I believe its a combination of both. The class of 2018 is deeper than the usual years in the state of Ohio. BUT lets be real. Bama can pretty much cherry pick every player they want/need. For heavens sake, they got a high 4 star player from Florida in 2017 to take a gray shirt. which is very very unheard of. the level of recruiting Bama is at is crazy crazy good. Anyway, the fact that Bama can cherry pick the class they want, do you really think they would come up to Ohio and start offering some of the guys they have? I fully understand why they offered guys like Jackson Carman (Saban said best tackle he has evaluated in some time) and L'Christian Smith because they are both national prospects, but the offering guys like Scates, Tyreke Smith, Aeneas Hawkins, Tavion Thomas and Malik Vann all seem to be head scratchers. ONLY because Bama can cherry pick their class, their are better players in the nation than Bama could get. I think Scates, T. Smith, Hawkins and Thomas along with Carman and L. Smith are all possibly OSU caliber, you would just assume most of these guys are "national guys" which Bama goes after. I dont see Vann getting an osu offer, UNLESS he grows into a defensive tackle with a few inches and puts on some weight.
I just feel like some of these offers are "let's make Ohio State either pull the trigger and make them fill their class, because then we dont have to worry about them with some of the national guys". for example Ohio State's class fills up with ohio guys, then OSU misses on the Shaun Wade's, Baron Browning's, Wyatt Davis' of the world, while Bama scoops them up. smart on Bama's part.
I say that because on top of offering some players that you would imagine being lower on the Bama recruiting board such as (Vann, Hawkins, possibly Tyreke Smith, Scates and Thomas).
Like why didnt Bama offer Gill? or Gant? those guys are national guys. but possibly because Bama knows they have a chance at getting better guys at the position or something? In Gill's situation, I think its a matter of they know he has been an OSU lock for multiple years. You would think the same with Carman, but if Saban believes he is that good, then you understand the offer. why not take a chance when you can cherry pick your class? I WOULDNT BE SURPRISED TO SEE SOME MORE BAMA OFFERS TO OHIO KIDS IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. just watch......................
Here's a recap of how I see it:
Carman - legit offer. Saban believes he is the best lineman he has seen in quite awhile
Gill - No Offer due to OSU lock
L. Smith - offered. national guy who can go anywhere w/basketball & football
Gant - no offer
L. Taylor - no offer. could see one coming to force OSU hand to push for commit.
Scates - possibly legit offer I see an OSU offer coming) Bama could have offered to help land Thomas
T. Smith - possible legit offer. Rising prospect. Possibly to force OSU hand with pushing for a commit.
Henderon/ Gillison / Oats/ Peters/ Dirksen/ no Bama offers yet.
Vann - not legit offer. trying to force OSU hand to offer. Trying to help persuade Carman.
Hawkins - possible leg it offer. rising prospect. trying to force OSU to push for commit. Bama has plenty of other DT targets down south.
Tavion Thomas - very underrated prospect. but was most definitely trying to force OSU hand by offering