It’s Friday, Jan. 6, and we’re 26 days away from the 2017 National Signing Day.
The current recruiting dead period – which comes to an end next Wednesday, Jan. 11 – has given Ohio State a chance to reset their recruiting plans, and they’ll enter the recruiting stretch run with two new faces on the recruiting trail. New quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and new linebackers coach Billy Davis will take over for Tim Beck and Luke Fickell, respectively. And, fortunately for the Buckeyes, those are two positions that are pretty well wrapped up for 2017.
With 17 commitments in hand — and only a few targets left — let’s reset the Ohio State recruiting class and break down the important details.
Who has taken official visits?
It’s been a pretty efficient year when it comes to which recruits have visited Columbus on Ohio State’s dime.
- Oct. 8 vs. Indiana
- WR • Donovan Peoples-Jones • ★★★★★ • Committed to Michigan on Dec. 15
- Oct. 29 vs. Northwestern
- OL • Wyatt Davis • ★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DT • Haskell Garrett • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- Nov. 5 vs. Nebraska
- WR • Trevon Grimes • ★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DB • Shaun Wade • ★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- QB • Tate Martell • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- RB • J.K. Dobbins •★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- LB • Anthony Hines • ★★★★ • Committed to Texas A&M on Dec. 2
- OL • Jake Moretti • ★★★★ • Former Ohio State commitment, now committed to Colorado (Nov. 17).
- DB • Bubba Bolden • ★★★★ • Decision date: Saturday (U.S. Army All-American Bowl, NBC).
- Nov. 26 vs. Michigan
- RB • Cam Akers • ★★★★★ • Committed to Florida State on Dec. 27
- OL • Trey Smith • ★★★★★ • Committed to Tennessee on Dec. 6
- DE • Chase Young •★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DT • Marvin Wilson • ★★★★★ • Decision date: Feb. 1 (National Signing Day).
- DT • Jay Tufele • ★★★★ • Decision date: Feb. 1 (National Signing Day)
- LB • Baron Browning • ★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DB • Jeffrey Okudah • ★★★★★ •Decision date: Saturday (U.S. Army All-American Bowl, NBC).
- CB • Darnay Holmes • ★★★★★ • Decision date: Saturday (U.S. Army All-American Bowl, NBC).
- DB • Richard LeCounte • ★★★★★ • Committed to Georgia on Dec. 13
- DB • Isaiah Pryor • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DB • Xavier McKinney • ★★★★ • Committed to Alabama on Jan. 1
- DB • Markquese Bell • ★★★★ • Committed to Maryland on Jan. 1
- DB • Kendall Sheffield • ★★★★ (JUCO) • Decision date: TBD
- Dec. 10, 2016
- OL • Josh Myers • ★★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- LB • Brendon White • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- LB • Pete Werner • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DB • Amir Riep • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DB • Marcus Williamson • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- K • Blake Haubeil • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
Who has official visits scheduled?
As of right now, only two Ohio State commitments have official visits scheduled for January as the dead period comes to an end on Jan. 11.
- Jan. 13
- WR • Tyjon Lindsey • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- DL • Jerron Cage • ★★★★ • Committed to Ohio State.
- Jan. 20
- WR • Jaylen Harris • ★★★★ • Decision date: TBD
The Buckeyes also expect 4-star offensive lineman Thayer Munford out of Massillon (Ohio) Washington to take an official visit in January. The date has not yet been finalized.
Who is expected to enroll early?
Urban Meyer’s recruiting class appears full of players committed to the Buckeyes and ready to head to Columbus.
Who are the current commitments that Buckeyes fans should see on the field during the Ohio State spring game in April? Here’s the eight that we know of as of Friday:
- QB • Tate Martell • Las Vegas • Nevada • Bishop Gorman
- RB • J.K. Dobbins • La Grange • Texas • La Grange
- OL • Josh Myers • Miamisburg • Ohio • Miamisburg
- LB • Baron Browning • Kennedale • Texas • Kennedale
- LB • Brendon White • Powell • Ohio • Olentangy Liberty
- DB • Shaun Wade • Jacksonville • Florida • Trinity Christian Academy
- DB • Marcus Williamson • Westerville • Ohio • IMG Academy
- DB • Isaiah Pryor • Lawrenceville • Georgia • IMG Academy
If Ohio State lands cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah and Darnay Holmes on Saturday during the fourth quarter of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, you can add each to the early-enrollee list.
Are any commitments wavering?
With eight of the Buckeyes’ 17 current commitments enrolling early, the list of potential defectors will shrink significantly on Sunday. There are just nine players that Ohio State will have to hold on to for an additional three weeks as other teams hope to poach them before signing day. What are the odds that any of those players end up elsewhere? Here’s where things stand.
- Trevon Grimes
- Grimes isn’t going anywhere else. He’s now 11 weeks out from ACL surgery and is progressing well in his rehab.
- Tyjon Lindsey
- Like Grimes, Lindsey isn’t looking around and will be a Buckeyes player.
- Wyatt Davis
- Despite rumors of Davis looking at USC, he’s told Land of 10 and various other outlets that he’s not interested in any other school and is 100-percent committed to Ohio State.
- Chase Young
- No reason to be concerned. Young is focused only on Columbus and his future with the Buckeyes.
- Haskell Garrett
- No reason to be concerned here, either. He’s set on being a member of the Buckeyes. Like his Bishop Gorman teammate (Lindsey), Garrett is recovering from a late-season injury but is expected to be full-go by the time he enrolls at Ohio State in the summer.
- Jerron Cage
- I still believe it is possible that if Marvin Wilson or Jay Tufele pick Ohio State, that Cage and Notre Dame become worth watching. He’s never said it, neither has anyone else, but it just feels that way, and I don’t know that it will feel differently until his letter of intent is faxed in.
- Pete Werner
- Werner isn’t looking around and will sign with Ohio State in February.
- Amir Riep
- The Cincinnati Colerain star is all set on Ohio State, where he’ll be one piece of the nation’s best defensive back haul.
- Blake Haubeil
- Haubeil is set to be the next kicker in Columbus.
What’s this week’s best guess?
Ohio State could receive some answers to a number of its key remaining recruiting questions in the next week.
On Saturday, they’ll find out whether or not the efforts to land 5-star cornerbacks Okudah and Holmes have paid off. Okudah is likely, and Holmes has been leaning in the Buckeyes direction for much of the last six weeks, but there is now some pressure to stay closer to home emerging.
If Holmes chooses USC, UCLA or Nebraska – and maybe even if he does pick Ohio State – it’s time to start paying close attention to the recruitment of JUCO cornerback Kendall Sheffield. He’s a former 5-star prospect who signed with Alabama in the 2015 cycle but left Tuscaloosa after one season. Sheffield’s recruitment does not have a definitive timetable – he could potentially enroll this month or wait until the spring, depending on the status of his academics. But he’s talented enough to make an immediate impact at the school he chooses. He’s a longtime favorite of Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, and a player the Buckeyes would take in their class if they can.
Beyond the pair of Saturday announcements, there’s not much chance for other movement in the Ohio State class in this coming week. The Buckeyes are set to host two official visitors (as noted above) next weekend, but there’s an off chance that Munford could visit then as well. If that happens, it’s worth paying attention to. If he receives an Ohio State offer, it’s hard to see him selecting any other school.
Both of the Buckeyes top remaining targets at defensive tackle – Wilson and Tufele – are set to announce on signing day or just before.