Last Friday night’s version of Dotting the ‘Eyes, the Land of 10 Ohio State recruiting notebook, gave you a snapshot of Ohio State’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class. Today, we’re going to review the class again, but take a stab how things would shake out if today were national signing day.
Ohio State has 17 commitments under wraps right now.
|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||★★★★★||4 (cornerback)||01/12/15|
|Marcus Williamson||DB||★★★★||16 (cornerback)||04/18/15|
|Amir Riep||DB||★★★★||14 (cornerback)||07/23/15|
|Isaiah Pryor||DB||★★★★||5 (safety)||07/27/15|
I’m operating under the pretense the Buckeyes add five more players to the mix and reach 22.
Who is currently committed to Ohio State?
- 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), whom 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 2015.
Which commitments are on the fence?
For a number of different reasons, a few current Buckeye pledges are often rumored to be wavering in their commitment. What’s the latest in those recruitments?
- Running back • J.K. Dobbins • La Grange, Texas • La Grange • Chance he flips? 0, unless Akers picks Ohio State.
- Initially, some concerns about a possible Dobbins’ flip centered around the potential for the Buckeyes to add another running back, namely 5-star Cam Akers, to its 2017 class. As the odds of that happening decreases, so, too, do the odds that Dobbins ends up anywhere else. He’s a great fit for the Buckeyes offense, and he’ll strengthen his bonds with the Ohio State recruiting class during his official visit this coming Saturday.
- Defensive tackle • Jerron Cage • Cincinnati, Ohio • Winton Woods • Chance he flips? 10 percent.
- Cage has been talked about as a potential flip from the Buckeyes because of his closeness with the coaching staff at Notre Dame. His brother, Daniel, plays for the Irish but, at this point, all signs point to him being happy to sign with the Buckeyes come February. He’ll be at Ohio State this weekend. The only way I could see him ending up elsewhere is if somehow a pair of guys like Marvin Wilson and Jay Tufele both decide they’ll pick the Buckeyes.
- Linebacker • Antjuan Simmons • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Pioneer • Chance he flips? 20 percent.
- Every once in a while, there’s just a feeling about a recruit and the idea that something out there could cause chaos in his recruitment and, for me, that play this year is Antjuan Simmons. To be clear: I feel strongly that Simmons wants to be a Buckeye, he’s been committed for almost nine months and has said the right things, done the right things, etc. However, whether he decides to look elsewhere if the Buckeyes add a player like Baron Browning or something else just happens I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something out there. Maybe it’s because Simmons isn’t making a visit to Columbus this weekend when it seems every other commit that’s in the region is? Maybe I’m just losing my mind.
- Defensive back • Shaun Wade • Jacksonville, Fla. • Trinity Christian Academy • Chance he flips? 50 percent.
- Shaun Wade will decide between Ohio State and Alabama, and both sides feel they’re in the driver’s seat. How will that shake out? That’s anyone’s guess. This weekend, when Wade makes his official visit to Ohio State, the Buckeyes are hoping to get a final answer. Will they? I doubt it. This one is going to go into December.
Who are the top remaining targets?
Ohio State has a number of big-time national prospects remaining on its recruiting board. Let’s go position-by-position to see who should still be considered a viable option.
- Quarterback: N/A
- Running Back: 5-star Cam Akers, Clinton (Miss.)
- Wide Receiver: 5-star Donovan Peoples-Jones, Detroit, 4-star Jaylen Harris, Cleveland Heights (Ohio)
- Offensive Line: 5-star Trey Smith, Jackson (Tenn.)
- Defensive Tackle: 5-star Marvin Wilson, Bellaire (Texas), 4-star Jay Tufele, South Jordan (Utah)
- Defensive End: 4-star Joshua Paschal, Olney (Md.)
- Linebacker: 5-star Baron Browning, Kennedale (Texas), 4-star Anthony Hines III, Plano (Texas), Gary Johnson, Birmingham (Ala.)
- Defensive Back: 5-star Jeffrey Okudah, Grand Prairie (Texas), 5-star Darnay Holmes, Calabasas (Calif.), 4-star Lamont Wade, Clairton (Pa.) 4-star Bubba Bolden, Las Vegas
- Specialists: N/A
What is the best guess for how the Ohio State recruiting class finishes up?
This is where things get weird, isn’t it? If we’re under the impression that Ohio State will add five more players to this class and get to a total of 22, who will they be? Here is our best guess, as of today, of who will be added to the Buckeyes recruiting class by signing day.
- Wide receiver: Jaylen Harris
- Harris has said the Buckeyes will find room for him, and I believe him. He’s the best uncommitted player in Ohio and he’s taken major steps to improve his game over the last year-plus. The Buckeyes’ lack of big play wide receivers make adding a big-bodied wideout like Harris much more reasonable.
- Defensive end: Joshua Paschal
- Paschal is a newer name on the recruiting board, but he’s been a top target in the last few weeks. His versatility – Ohio State sees him more as a defensive tackle than a strong-side defensive end – makes him valuable. If he visits Columbus this weekend with his friend Chase Young, the odds go way up.
- Linebacker: Baron Browning
- Rumors out of Texas are that Ohio State is running neck and neck with Texas and Alabama for Baron Browning. He’s got an extremely close personal relationship with Buckeyes target Jeffrey Okudah, and I think that comes into play here. He’ll visit Ohio State officially the weekend of Nov. 26 and make a choice Nov. 29. I’m feeling good about the Buckeyes’ chances.
- Defensive Back: Jeffrey Okudah
- The Buckeyes have led for Okudah for a long time, and he’s still theirs to lose. Okudah is the country’s top-ranked cornerback and fits what Ohio State does scheme-wise absolutely perfectly. The potential loss of Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker to the NFL can’t be overlooked here.
- Defensive Back: Bubba Bolden
- Again, with a trio of potential NFL early-entries on the docket, I think the need for more help at defensive back exists. Bishop Gorman’s Bubba Bolden is a true safety who is a playmaker in the secondary, and he’s a good choice to join his three teammates in the Buckeyes’ class.
So, if you’re scoring at home, that means that, as of today, I do believe that Ohio State keeps Shaun Wade in its 2017 recruiting class. With the addition of Okudah and Bolden, Ohio State could sign the best secondary group in modern recruiting history. That’s the byproduct of NFL success.
Over the next month, many things on this list could change as a handful of the players listed above are set to make their college decisions. Check back with Land of 10 in early December for an update and stay with us nightly (7 p.m. EST) for the Ohio State recruiting notebook.