With a chance to make the College Football Playoff somehow still in their view, Ohio State is hoping for a big momentum push on the recruiting trail as the regular season comes to an end in Columbus.
Here’s where things stand with the Buckeyes and their 2018 recruiting class as of Friday, Nov. 17.
Where the Ohio State recruiting class ranks
- National rank: The Buckeyes have the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class for 2018, according to the 247Sports composite. The Buckeyes lead Texas, which has surged into the No. 2 spot.
- Big Ten rank: Obviously, Ohio State ranks as the Big Ten’s No. 1 class, outpacing No. 2 Penn State. The Nittany Lions have 22 commitments, but the Buckeyes’ per-player average is more than 4 points better in the 247Sports composite.
Latest news for Ohio State recruiting
- Total commits: 18
- By state: California (1), Florida (2), Georgia (3), Maryland (1), New York (2), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (2), Virginia (2)
- Last commitment: Ohio State got on the board once in September with JUCO defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson, who picked the Buckeyes over Alabama and others. Jackson is the No. 3-ranked JUCO player in the Class of 2018.
- De-commitments: The only de-commitment for Ohio State was American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 4-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield. He decided to reopen his recruitment in August, but some speculation remains that he could make an official visit to Columbus this fall.
Top Ohio State commits for 2018
With four players ranked as 5-star prospects, Ohio State recruiting is rolling along. Clemson and Georgia are the only other programs with more than one 5-star player committed.
Here are the Buckeyes’ top-ranked players so far in the Class of 2018:
|PLAYER||POS||NATIONAL RANK||POS RANK||STARS|
Ten of the Buckeyes’ 18 commits are ranked inside the top 5 at their positions, and 11 are ranked among the country’s top 100 prospects.
Ohio State 2018 commits by position
As is the case with most good recruiting classes, Ohio State has made sure to address its needs position-by-position:
- Quarterback (1): Ohio State landed Franklin (Ga.) 4-star QB Emory Jones — one of the Buckeyes’ top two targets at the position — in July 2016. The battle with Alabama for Jones is entering its final stages and right now there’s no solid answer on either side. The Buckeyes are waiting for his decision.
- Running back (2): Seffner (Fla.) 4-star prospect Brian Snead is the country’s fourth-ranked running back and has become a fan favorite since committing at Friday Night Lights in July 2016. Snead has not visited any other school and will sign with Ohio State. The Buckeyes added a second tailback in the class in June, landing Murfreesboro (Tenn.) 3-star talent Master Teague III, who picked Ohio State over Georgia.
- Wide receiver (1): The Buckeyes are looking to land two players at this position and added their first on Aug. 27. Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio) High School 4-star standout Blue Smith committed to Ohio State over Kentucky.
- Tight end (1): Ohio State’s top target at the position, Jeremy Ruckert, committed to the Buckeyes over Michigan on July 17.
- Offensive line (2): Former Georgia commit Max Wray committed to Ohio State in April, shortly after his first visit to the school. He’s a tackle with the versatility and athleticism to play anywhere on the line. Ohio State also addressed its need at center, landing a verbal pledge from Matthew Jones. The country’s third-ranked guard is from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., the school that produced Carolina Panthers running back Curtis Samuel and Buckeyes sophomore defensive back Jahsen Wint.
- Defensive tackle (2): With Jackson’s addition, the Buckeyes have two defensive tackles in the Class of 2018. Taron Vincent, the top-ranked DT in the country, committed to the Buckeyes in early April.
- Defensive end (1): Five-star DE Brenton Cox picked the Buckeyes over home-state Georgia in April, though the Bulldogs and others are coming hard after the Stockbridge star. He’s a first-team All-American, according to USA Today.
- Linebacker (3): Three 4-star prospects make up this group. K’Vaughan Pope of Dinwiddie, Va., fellow Virginian Teradja Mitchell and Dallas Gant from Toledo are a talented trio.
- Defensive back (4): Ohio State has three safeties committed: Jaiden Woodbey of Fontana, Calif., Josh Proctor of Owasso, Okla. (both 4-star recruits), and 3-star Marcus Hooker of New Castle, Pa. They are joined by cornerback Sevyn Banks of Orlando, Fla. Woodbey and Proctor announced recently they were shutting down their recruitments, but Oklahoma, among others, won’t go away quietly.
- Athlete (1): Westerville, Ohio, running back Jaelen Gill is too versatile to put at one position, and Ohio State has no intention of doing that. Whether he’s a running back or a wide receiver, Gill is a special athlete from the Buckeyes’ backyard.
- Specialists (0): It’s not likely Ohio State will add a scholarship player at kicker, punter or long snapper in 2018, but there is an intriguing long-snapper option who is being considered.
Top Ohio State recruiting targets: 10 names to know
10. Chris Olave • Wide receiver • San Marcos, Calif. • Mission Hills
A new name to the list, Chris Olave is an underrated 3-star wide receiver on the West Coast who missed his junior season because of a transfer and wasn’t visible on the national camp circuit this past summer. Ohio State offered in early October and Olave was on campus as an official visitor on Nov. 11. The Buckeyes are seriously interested, and he’s returning that interest.
9. Anthony Cook • Defensive back • Houston • Lamar
Anthony Cook potentially could be swapped with Tyson Campbell, but I’m going with the Houston 5-star defensive back because he’s been into the Buckeyes for so long. Ohio State will have a down-to-the-wire fight with the Texas Longhorns and LSU Tigers to land the No. 3-ranked cornerback in the class. He has made official visits to all three. Cook recently decided to delay his college choice and now the Buckeyes have a little more time to try to show him why they’re the right fit for him.
8. Tommy Togiai • Defensive tackle • Pocatello, Idaho • Highland
Tommy Togiai might be the Buckeyes’ top remaining defensive tackle prospect after a three-day visit to Columbus in June. He took his official visit to Ohio State Sept. 8-9, and the Buckeyes are in a good position to land the nation’s sixth-ranked DT. Fifty percent of the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions put Togiai in an Ohio State uniform; USC and Washington hold the remaining predictions.
7. Rasheed Walker • Tackle • Waldorf, Md. • North Point
Rasheed Walker, the country’s 11th-ranked tackle, has remained a target for Ohio State the last few months, though 87 percent of his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have him headed to Penn State. Despite the odds, it’s never wise to count out defensive line coach Larry Johnson when he’s recruiting in Maryland. Walker likely will announce his decision at the Under Armour All-American Game. He visited Ohio State on Oct. 28 and will return in December for an official visit.
6. Nicholas Petit-Frere • Tackle • Tampa, Fla. • Berkeley Prep
Ohio State will hope to add at least two more tackles, and Nicholas Petit-Frere is one of the players it has high on its recruiting board. It’s always tough to land Florida’s best talents, but an inviting depth chart in Columbus could help the Buckeyes here. The Tampa product is ranked as the No. 4 tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. Petit-Frere moves up the list this week as the need for two more tackles in the Class of 2018 is apparent.
5. Jarren Williams • Quarterback • Lawrenceville, Ga. • Central Gwinnett
A new name on our list and one that we really thought wouldn’t be necessary is Georgia 4-star QB Jarren Williams. A recent de-commitment from Kentucky, the Buckeyes had to make a move and offer another quarterback and Williams, an Elite 11 finalist who has been offered by Alabama as well as Ohio State, is the guy to get it if Emory Jones is to flip. If there’s any real shot for the Buckeyes to steal Williams from Miami, who surged into the lead position after an official visit to Coral Gables, Fla., it will happen during his visit to Columbus this weekend.
4. Jayson Oweh • Defensive end • Blairstown, N.J. • Blair Academy
No one had heard of Jayson Oweh in January, so it’s remarkable to consider the spot he is in now. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end has skyrocketed up the Ohio State recruiting board and is one of the highest-priority players remaining. Penn State and Notre Dame are involved, but a decision on Jan. 4 is likely to come down to the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions. Oweh was one of a handful of players who made an official visit to Ohio State on Sept. 9.
3. Tyreke Smith • Defensive end • Cleveland • Cleveland Heights
Tyreke Smith is another Ohio prospect who has the Buckeyes in a battle. A former basketball player from California, Smith has shot up nationally. He proved himself time after time this spring and summer at recruiting combines against the best of the best. This is a must-get for the Buckeyes and, once again, they’re fighting Penn State, Notre Dame and others. Smith is scheduled to make his commitment at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4.
2. Kamryn Babb • Wide receiver • St. Louis • Christian Brothers College
Like Austin Mack in 2016 and Trevon Grimes in 2017, Kamryn Babb has been the top wideout on Ohio State’s board for much of the 2018 recruiting cycle. There’s no reason for that to change anytime soon. Babb is a smooth route runner who catches everything thrown his way. The Buckeyes are in a good position to land him, but until he makes his announcement, expect LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and others to keep trying to sway the country’s No. 9 wide receiver.
Unfortunately, Babb tore the ACL in his right knee and missed his senior season. Upcoming visits to LSU and then maybe USC should be the extent of his recruitment.
1. Jackson Carman • Tackle • Fairfield, Ohio • Fairfield
A must-get for Ohio State from suburban Cincinnati, Jackson Carman has had Buckeyes fans sweating since announcing that Clemson was his top school following a spring visit to South Carolina. The Buckeyes have worked overtime on Carman to keep him home, but USC also has made its way into the conversation. A decision is expected around December, and Carman is going to keep everyone guessing. This one is getting interesting as Carman was a vocal dissenter about the Buckeyes’ early struggles on offense. He is the No. 1-ranked tackle in the class.
Ohio State holds 94 percent of his Crystal Ball predictions. Carman visited Ohio State officially the weekend of Oct. 28.