With 17 current commitments, the Buckeyes 2017 recruiting class sits atop the rankings as the nation’s best class.
As you can see below, the Ohio State class is balanced and very talented, featuring a whopping six 5-star prospects.
|Name||Position||Stars||Pos. Rank||Commit Date|
|Tate Martell||QB||★★★★||2 (dual-threat)||06/12/16|
|J.K. Dobbins||RB||★★★★||1 (all-purpose)||03/06/16|
|Chase Young||DE||★★★★★||2 (weakside)||07/22/16|
|Antjuan Simmons||LB||★★★★||19 (outside)||03/01/16|
|Shaun Wade||DB||★★★★★||3 (cornerback)||01/12/15|
|Marcus Williamson||DB||★★★★||16 (cornerback)||04/18/15|
|Amir Riep||DB||★★★★||15 (cornerback)||07/23/15|
|Isaiah Pryor||DB||★★★★||5 (safety)||07/27/15|
Yet, for all the discussion about the class, it has been a while since Ohio State added any new names to the group. This despite the fact the last four verbals (Wyatt Davis, Chase Young, Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey) are a combined 20 stars. Which is pretty darn good.
Here at Landof10.com, we’re all about the future. And because of that, we’re going to peer into our own crystal ball (not to be confused with the 247Sports.com version) and take a stab at predicting whom the Buckeyes next group of commitments could be. These prognostications should not be taken as fact, so if wrong, please keep the public mockery to a minimum.
Defensive Back • Bubba Bolden • Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) • ★★★★
There are currently three Ohio State commitments (Haskell Garrett, Tate Martell, Lindsey) out of Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman. By this time next month, it’s certainly conceivable that there could be a fourth, as the Buckeyes have emerged as a favorite for Bubba Bolden.
Bolden, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety for the Gaels, is a recent offer (the Buckeyes extended the scholarship in early September) that has quickly ascended the list of possible pledges. Of course, there’s the little matter of making a visit to Columbus, which should happen in early November – likely for Ohio State’s game against Nebraska. And if/when that happens, you’ll know quickly just how serious the two parties are about one another.
As of now, there are a handful of potential flies in the ointment, chief among them is the numbers crunch that Ohio State finds itself in. But a talent like Bolden may be too good to pass up if he wants in. His value increases in that many people close to 5-star Shaun Wade’s commitment believe he could flip to Alabama. Bolden is a former USC commitment, but a real push by the Buckeyes could seal the deal in November.
Defensive Back • Jeffrey Okudah • Grand Prairie (South) Texas • ★★★★★
If it feels as though Texas 5-star defensive back Jeffrey Okudah has been on the “could be next” list for most of 2016, it should: He’s been on the list since the summer of 2015, when he made his first visit to Ohio State.
So what’s the hold up? Basically, no one knows, and Okudah isn’t saying. What he is saying is this: He wants to take his visits and he wants to be sure of his choice, whenever he makes it (or makes it public, perhaps). Okudah is a perfect fit for Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes secondary, and he’s been a priority of Urban Meyer, former defensive coordinator Chris Ash and current safeties coach Greg Schiano. There isn’t a day that passes that someone at Ohio State isn’t talking to Okudah, and he’s never been shy about telling people that the Buckeyes program is at the top of his list.
The 247Sports.com crystal ball predictions say Ohio State is the favorite as well.
Okudah made two visits to Ohio State this past summer, and he’ll return to Columbus for an official visit the weekend of Nov. 26. when the Buckeyes take on Michigan in what likely will be one of the year’s most important college football games. Will the atmosphere that weekend be enough to get Okudah to shut down his recruitment completely? He’s visited Oklahoma and Georgia to this point and speculation about official visits to Florida State and Clemson persists.
If he doesn’t commit to Ohio State next month, this recruitment could last all the way through the January All-American games.
Linebacker • Baron Browning • Kennedale, Texas • ★★★★★
If things go well with Okudah, it could help lead Ohio State toward another big-time Texas prospect, 5-star linebacker Baron Browning. He’s as close to Okudah as any player in the country and visited Columbus in May with Okudah. Landing the country’s top-ranked cornerback would significantly increase the odds of landing the nation’s second-ranked outside linebacker.
There are a number of reasons Browning could end up anywhere other than Ohio State, but optimism among the Buckeyes coaching staff hasn’t dissipated since his summer visit, despite trips to other contenders, including Texas, Michigan and Notre Dame, and an upcoming official visit to Alabama. Right now, it’s the Longhorns who have the edge according to the 247Sports.com crystal ball, but the possibility of a coaching change in Austin could wreak havoc on Browning’s decision: He’s planning to enroll at his school of choice in January.
Browning will visit Ohio State officially the weekend of Nov. 26 with Okudah (and 5-star defensive tackle Marvin Wilson) and has a decision date planned for just three days later, on Nov. 29.
It’s going to be a wild ride until signing day, so buckle up. This year’s class is likely to see a number of surprises, but, as of today, the trio above could be reasonably expected to land with the Buckeyes.