As the owner of the country’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class, Ohio State has a pretty impressive commitment list. In a program like the one Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes have, you don’t get in unless you’re expected to be a big-time contributor, right? So how do you determine, among so many talented players, who are the most important pieces of the class?
Outside of flat-out guessing, you examine the biggest current needs of the Buckeyes to predict the most necessary future pieces. Today, we’re going to do that. Ohio State is one of the country’s biggest football brands, one of the most successful programs in history and one of the hottest names in the country on the recruiting trail, but it still has roster needs that must be addressed.
We’ll take a twofold approach to this question. First, who is the most important commitment for next season, and then who is most important for Ohio State down the line. OK? Good. Let’s get started.
Most important Ohio State commitment for next year: Josh Myers/Wyatt Davis
Before I dive into why these offensive lineman are the most important commitment, please allow me to note: This is my story, so if I want say “the most important” commitment and then pick two, it’s totally acceptable. I’m not a rule breaker usually, but I hope that my explanation for this confusion will calm your sense of betrayal.
As this past offseason showed, the need for dominant and talented offensive linemen at Ohio State has never been greater. True freshman Michael Jordan has started every game at guard for the Buckeyes this year. There’s a good chance that these two commitments could fight for the same next season. Urban Meyer’s offensive line will likely lose only one player – center Pat Elflein – but because the assumption is that Billy Price will move to center next season, there will once again be an opening at guard. That’s where a pair of 5-star offensive linemen come into play.
Yes, the Buckeyes have players like Demetrius Knox, Matt Burrell Jr. and others already on the roster. Jordan showed that a starting spot is not guaranteed because you’re a veteran. Myers, who is an offensive tackle at Miamisburg (Ohio), is almost certainly a guard in college and – like Jordan did – he will enroll early at Ohio State in an attempt to get a head start on his development.
While Myers will be transitioning to an interior line position, Wyatt Davis will be one of the most technically sound incoming freshman offensive linemen Ohio State has seen in years.
A 6-foot-5, 310-pound guard at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Davis is versatile and talented enough to play any offensive line spot in Columbus.
He and Myers give Urban Meyer’s coaching staff a lot of of flexibility and a huge influx of talent.
Most important Ohio State commitment for three years from now: Trevon Grimes
Now that we’ve got the future of the Slobs all sorted out, let’s turn the focus a bit.
The Buckeyes offense has been – since Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus – a run-focused juggernaut. Interestingly, in the early period of Meyer’s recruiting at Ohio State, one of the negative tactics used against the Buckeyes was to cite Meyer’s inability to develop/produce running backs.
However, that has tilted a touch and now it’s about the wide receivers: Zone Six needs real wide receivers. The transition from H-back types (Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Curtis Samuel, etc.) to true wideouts (guys like Mike Thomas, Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, K.J. Hill) has begun. Five-star prospect Trevon Grimes (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) could prove to be its pinnacle.
If he lives up to the hype.
His size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) and speed earn comparisons to NFL first-round draft picks. Grimes is as physically talented as any wide receiver to ever sign with the Buckeyes. Ohio State is trying to evolve its offense to become a more balanced iteration. Because of that, a vertical receiver threat will become more important. Once Grimes makes the necessary mental adjustments to college football, he has all the tools to a difference maker.