The college football world may be in its offseason, with the 2017 season set to kickoff in a little less than seven months, but recruiting season is all year long and has no off days. While Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, his coaching staff, and even players on the team have been trying to recruit some of the best players in the country to come to Columbus to continue both their education and football career, all their hard work for the 2017 class concluded with Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
National Signing Day was different for the Bucks this year because the majority of Ohio State’s commits committed prior to Wednesday. While the day wasn’t too dramatic for the scarlet and gray, Meyer knows how good this class is. It has the potential to be one of the best in school history when all said and done and the head coach realizes that.
“This could go down as one of the great classes,” Meyer said Wednesday. “We’re pretty fired up about this class.”
Of the 21 commits, only seven are from Ohio, which bothers Meyer. Even though he knows that the Bucks were able to lock up talent from across the country, he wants to recruit more kids from his home state going forward.
“That’s not enough … That bothers you because Ohio is traditionally a late-developing state.”
Even though there is plenty of distance between Ohio and Texas and a handful of big-name school in the Lonestar state, the Buckeyes were able to grab three of the top-10 players from Texas. Not only does this show how good the Ohio State coaching staff is at recruiting, but also proves that the Buckeyes can legitimately get whoever they want if they want them bad enough. In fact, on a good year, he wants half of his class to be from Ohio.
There are five players who finished No. 1 in their position by one of the four recruiting outlets: Safety Jeffrey Okudah, cornerback Shaun Wade, linebacker Baron Browning, offensive guard Wyatt Davis, and junior college transfer cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
Along with those players, handfuls of new Buckeyes are considered among the Top 5 at their positions here’s the list from the school:
- Running back J.K. Dobbins (No. 2 all-purpose by 247Sports; No. 3 athlete by Scout; No. 5 RB by ESPN)
- Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (No. 4 DT by Scout)
- Wide receiver Trevon Grimes (No. 4 by Rivals; No. 5 by ESPN)
- Kicker Blake Haubeil (No. 2 247Sports)
- Offensive guard Josh Myers (No. 2 by 247Sports and Rivals; No. 3 by Scout)
- Safety Isaiah Pryor (No. 3 by ESPN)
- Athlete Brendon White (No. 2 by Rivals; No. 3 by 247Sports)
- Defensive end Chase Young (No. 2 WDE by 247Sports; No. 3 WDE by ESPN and Rivals).
With three of four defensive backs headed to the NFL for the second-consecutive season, Meyer believes (and knows) that the class will have its biggest impact in the defensive secondary, where he expects a few of the players to compete for not only playing time, but a starting role as true freshmen. Besides in the secondary, he also believes that there will be a few other positions, including offensive line, linebackers, and wide receiver that true freshmen will compete for a starting spot.
Although they had the second-best class in the country, the reason why the Buckeyes finished so far behind Alabama for the top spot is because of class size. Due to the fact that some SEC schools over-recruit and because Ohio State’s team is so young, the Crimson Tide were able to gain seven more commits than the Bucks. Either way, the scarlet and gray finished with 21 total commits, including six five stars, 11 four stars, and four three stars, coming out to an average of 4.1 stars per recruit. Alabama finished atop the rankings for the seventh-consecutive season, which is mighty impressive and is one of the main reasons why they compete for a national championship year in and year out.
For those who love to always compare Ohio State and Michigan, Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverine finished with the fourth-best class.
With two new coaches on offense and six players leaving early for the NFL Draft, the Buckeyes will look much different in 2017. The class features three offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, three wide receivers, two linebackers and one quarterback, running back, kicker and “athlete.” But, with yet another very good recruiting class that includes plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball, Ohio State is set to reload for years to come, just like they did in 2016.