Ohio State recruiting mailbag: Tyreke Smith could play big role early, more signees likely still to come
Have Ohio State football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Ohio State recruiting mailbag. This week, we talk about a number of things, including what Ohio State could do at offensive tackle, which recruit is most likely to make an instant impact, JK Dobbins’ recruiting impact and more.
Good Wednesday afternoon, everyone.
Thanks for all your questions this week. If you didn’t get to ask a question this week, make sure to send one to me on Twitter (@L10Ryan) or via email (DonnellyLandof10@gmail.com).
Let’s dive in.
@MrOH1O: Who out of the 2018 recruiting class will log the most snaps in the 2018 season?
I’ll put my money on Cleveland Heights, Ohio, product Tyreke Smith in Year 1. While I think there’s probably been a bit too much concern over the lack of depth at defensive end next season, the depth chart does offer Smith the chance to step right in and compete for playing time on the second unit. He’s continued to progress and grow at every turn and has turned himself into one of the best prep defensive ends in the country.
@bryantschaefer: After his performance in the Under Armour All American game, would OSU recruit Maurice Washington for an H-Back role? Too potentially talented to pass up?
Ohio State had Maurice Washington on campus and offered him in June 2017, but the ship likely has sailed at this point. With Jaelen Gill, Brian Snead and Master Teague all signed as running backs or H-backs, it’s hard to see the Buckeyes adding Washington to the class as well. His performance was very impressive, though, and it looks as if Nebraska, Tennessee and Ole Miss all will be heavily involved in his recruitment.
@buckeyefan686: If the staff misses on Walker/NPF/Barnes, do they have another group they would choose from or would they be content with only taking Wray at OT?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Ohio State might be in uncertain waters with offensive tackle recruiting and the way their top targets plan to announce. Rasheed Walker won’t visit campus until Jan. 20 and said he won’t announce his decision until Feb. 7. Five-star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere likely won’t see Ohio State until his final official visit weekend on Feb. 2 and is unlikely to announce before National Signing Day. William Barnes has yet to schedule an official visit to Ohio State and ultimately might not make a trip. Will Ohio State have enough time to move onto another option at offensive tackle if they miss on Walker, Petit-Frere and Barnes? It’s an interesting question, and I’m not sure there’s a clear answer.
There’s a possibility that Ohio State signee Alex Williams (Pickerington, Ohio) has a chance to play offensive tackle. Williams is regarded as a defensive line prospect by most, but he also has the potential to play at tight end or offensive line in the future. His physical development already has been tremendous, and he may only continue adding mass and strength.
@MightyRubber: Can you put the odds on the 2019 QB prospects? Not so much odds as maybe a likelihood list?
Ohio State’s best chance in this 2019 class to date is likely with Allen (Texas) quarterback Grant Tisdale, who added an offer from the Buckeyes in May. Beyond Tisdale, I would look at Max Duggan from Council Bluffs (Iowa) as the nextoption. Both need to make their way to campus in the relatively near future, but they have shown serious interest in Ohio State. The only other two uncommitted and offered prospects are Michael Johnson Jr., son of Oregon assistant Mike Johnson, and Bo Nix from Pinson, Ala,, an Auburn legacy. Both seem like longshots.
Ultimately, I think Ohio State can get Tisdale if they want him, but they don’t seem to be in a rush to press any quarterbacks into early decisions. It’s possible we will see some further evaluations of the board and new names emerge throughout the spring and maybe even into June camp season.
@RaspberryTea250: Call your shot now – projected 2019 class
Way, way, way, way too early, but I’ll play ball.
QB: Grant Tisdale – Allen (Texas)
RB: Noah Cain – Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
WR: Theo Wease – Allen (Texas)
WR: David Bell – Indianapolis Warren Central
WR: Trey Knox – Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman
OL: Doug Nester – Huntington (W.Va.) Spring Valley
OL: Darnell Wright – Huntington (W.Va.)
OL: Zeke Correll – Cincinnati Anderson
OL: Devontae Dobbs – Belleville (Mich.)
OL: Ryan Jacoby – Mentor (Ohio)
DT: Jowon Briggs – Cincinnati Walnut Hills
DE: Zach Harrison – Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange
DE: Noah Potter – Mentor (Ohio)
LB: Cade Stover – Mansfield (Ohio) Lexington
LB: Luke Fulton – Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney
CB: Moses Douglass – Springfield (Ohio)
S: Ronnie Hickman – Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic
ATH: Isaiah Williams – St. Louis Trinity Catholic
@MightyRubber: What do you think the emergence of JK Dobbins means for running back depth? Will it make some of these big recruits in 2019 less likely to come aboard?
Running back depth is so much more fluid than anything you’ll see at quarterback or linebacker or along the offensive line. We’ve seen first-year freshmen such as Najee Harris, JK Dobbins and Cam Akers come into their respective programs and play major, critical roles for some of college football’s blue bloods just a few months after moving into the dorms. By time the 2019 recruiting class would arrive at Ohio State, Mike Weber would be gone and Antonio Williams and JK Dobbins each would likely only have one more year around campus. Unless Master Teague, Jaelen Gill or Brian Snead emerge as major contributors in the backfield in Year 1, Ohio State’s depth chart is enticing for 2019 running back recruits. The Buckeyes can offer elite offensive linemen, a history of creating carries for multiple running backs and a willingness to put capable freshmen on the field.
@bjbechtel: How many spots are left in the class? currently 86 scholarships – my guess 1 more pro, 1 injury, 1 transfer – – – that puts it at 83 – are there more spots expected than 2?
It depends on who’s available for Ohio State. If the Buckeyes can somehow pull off a clean sweep of Rasheed Walker, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Solomon Tuliaupupu and Tyler Friday, how could you possibly turn down that crew? At the end of the day, Ohio State has as much room as they need to have and will create space for players of that caliber. Attrition always happens throughout the spring and summer, and I wouldn’t stress too much about the numbers. They’ll be at or under the 85-scholarship limit whenever the deadline rolls around. The Buckeyes most likely will finish with two more recruits, for a total of 24 signees, but as many as three or four players joining the class wouldn’t shock me.