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From our family to yours, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Regardless of what awaited under your tree Monday morning, we’ve supplied one more present here in the form of Ohio State recruiting coverage.
Last week has been an extremely busy one for the Buckeyes, who signed 21 high school seniors on Dec. 20. The 2018 recruiting cycle continues into February but let’s take a moment to review three reasons why Ohio State fans should feel especially merry about the program’s recent accomplishments.
1. Ohio State is set to add more top talent than any Big Ten team
Despite a strong push from Penn State, Ohio State is set to sign the Big Ten’s highest-rated recruiting class for the eighth straight year, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The separation between the Buckeyes and all other conference competitors is quite impressive when you do a side-by-side comparison.
Despite some misses during the early signing period, Ohio State remains 26 composite points ahead of Penn State (No. 4) in the overall national rankings. This is a similar gap to the one that exists between Penn State and Auburn (No. 10), which spans 24 points.
There is a steep falloff in conference rankings beyond the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.
For reference, let’s compare the composite ranking of Ohio State’s class to that of Big Ten rival Michigan. The Wolverines, carrying college football’s No. 14 recruiting class, trail the Buckeyes by 66 points. This is approximately the same measurement that separates Michigan from Boston College, listed 61st overall in class rankings.
Ohio State claims 18 signatures from blue-chip recruits; those considered 5- or 4-star prospects. Penn State signed 12 such players, but no other Big Ten team surpasses eight at this stage of the 2018 recruiting cycle.
This outcome has been a common theme during — and even before — the Urban Meyer era in Columbus. These consistent recruiting successes make Ohio State one of the few college football programs that truly reloads each season instead of undergoing rebuilding stretches.
2. Buckeyes recruiting efforts have no borders
It’s no secret Ohio State has a nationwide reach on the recruiting trail, but this allows us to serve up a friendly reminder to Buckeyes fans. The program signed players from 10 states last week, including a few elite talents from far beyond Big Ten territory.
Ohio State continues to target the fertile Texas recruiting landscape with efficiency. That’s where Meyer located quarterback Matthew Baldwin, who emerged as the Buckeyes’ lone signee at the position following a late flip from Emory Jones.
There have also been persistent fortuitous results in talent-laden Florida, as Ohio State adds three players from the heavily targeted state. The Buckeyes bagged Sunshine State standouts Tyreke Johnson (safety), Brian Snead (running back) and Sevyn Banks (cornerback). Defensive tackle Taron Vincent, a 5-star signee, finished his prep career at IMG Academy in Florida but previously attended high school in Baltimore.
Defensive tackle Tommy Togiai (Idaho), safety Josh Proctor (Oklahoma) and offensive lineman Max Wray (Tennessee) are among other top 200 overall prospects who picked Ohio State this cycle despite collegiate opportunities closer to home.
Whether it’s the Bosas, J.T. Barrett or J.K. Dobbins, current Buckeyes stars have further illustrated the importance of being able to actively recruit long-distance recruiting regions at a high level. This 2018 Ohio State class indicates again that Meyer & Co. won’t take a backseat to anyone in college football.
3. Ohio State isn’t done yet in the 2018 cycle
There is plenty to celebrate during discussions about Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class and that optimism should continue to increase moving ahead. The Buckeyes are in excellent position to put key finishing touches on an impressive collection of talent.
Ohio State will learn its fate with a pair of top-tier defensive linemen on Jan. 4 when Tyreke Smith and Jayson Oweh announce college plans during the Under Armour All-America Game. These top-10 defensive end talents have plenty of suitors but the focus seems to center on the Buckeyes and Penn State.
Ohio State has an excellent shot to land at least one, if not both, of this tandem. Meanwhile, tackle is also a position of interest after in-state 5-star lineman Jackson Carman opted to attend Clemson last week.
Rasheed Walker, an All-America tackle from Maryland, visited Columbus this season and is among the most-pursued linemen who remain uncommitted. His list of options also features Maryland, Penn State and Virginia Tech.
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