The long-awaited arrival of the college football season means programs across the country will finally have the benefit of welcoming in prospects for game visits this fall.
After the Buckeyes took down Minnesota last night by a score of 45-31, the focus now shifts to their home opener against Oregon next Saturday. With a big recruiting weekend on deck for Ohio State, it feels like the perfect time to take a look at what positions the Buckeyes are hoping to address down the stretch in the class and what better way to start than on the offensive side of the ball.
Offensive class outlook
As of today, Ohio State holds a grasp on the four spot in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings.
Leading the way offensively for the class is the quartet of wide receivers that Brian Hartline will coach up at the next level. Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes, and Kojo Antwi are the four highest graded offensive players currently committed to the Buckeyes and all four come in as Top 150 prospects and Top 20 pass catchers among all high school seniors. Hartline swung for the fences in his pursuit of top flight receivers and didn't miss yet again. The focus is simply keeping these four on board, which should happen, and don't expect anymore receivers to be added.
Greg Studrawa, who needed to have a big offensive line haul in the class, has a couple of blue-chip prospects committed in the trenches. Tegra Tshabola and George Fitzpatrick make up the current offensive line duo. However, it is no secret that the Buckeyes are hoping to take 2 or 3 more to round out the haul up front.
Dallan Hayden is the lone running back verbal in the class for Ohio State and that's how it will stay. The Memphis native comes in as a top ten prospect from the state of Tennessee. Tony Alford and the Buckeyes were granted Hayden's pledge back in June and will shift their focus to 2023 at the position.
Switching gears to tight end and you'll see four-star Bennett Christian as the only player committed at the position. However, that wasn't the case just a couple months ago when Benji Gosnell was a member of the class. Ultimately Gosnell decided to back off of his pledge to the Buckeyes which makes this spot an interesting one to follow going forward.
That gives Ohio State eight players on the offensive side that are currently penciled in as future Buckeyes. All eight of those are blue-chip recruits so things are looking good so far but there are still three positions in particular that I believe might be in-play going forward.
Of course with the news that Quinn Ewers was reclassifying into the 2021 class, things were shaken up at this spot. I definitely feel that the Buckeyes will get into the ear of Drew Allar, a four-star quarterback from Medina (OH), despite his commitment to Penn State. It's tough to say if Ohio State can gain any traction here but if it's not Allar, the Buckeyes likely hold off and shift their focus to the 2023 quarterback derby -- which is more than fine.
As stated above, there was a time not long ago that Ohio State’s class featured a pair of tight end pledges. However, the aforementioned Gosnell backed off of his pledge and now Christian is the lone man standing at the position. Does that mean the Buckeyes will look around at the position? Not necessarily. But there were some rumblings about some potential interest in three-star Charlie Kenrich of Lakota East (OH) this summer. Do I think Ohio State winds up with another tight end in the class? No. But perhaps a big senior season for Kenrich, a current Purdue commitment, could make them reconsider.
This is the big position to pay attention to as the early signing period approaches. There are about ten prospects that the Buckeyes are tracking and I would have them taking three more up front.
Of course the biggest name available on Ohio State’s radar is five-star Zach Rice of Liberty Christian Academy (VA). However, there just isn’t much momentum here for the Buckeyes and it doesn’t feel like there has been any for quite some time which probably makes this a longshot.
While initially coming up short in the race for Kiyaunta Goodwin to Kentucky, I expect Ohio State to keep in contact with the high four-star standout from Indiana. Hard to get a feel as of now if it could ultimately pay off but the Buckeyes were once considered the leader for Goodwin so I would assume they fight until the end.
Some of the more likely names in play here are Earnest Greene, Kam Dewberry, Aamil Wagner. Carson Hinzman, and Billy Schrauth. The 247Sports Composite Rankings has all of the handful slotted inside of the Top 175 overall players. Ohio State is very much in play for all five of the prospects so it will be interesting who starts claiming their spot in the class. Still plenty of time to go before the ink hits the paper in these recruitments but you are likely looking at at least a couple of future Buckeyes in this group here. Greene specifically has an official visit set to Columbus for the contest against Oregon.
Two other offensive line prospects that have the coveted Ohio State offer under their belt would be Julian Armella of St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) and Neto Umeozulu of Allen (TX). However, despite them still being on the market, the Buckeyes don’t seem to be much of a player in their respective recruitments.