Why Ohio State recruiting priority for 2019 is offensive line
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What position does Ohio State need to key on the most for 2019?
— THE Buckeye Jason (@Jason33887) May 1, 2018
April was a great recruiting month for Ohio State and Urban Meyer as the Buckeyes secured six commitments from prospect in five states, five of whom were rated as 4-star or 5-star prospects. The 2019 class is ranked No. 8 nationally and No. 2 in the Big Ten.
However, Ohio State is far from filling its needs in the class. That’s understandable with more than nine months to go until the recruiting cycle closes, but there are some major needs remaining for the program to address.
The offensive line will be the biggest priority for Ohio State in its 2019 recruiting class. Five scholarship linemen — graduated seniors Billy Price and Jamarco Jones and transfers Jack Wohlabaugh, Matt Burrell and Kevin Feder —departed the program following the 2017 season. Only three linemen signed with the Buckeyes in the 2018 class, leaving Ohio State with 14 scholarship linemen this season.
Of those 14, four are seniors — Demetrius Knox, Isaiah Prince, Brady Taylor and Malcolm Pridgeon. There are four more NFL draft-eligible prospects on the line — redshirt juniors Joshua Alabi and Brandon Bowen, junior Michael Jordan and redshirt sophomore Gavin Cupp.
While I hardly expect the entire crew to leave the program, there will be a significant exodus of talent from Ohio State’s offensive line after this season.
The Buckeyes are going to take five or six offensive linemen in the 2019 class. There already are two highly ranked commits in the fold with 4-star tackles Doug Nester (No. 55 prospect overall in the 247Sports composite rankings, No. 9 tackle) and Ryan Jacoby (No. 282 overall, No. 30 tackle).
The target board has thinned out for Ohio State in recent months. Three top tackles — 4-star prospects Quinn Carroll and John Olmstead and 3-star recruit Andrew Kristofic — have pledged to Notre Dame since April. The Buckeyes passed on Florida lineman Michael Tarquin, who subsequently committed to Miami.
That requires a reassessment of the target board.
Along the interior line, Ohio State is fine. Either Jacoby and Nester are capable of playing guard at a high level.
The Buckeyes lead for center Harry Miller (No. 35 overall, No. 2 center) from Buford, Ga. He took an official visit to Ohio State on April 14. Ohio State also might be in the pole position for Cincinnati Anderson guard/center Zeke Correll (No. 164, No. 9 guard). Miller and Correll have four of the same schools — Ohio State, Clemson, Stanford and Notre Dame — in their top fives.
Correll recently updated his recruitment with Land of 10. Miller wrapped up his official visit to Columbus on April 14.
Ohio State is capable of reeling in 3-star Maryland guard Darrian Dalcourt seemingly at any time after several unofficial visits to campus. There is a long shot that the Buckeyes could re-emerge with Akron Archbishop Hoban guard Nolan Rumler, a Michigan commit.
Tackle is more wide open for Ohio State and I think that’s where the fun comes in. There are four players who hold offers who are worth watching as serious targets.
Darnell Wright, the No. 2 player overall and No. 1 tackle in 2019, is a 5-star prospect whose recruitment will be a battle between many of the major national players. Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and many other programs remain in the mix for the 6-foot-6, 314-pound blue-chip prospect from West Virginia. Wright has not been to Ohio State since October, something the Buckeyes will look to change.
Devontae Dobbs, the No. 1o prospect in the class and No. 3 tackle, is another 5-star prospect who’s seriously considering Ohio State. Dobbs recently updated his recruitment in an interview with Land of 10 and the Buckeyes are firmly in the mix, though Michigan State, USC, Clemson and others are major threats.
Rhode Island native Xavier Truss, a 6-8, 340-pound tackle, made his first unofficial visit to Ohio State on April 16. Penn State appears to be the favorite for Truss, but the big tackle will continue to take visits throughout the spring and summer.
Trevor Keegan of Illinois is emerging as one of the favorites to end up in this Ohio State class as a tackle. The No. 126 prospect overall and No. 15 tackle in the class, Keegan landed his Buckeyes offer on March 8 during an unofficial visit to campus. Keegan has more than two dozen offers and Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, Alabama and Wisconsin are among his other options.
A major candidate to watch for an offer in Ohio is Dayton Dunbar tackle Jonathan Allen. The 6-6, 315-pound Allen burst onto the scene last fall as a junior and earned offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State, West Virginia and other Power 5 programs. Keep an eye on Allen in camp season; he’s expected to work out for the Buckeyes in June.
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