March, as it often does, provided new beginnings to Ohio State’s burgeoning 2019 recruiting class. After the end of what only can be called February Madness — National Signing Day — and the early evaluation period, March saw the Buckeyes bring dozens of unofficial visitors to campus, emerge as contenders for new targets and significantly expand their offer board.
Although the Ohio State staff never slacks off when it comes to recruiting high school underclassmen under Urban Meyer and recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni, March is when the assistant coaches and staff begin to hone in on some of their most serious targets in 2019 and beyond.
The month featured two commitments for Ohio State and several other intriguing developments and storylines. Let’s take a look at the month that was.
1. Ohio State lands two 2019 commitments
Coming into March, the Buckeyes held just one commitment in the 2019 recruiting class, that from West Virginia offensive guard Doug Nester. Nester, a 4-star prospect and the No. 56 player overall in 2019 per the 247Sports composite, had been all by his lonesome in the Ohio State class since committing early in August 2017.
That changed on March 1 as the Buckeyes opened the month with a bang. Mentor (Ohio) tackle Ryan Jacoby, a 3-star prospect and the No. 38-ranked tackle in the 2019 class, committed to Ohio State less than two months after receiving his offer. Jacoby is a lifelong Ohio State fan and told Land of 10 that he had “never been happier” than when he chose the Buckeyes as his future team. Jacoby is a mobile lineman with the skill set to play guard or tackle.
Nearly three weeks later, Ohio State added commitment No. 3 to the 2019 class, once again dipping into the Midwestern talent pool. Avon (Ind.) product Sampson James, a 4-star prospect and the No. 8 running back in 2019, chose the Buckeyes over Michigan, Notre Dame and other programs while he was on an unofficial visit to campus. James is the latest in a long line of highly regarded running backs to commit to running backs coach Tony Alford, and we broke down what his commitment could mean in this video analysis.
2. Quarterback recruiting gained clarity
Entering March, there was little clarity on Ohio State’s 2019 quarterback recruiting board. The Buckeyes have more than 10 months to go until National Signing Day and already have offered nearly a dozen quarterbacks in the class — as many as they’ve ever offered in a full cycle under Meyer. It’s understandable that the board would take time to shape up, but it had taken maybe a little more time than some Ohio State fans expected. During March, that process begin to gain some clarity.
Ohio State hosted top quarterback targets on campus such as Grant Gunnell, Sam Howell, Jalon Jones and Max Duggan — arguably their top four prospects on the board — all during March. Duggan is expected to announce his decision in April. It seems unlikely that Ohio State will push hard for his commitment, and the other three seem to be the most viable Buckeyes targets moving forward.
3. Offer bonanza continues for the Buckeyes
Ohio State’s offer bonanza in the 2019 class has continued into March. The Buckeyes have offered nearly as many prospects in 2019 — keep in mind, the class won’t conclude for a bit more than 10 months — as they did in the entire 2018 recruiting cycle. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ohio State eclipse 200 offers in the 2019 class if this pace keeps up as the spring evaluation period doesn’t begin until we get into April.
At least a dozen prospects were offered by Ohio State during March. Surely that’s a step down from February’s explosion, but a huge month for the Buckeyes nonetheless:
- 2019 5-star WR Frank Ladson, March 19
- 2019 4-star T Trevor Keegan, March 8
- 2019 4-star S Trikweze Bridges, March 1
- 2019 4-star TE Jude Wolfe, March 1
- 2019 4-star LB Rian Davis, March 5
- 2019 4-star TE Jahleel Billingsley, March 7
- 2019 3-star QB Jalon Jones, March 2
- 2019 3-star TE Jackson Lowe, March 1
- 2019 3-star TE Luke Deal, March 1
- 2019 3-star RB Knowledge McDaniel, March 1
- 2020 4-star G Luke Wypler, March 11