San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills wide receiver Chris Olave ended the weekend on a high note for Ohio State fans on Sunday. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound 4-star prospect from the West Coast committed to Ohio State over UCLA, USC, and Utah, the other three programs who made his final cut.
— Chris Olave (@chrisolave_) January 29, 2018
Olave is the 24th commitment in Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class.
Olave’s commitment comes as something of a surprise this late in the process, as many believed that four commitments from wide receivers in the 2018 class — St. Louis natives Cameron Brown and Kamryn Babb and Ohio stars L’Christian Smith and Jaelen Gill — would lead Olave and the Buckeyes to part ways. However, Ohio State picked up momentum late in the recruitment with multiple in-home visits from offensive coordinator Ryan Day and wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
UCLA was widely regarded as Ohio State’s chief competition for Olave throughout the late stages of his recruitment, as the hire of well0-regarded coach Chip Kelly was an important factor in Olave’s interest in the Bruins. Many expect the former Oregon coach to bring his explosive offense to bear in the Pac-12 quickly.
Olave took official visits to Ohio State (Nov. 11), Utah (Dec. 8), and UCLA (Jan. 12) before making his commitment.
Olave is ranked by the 247Sports composite rankings as a 4-star prospect, checking in as No. 324 nationally among all players. He’s just outside the top-50 wide receiver prospects in the 2018 class nationally and is ranked No. 42 in the state of California. In addition to his final four of Ohio State, UCLA, USC, and Utah, Olave held offers from the likes of Michigan, Tennessee, Nebraska, Oregon State, Arizona, Illinois, Boston College, Washington State, and several Group of 5 programs.
Ohio State now holds 24 commitments in its 2018 recruiting class, which is ranked as the nation’s top class on the 247Sports composite team rankings. Olave is the second prospect to commit to Ohio State after the early signing period, joining New Jersey defensive lineman and fellow 4-star Tyler Friday. Olave is the first prospect in Ohio State’s class from California and only the second player the Buckeyes have landed from the state in the last five recruiting classes.
This commitment strengthens Ohio State’s lead on the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, improving on the narrow gap between the Buckeyes and the second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia has secured 22 commitments for its 2018 group and with both programs being tight on scholarships, it will be a neck-and-neck battle for the mythical recruiting national championship.
The Buckeyes have a domineering lead over Penn State for the top slot in the Big Ten recruiting rankings.