Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Ohio State 2017 recruiting class at a glance
- National Rank: As of Oct. 28, the Buckeyes have the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class for 2017 — but with Alabama nipping at the Buckeyes’ heels.
- Big Ten Rank: As you’d expect, the country’s top-ranked class is also the Big Ten’s best class. Michigan, at No. 2 in the conference and No. 10 in the nation, is primed and ready for a big run that will make this interesting as we get closer to signing day.
- Total Commitments: 17
- Last Commitment: Ohio State’s last commitment was actually a two-for-one, as 5-star wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey verballed to the Buckeyes on Aug. 22.
- Decommitments: So far in this recruiting cycle, Ohio State has seen three different players decommit. The first, Florida athlete Bruce Judson, was one of three players to commit to the Buckeyes on the day of their national title victory against Oregon in January 2015, and the other two are Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban teammates Todd Sibley and Danny Clark. Sibley, Ohio’s 14th-ranked prospect and the nation’s No. 22 running back, is now committed to Pittsburgh; Clark, the nation’s 18th-rated pro-style quarterback, committed to Kentucky last Saturday. He pledged to Ohio State in December of 2013 when he was a true freshman at Massillon Washington High School.
No school in the country has as many 5-star commitments as Ohio State. Right now, the Buckeyes have five different 5-star prospects verballed, giving them five of the top 30 players in the nation.
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And the strength Ohio State’s recruiting class goes well beyond just the 5-stars. Eleven of the Buckeyes’ 17 commitments are ranked inside the top 5 at their position, including all-purpose RB J.K. Dobbins out of La Grange, Texas, and kicker Blake Haubeil out of Buffalo, who are No. 1 at their respective spots.
As is the case with most good recruiting classes, Ohio State has made sure to address its needs position-by-position in 2017.
- Quarterback: Former Texas A&M commitment Tate Martell (No. 2 Dual-Threat Quarterback), the 55th-ranked player in the nation, is Ohio State’s quarterback pledge. Martell is undefeated in his high school career and on the verge of winning his third straight national championship at Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman.
- Running Back: Ohio State has one commitment at running back, from J.K. Dobbins (No. 1 All-Purpose Back), who committed to the Buckeyes in March just one week after being offered by running backs coach Tony Alford. He was injured on the first play of his senior season and hasn’t returned to the field.
- Wide Receiver: The Buckeyes have two commitments at wide receiver and they are two of the nation’s best. Fort Lauderdale’s Trevon Grimes (No. 3 WR) and Las Vegas’ Tyjon Lindsey (No. 6 WR) made their announcement together and, unfortunately, they’re both sidelined for the season with knee injuries.
- Offensive Line: With two 5-stars committed among its three offensive line commitments, it’s been a very successful haul so far for the Buckeyes. Josh Myers (No. 3 OT) and Wyatt Davis (No. 1 OG) lead the way, but some believe that Colorado’s Jake Moretti (No. 13 OT) could have the highest upside of the trio. Unfortunately, Moretti has missed his senior season after injuring his knee during a one-day camp at Ohio State this past June.
- Defensive Tackle: The Buckeyes hold two commitments from defensive tackles, including one from Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 4-star prospect Haskell Garrett (No. 4 DT). Garrett is joined at defensive tackle by Cincinnati Winton Woods’ Jerron Cage (No. 14 DT), the younger brother of Notre Dame sophomore Daniel Cage.
- Defensive End: Ohio State had one player in mind at defensive end for 2017 and that was Hyattsville (Md.) 5-star Chase Young (No. 2 WDE), who they landed a commitment from during its Friday Night Lights camp in late July.
- Linebacker: The Buckeyes have one linebacker committed — Antjuan Simmons (No. 19 OLB) — and he’s the first player to choose Ohio State out of Ann Arbor (Mich.) in at least the last 40 years. Olentangy Liberty (Powell, Ohio) athlete Brendon White (No. 3 ATH) projects as a linebacker for the Buckeyes, as well. He’s the son of former Ohio State and NFL defensive back William White.
- Defensive Back: If there’s one spot you can pinpoint as the strength of the 2017 class, it is the defensive backs. Ohio State has a commitment from 5-star Shaun Wade (No. 4 CB), 4-stars Marcus Williamson (No. 16 CB), Amir Riep (No. 14 CB) and Isaiah Pryor (No. 5 Safety)
- Specialists: The country’s best kicker is Canisius (Buffalo) star Blake Haubeil (No. 1 K) and he’s been committed to Ohio State since July of 2015.
Top Seven Remaining Targets
With 17 commitments in the fold, there are not many spots left in Ohio State’s recruiting class. But that’s not stopping the Buckeyes’ coaching staff from chasing a number of big-name prospects as signing day approaches. Who are the most important pieces left on the Ohio State board? These names are ones you’ll hear a lot about over the next few weeks.
7. Bubba Bolden • Defensive Back • Las Vegas • Bishop Gorman
A 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety, Bolden has become a hot name around Buckeyes recruiting circles since being offered by Ohio State in early September. He’ll make an official visit to Ohio during the Nov. 5 weekend. A former USC commitment, Bolden is the country’s eighth-ranked safety.
6. Marvin Wilson • Defensive Tackle • Bellaire, Texas • Episcopal
There are few players in the country more physical imposing than Wilson. And while he’s been quiet in his recruitment, the relationship between he and Ohio State assistant Larry Johnson Sr. continues to improve. Wilson will visit Ohio State in late November with Jeffrey Okudah and Baron Browning, his first visit to Columbus. Can the Buckeyes make a big enough impact in one visit to keep the country’s top-ranked defensive tackle away from Texas, ‘Bama, Florida State and others? He’s a must-take player, so numbers aren’t an issue here.
5. Xavier McKinney • Defensive Back • Roswell, Ga. • Roswell
As the questions around Wade’s commitment remain, it’s important that the Buckeyes keep their focus on finding a potential replacement and McKinney is definitely on the list. He has told Land of 10 that he plans to visit Columbus twice in November and that’s not just because he wants to travel north for fun. McKinney is a former ‘Bama commitment and the country’s 13th-ranked safety. Clemson and Georgia may be Ohio State’s biggest competitors in this race.
4. Jaylen Harris • Wide Receiver • Cleveland Heights, Ohio • Cleveland Heights
Very rarely does an Ohio prospect with a Buckeyes offer stay uncommitted as long as Harris has, but rest assured, he’s still a player that is likely to end up at Ohio State. When does that happen? That’s up in the air, but Harris has been told regularly that the Buckeyes will “find room” for him — and the recent decommitment of Clark helps in that regard. Harris is Ohio’s best wide receiver and he’s a great kid off the field, as well.
3. Josh Paschal • Defensive Line • Olney, Md. • Good Counsel
A very new name to the big board, 4-star defensive end Paschal is a prospect the Buckeyes have watched closely over the last few months and he’s definitely reciprocating interest. He’ll likely visit Ohio State with Young for the Nebraska game and his versatility (the Buckeyes like him as a three-technique defensive tackle) makes him worth paying attention to over the next month. If Paschal doesn’t end up at Ohio State, he’ll likely stay home and attend Maryland.
2. Baron Browning • Linebacker • Kennedale, Texas • Kennedale
Ohio State wants another linebacker and there may not be one in the entire country that fits what the Buckeyes are looking for more than the 5-star Browning. A 6-3, 230-pound outside linebacker from Texas, Browning is strong enough to play inside in college and has the speed to play outside and the frame to potentially grow into a pass-rushing defensive end. Simply put, he’s one of the most dynamic defensive prospects in the country and he’s been a top priority for Ohio State for months. He’ll visit the Buckeyes on Nov. 26 and he will make his college choice three days later.
1. Jeffrey Okudah • Defensive Back • Grand Prairie, Texas • South Grand Prairie
A long-time target who has had the Buckeyes as his long-time leader, Okudah remains the most important remaining prospect for Ohio State. Aside from his substantial talent, Okudah’s relationships with Browning, Wilson and others make him a key ringleader for what the Buckeyes believe can be a mega-coup in The Lone Star State. To land Okudah would be the final piece in the country’s best defensive back group for 2017.