’s not set in stone yet, it is interesting to see how this could impact Ohio State as a whole and of course the quarterback room specifically. It really can be taken one of two ways and simply put, depending on how you look at it.
On one hand, getting Ewers to campus sooner than expected means he is able to learn the offense quicker, and with him being the expected starter of the future under center, that would be an advantage to him getting an early shot to develop under Ryan Day. On the flip side of things, this really could have an impact on the quarterback room. With C.J. Stroud the “thought to be” starter for this coming season, having another quarterback joining the room could lead to the pushing out of one the guys that doesn’t win the job.
Losing depth is never something any staff wants to see. In addition, that may mean that the Buckeyes have to start recruiting another signal caller, since technically it would be the equivalent to having two 2021 quarterbacks if Ewers does in fact enroll by start of fall camp. Pretty late in the game to try and find another top caliber guy.
However you break it down, fans should have the utmost faith in Ryan Day and this staff. They have earned the trust due to their incredible track record and how they navigate difficulties. Whatever happens, Ohio State will make the best of it.
Key visits begin ahead of major recruiting weekend
The entire month of June was a huge recruiting period for Ohio State and their staff. Not even an entire month later and the Buckeyes will once again be looking to capitalize on the end of a dead period as this weekend will be a big time opportunity for several of the staff’s top targets. Mainly a 2023-centric weekend, this event will still have a fair share of 2022 guys and even current commits. As they typically do when it comes to hosting recruits, this should be a pretty successful weekend.
One big-time guest who will be a priority this week is already on campus as of Wednesday. Class of 2023 target Payton Kirkland will be in town through Friday, and per his Twitter account, the visit is already off to a great start. A 6-foot-5, 330 pound offensive tackle, Kirkland has already been on the staff’s radar and is someone they would love to eventually add to their 2023 class and rightfully so. Ranked currently as the 11th-best tackle in the class and the 125th best player nationally for his cycle, Kirkland certainly meets the requirements as the premier national tackle target the Buckeyes would love to add. This visit certainly helps things.
Like the aforementioned Kirkland, Ohio State is also hosting another Florida native 2023 prospect this week in Clay Wedin. Arriving to Columbus on Wednesday, Wedin is also an offensive lineman, but projects to play along the interior at the next level. At 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, Wedin is another player with terrific size and is also likely one of the prospects who will see a recruiting rankings boost soon enough thanks to a stellar offer list already to his name.
Regarded as a three-star lineman, Clay is currently the 19th best at his position in the 2023 cycle, but the three-star status really shouldn’t have anyone looking the other way too quickly. Programs such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida State, LSU, and many more among Ohio State have already thrown their hats into the ring vying for his services, so that alone should tell you the caliber of player he is. Having him in attendance this week shows how highly the Buckeyes think of him, and at a position of importance in every recruiting year, Ohio State has to love hosting yet another guy in the trenches.
Arrived at Columbus, ready for some BBQ! pic.twitter.com/HcvJZVnOwV— Clay Wedin (@ClayWedin) July 29, 2021
- In addition to hosting future 2023 priorities this week, the Buckeyes are also hosting some of their current commits in the 2022 class this week. On campus Wednesday included current cornerback pledge Ryan Turner — the 35th best cornerback in the class — for now his second visit to Ohio State. In addition, Thursday another 2022 commit will join the guest list when “Captain Buckeye” himself, C.J. Hicks, arrives as the one who will help continuing to be the voice of the class.
- Another visitor on campus Wednesday, the Buckeyes were able to host 2023 athlete Moussa Kane. Without a ranking at least yet on his 247Sports profile, Kane holds offers from Clemson, Penn State, and a few others.