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Today is technically National Signing Day; Ohio State should add one more player to its 2024 class

Dominic Kirks is set to be only the third defensive lineman in the Buckeyes’ 2024 recruiting class.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 14 Ohio State Spring Game Press conference Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

It used to be that the first Wednesday in February was something akin to a holy day for college football fans. It was the day that months — and in some cases even years — of hype and speculation finally came to fruition as players put pens to paper and faxed their National Letters of Intent to their colleges of choice, cementing the school that they would be spending three to five years of their lives playing for.

Now, thanks to the advent of the Early Signing Period and early enrollees, the official college football National Signing Day is reserved almost exclusively for a small handful of players who — for whatever reason — needed to take some extra time to make a decision, or perhaps witnessed a coaching change at their intended school, so had to reengage the recruiting process.

Of the top 250 players in 247Sports’ 2024 recruiting rankings, only eight have not yet signed with a school, and only one has not yet committed — wide receiver and the No. 134 player in the country Ashton Bethel-Roman has picked up a bunch of high-value crystal balls for Texas A&M over the last few days, but appears to be waiting until Signing Day to make it official.

Ohio State is expected to wrap up the cycle with a 21-man recruiting class, but 15 of those players are already on campus and participating in winter conditioning and will be on hand for spring practice. Nonetheless, the Buckeyes are expected to pick up the signature of one more player as four-star defensive lineman Dominic Kirks is set to make it official this morning.

Kirks is the No. 162 player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He is the No. 24 defensive lineman and No. 8 player from the state of Ohio. Initially, the Painesville native committed to Washington, but decided not to sign his Letter of Intent in December. Then, when Kalen DeBoer opted to leave the Huskies to take over in Tuscaloosa, Kirks reconsidered his commitment. The day after he decommitted from UW, Kirks was on campus in Columbus, and one week later, he had officially pledged to be a Buckeye.

Now, to be clear, had Kirks signed with Washington in December, due to the coaching change, he almost certainly would have been let out of the Letter of Intent, so his holding off likely didn’t change a whole lot — especially since he never intended to enroll early — but it did show that he was never 100% set on the Huskies.

Assuming that Kirks does sign with OSU today, he will be the 21st scholarship player in OSU’s class and the ninth in the top 200 of 247’s Composite Rankings. He would join five-star Eddrick Houston and three-star Eric Mensah as the only defensive lineman in the class (Houston is an EDGE rusher, while Mensah and Kirks will play inside), but given that Jack Sawyer, J.T. Tuimoloau, and Tyleik Williams all opted to return, the lack of defensive line reinforcements isn’t as big of an issue this cycle — but it absolutely will be in 2025.

When factoring in transfers, the Buckeyes have the No. 3 recruiting class in the country and the second-highest average player ranking behind only Georgia. Oregon is the only other Big Ten team (yep, that’s going to take some getting used to) in the top 10 at No. 4. Penn State is No. 14, Michigan is No. 18, and USC is No. 20. Nebraska and Wisconsin come in at Nos. 23 and 24 respectively.

Head coach Ryan Day will hold his traditional Signing Day press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center today, but will almost certainly be asked many more questions about transfers and coaching staff changes than new signees, but that’s the life in the big city for a coach who has had as interesting and exciting a month as Day has.