Ohio State has always been a proud national power in college football. One of the premier programs in the country, the Buckeyes very rarely see themselves outside the landscape of top teams each season, and that’s due to the elite level of coaches and players the program has. A great reason for Ohio State’s success in the more recent regime is due to their electric offenses, thanks in large part to Urban Meyer and his implementation of the spread offense in Columbus during his tenure. As his teams broke and set records in several seasons, one of the best decisions of Meyer’s coaching career was handing the program over to current head coach, Ryan Day.
Since Day’s arrival, whether it be as the quarterbacks coach and now as the man in charge and offensive play caller, Day has taken Ohio State offenses to a level never seen before, and that’s a direct correlation to what he does with the quarterbacks. The firepower he’s brought to this team’s offensive side of the ball is incredible, and in many cases the reason they have seen back-to-back CFP appearances. In today’s world of college football, points are the name of the game, and with what Day has brought in under center, that hasn’t been an issue. His development of the quarterback spot is arguably the best in the country, and the recruiting outcomes are further proof.
Sure, in his start at Ohio State, Day didn’t recruit J.T. Barrett, but Day was his third quarterback coach in Barrett’s tenure, and under his leadership, Barrett helped lead the Buckeyes to a 2017 conference title and a Cotton Bowl win over USC. In 2018, the Day development pitch really made its name thanks to a stellar season for Dwayne Haskins, which led to another Big Ten crown, a Rose Bowl win, and of course the Buckeyes seeing their QB taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. A feat not too familiar for Ohio State, seeing Haskins in the first round helped cement that Ohio State’s QB tutelage under Day was in a great spot.
In the offseason leading up to the 2019 campaign, Day hit another home run when he was able to land transfer Justin Fields from Georgia. You know the rest of that story of course. All Fields did was lead the Buckeyes to two more Big Ten championships in 2019 and 2020, back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances, their first win over Clemson, and once again was another Ohio State signal caller to be drafted in the first round. With all of this under his belt in just a handful of seasons, Ryan Day’s quarterback success is almost second to none.
Fast forward to the current state of the QB room, and you have arguably the most decorated group in terms of recruiting rankings Ohio State has had at one time. Whether it be five-stars such as C.J. Stroud, Kyle McCord and of course Quinn Ewers, or the high four-stars like Jack Miller, the Buckeyes are loaded up with elite young talent that has them on the path towards more of the same success. All thanks to Day’s track record, the Buckeyes haven’t seen a string of QB success last this long, and that leads us to the future of what could be and who could be.
Looking beyond 2022 because of the reclassification by Ewers, 2023 and 2024 will once again be recruiting cycles where the Buckeyes will go all in on the best pure talent they can get. Thanks to their landing of Ewers, who is now the top-ranked player overall in 2021, the expectation somewhat gets a boost if you can believe it or not. Thanks to all of the success Ohio State is having both on the field and on the trail, fans are getting used to seeing the best possible scenarios, and this feature focuses on the class of 2024.
Jadyn Davis — the early favorite to be OSU’s top target
It’s not a secret at this point that Jadyn Davis is and likely will be Ohio State’s top target in the 2024 class. In addition, he very possibly will be the next big time QB they go after thanks to the youth and depth they currently have on the roster. With no need to find another guy at the position in 2022, the Buckeyes can focus on both 2023 and 2024, but 2023 is a bit interesting. It can be looked at as another chance to land a top talent, or it can be one of those stop-gap years where a grad transfer or something is the motive because of a can’t miss player in the following cycle. That very may well be the case because of Davis and all that he brings to the table.
Just last week when 247Sports released their initial rankings for the 2024 class, it was Jadyn who was named as not only the top quarterback in the class, but also the top player in the country regardless of position. The Buckeyes have now proven they can land the top overall player who is also a quarterback, so certainly they’ll use that to their advantage while they go all in on Davis for the next couple of years since he’s only a high school sophomore.
On the field Jadyn can do it all. He’s only got one season under his belt in his prep career, but there’s more than enough reasons to see why he’s ranked where he is. Whether it’s his arm and ability to make all of the throws or just his overall knowledge of the game this early on, Davis is a coaching staff’s dream scenario. Off the field and probably even more importantly, Davis is mature beyond his years. We’ve seen Ohio State really hang their hat on finding elite players, but also elite people, and Davis fits every narrative that entails. Ryan Day and crew are sold on that dynamic already. You can’t ask for more from the most important position on the field.
What says Davis is their top target overall is how early they offered. Day has mentioned that he doesn’t always offer QB’s super early on because of how much time it takes to develop at the position and where a player can end up. There are of course certain circumstances where that idea is thrown out because a player flat out deserves it. Ewers was offered as an 8th grader, and look what he turned out to be. Sometimes the staff just knows, and they know what they’re looking at with Davis. In addition, this past July when Ohio State hosted their Buckeye BBQ, Davis was the only QB invited from the 2023 or 2024 class. That alone should be pretty telling for how this staff views the young talent.
There is more than a long time to go in this recruitment, but make no mistake about it: Ohio State has made it clear to Davis how they feel about him. From here on they can hammer down and continue to not only say he’s their top guy, but prove it too. If there’s anything Ryan Day has done for this program under his leadership it’s recruit and develop the quarterbacks better than ever at Ohio State. In 2024, they hope Jadyn Davis will be the next in line.