Land of 10/file photo
Ohio State's roster includes players from 22 states, including Nevada (Tate Martell) and Texas (Jeff Okudah and Baron Browning).

With players from 22 states, Ohio State football shows it can recruit anywhere

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State’s roster truly looks like Buckeye Nation.

During Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s tenure, the Buckeyes have signed players from 27 states. The 2018 roster includes players from 22 states, with uncommon locations such as Utah, Oklahoma and Idaho mixed in with traditional recruiting hotbeds Florida, Texas and Ohio.

The cross-country recruiting efforts have at times come at the expense of in-state recruiting. Ohio State signed just 12 Ohio natives in the last two recruiting cycles. Ohio is by far the most-represented state on the roster with 29 of Ohio State’s 85 scholarship players, but that’s a smaller number than it’s been in years past. The Buckeyes have done very well in Florida and Texas in recent years, and they’ve increased their presence in the mid-Atlantic with states such as New York, New Jersey and Maryland sending a handful of players to Columbus.

Below, we’ll dig into each state represented by at least one scholarship player on Ohio State’s roster.

Players are listed by the state of their hometown, which is why some players who went to junior college or IMG Academy are listed under different states than where those schools are located. The lists are formatted below as (Hometown/School). 

Arkansas (1)

  • WR K.J. Hill (Little Rock/North Little Rock)

Hill is the first scholarship player from Arkansas in the history of Ohio State football.

California (2)

  • G Wyatt Davis (Bellflower/St. John Bosco)
  • WR Chris Olave (San Marcos/Mission Hills)

Meyer has signed four California natives during his Ohio State tenure, with Davis and Olave joining tight end Marcus Baugh and wide receiver Michael Thomas.

Florida (10)

  • CB Damon Arnette (Fort Lauderdale/St. Thomas Aquinas)
  • CB Sevyn Banks (Orlando/Jones)
  • DT Malik Barrow (Tampa/IMG Academy)
  • DE Nick Bosa (Fort Lauderdale/St. Thomas Aquinas)
  • WR Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach Gardens/Dwyer)
  • CB Tyreke Johnson (Jacksonville/Trinity Christian)
  • T Nicholas Petit-Frere (Tampa/Berkeley Prep)
  • RB Brian Snead (Seffner/Armwood)
  • WR Binjimen Victor (Coconut Creek/Coconut Creek)
  • CB Shaun Wade (Jacksonville/Trinity Christian)

Ohio State signed four Florida natives in the Class of 2018.

Georgia (2)

  • DT Antwuan Jackson (Ellenwood/Blinn College)
  • S Isaiah Pryor (Lawrenceville/IMG Academy)

Both Georgia natives most recently played out of state, with Pryor at IMG Academy in Florida and Jackson at Blinn College after transferring from Auburn.

Idaho (1)

  • DT Tommy Togiai (Pocatello/Highland)

Togiai is the first scholarship player from Idaho in Ohio State football history.

Illinois (1)

  • LB Tuf Borland (Bolingbrook/Bolingbrook)

Landing Borland was somewhat of a surprise since his father Kyle played for Wisconsin. (Borland is not related to former Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland.)

Indiana (3)

  • WR Austin Mack (Fort Wayne/Bishop Luers)
  • WR Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral)
  • LB Pete Werner (Indianapolis/Cathedral)

Although Indiana doesn’t have a deep talent pool, Ohio State has been successful in landing many of the Hoosier State players it has targeted.

Kentucky (1)

  • K Sean Nuernberger (Buckner/Oldham County)

The Buckeyes have signed six Kentucky natives since 2000.

Maryland (5)

  • QB Dwayne Haskins (Potomac/Bullis)
  • LB Keandre Jones (Olney/Good Counsel)
  • T Isaiah Prince (Greenbelt/Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • DT Taron Vincent (Baltimore/IMG Academy)
  • DE Chase Young (Hyattsville/DeMatha Catholic)

Haskins and Jones committed on the same day in January 2016.

Michigan (3)

  • T Josh Alabi (Detroit/Cass Tech)
  • G Michael Jordan (Canton/Plymouth)
  • RB Mike Weber (Detroit/Cass Tech)

Ohio State established a foothold in Michigan thanks to the recruiting efforts of former cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

Minnesota (1)

  • DE Jashon Cornell (St. Paul/Cretin-Derham Hall)

Cornell is the first Minnesota native to play for the Buckeyes since three-time All-America linebacker James Laurinaitis (2005-08).

Missouri (2)

  • WR Kamryn Babb (St. Louis/Christian Brothers)
  • WR Cameron Brown (St. Louis/Christian Brothers)

Class of 2018 signees Babb and Brown are the first players Ohio State has signed from Missouri since running back Ezekiel Elliott in 2013.

Nevada (2)

  • DT Haskell Garrett (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman)
  • QB Tate Martell (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman)

Garrett and Martell played for powerhouse Bishop Gorman, which won multiple national championships during their time in high school.

New Jersey (3)

  • DL Tyler Friday (Ramsey/Don Bosco Prep)
  • S Jordan Fuller (Norwood/Old Tappan)
  • LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste (Oradell/Bergen Catholic)

Landing Friday and Jean-Baptiste gave Ohio State a pair of big wins late in the 2018 recruiting cycle.

New York (5)

  • K Blake Haubeil (Buffalo/Canisius)
  • C Matthew Jones (Brooklyn/Erasmus Hall)
  • OL Malcolm Pridgeon (Central Islip/Nassau C.C.)
  • TE Jeremy Ruckert (Lindenhurst/Lindenhurst)
  • S Jahsen Wint (Brooklyn/Erasmus Hall)

Beginning with Curtis Samuel in 2014, Erasmus Hall has sent three players to Ohio State.

Ohio (29)

  • TE Rashod Berry (Lorain/Lorain)
  • LB Dante Booker (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary)
  • DT Jerron Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods)
  • WR Parris Campbell (Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary)
  • P Drue Chrisman (Cincinnati/La Salle)
  • DE Jonathon Cooper (Gahanna/Lincoln)
  • G Gavin Cupp (Leipsic/Leipsic)
  • TE Luke Farrell (Perry/Perry)
  • LB Dallas Gant (Toledo/St. John’s Jesuit)
  • RB Jaelen Gill (Westerville/Westerville South)
  • DT Davon Hamilton (Pickerington/Pickerington Central)
  • WR Jaylen Harris (Cleveland/Cleveland Heights)
  • LB Malik Harrison (Columbus/Walnut Ridge)
  • TE Jake Hausmann (Cincinnati/Moeller)
  • LB Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati/St. Xavier)
  • DT Dre’Mont Jones (Cleveland/St. Ignatius)
  • DT Robert Landers (Huber Heights/Wayne)
  • WR Demario McCall (North Ridgeville/North Ridgeville)
  • LS Liam McCullough (Columbus/Kilbourne)
  • T Thayer Munford (Massillon/Washington)
  • C Josh Myers (Miamisburg/Miamisburg)
  • S Amir Riep (Cincinnati/Colerain)
  • WR C.J. Saunders (Dublin/Coffman)
  • WR L’Christian “Blue” Smith (Huber Heights/Wayne)
  • DE Tyreke Smith (Cleveland/Cleveland Heights)
  • C Brady Taylor (Columbus/Bishop Ready)
  • S Brendon White (Powell/Olentangy Liberty)
  • DE Alex Williams (Pickerington/Pickerington North)
  • CB Marcus Williamson (Westerville/IMG Academy)

The last two recruiting classes have been the two with the least amount of Ohio natives in the history of the program.

Oklahoma (1)

  • S Josh Proctor (Owasso/Owasso)

Proctor is the first scholarship player from Oklahoma to play for Ohio State.

Pennsylvania (1)

  • S Marcus Hooker (New Castle/New Castle)

Hooker is the younger brother of former Ohio State All-American Malik Hooker.

Tennessee (2)

  • RB Master Teague (Murfreesboro/Blackman)
  • T Max Wray (Franklin/Franklin)

Until Teague and Wray signed in the Class of 2018, Ohio State hadn’t had a scholarship player from Tennessee since tailback Roman Bates in the early 1980s.

Texas (7)

  • QB Matthew Baldwin (Austin/Lake Travis)
  • LB Baron Browning (Kennedale/Kennedale)
  • RB J.K. Dobbins (La Grange/La Grange)
  • WR Ellijah Gardiner (Kemp/Kemp)
  • G Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth/All Saints)
  • CB Jeffrey Okudah (Grand Prairie/South Grand Prairie)
  • CB Kendall Sheffield (Missouri City/Blinn College)

The Buckeyes signed four of the top six recruits from Texas in the Class of 2017.

Utah (1)

  • OL Branden Bowen (Draper/Corner Canyon)

Bowen’s trainer during high school was John Madsen, who played for Meyer at Utah in 2003-04.

Virginia (2)

  • LB Teradja Mitchell (Virginia Beach/Bishop Sullivan)
  • LB K’Vaughan Pope (Dinwiddie/Dinwiddie County)

Thanks in part to wide receivers coach Zach Smith, Ohio State has had a lot of success recruiting Virginia during Meyer’s time in Columbus.

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