After a brief rundown of the recruiting process for American and Canadian prospects the past two weeks, I am going to move on to what we actually care about. The Buckeyes.
All that fluff about how the coaching staff finds recruits doesn't matter if they end up outside of Columbus. And boy, has the recruiting of the 2020 class been a rollercoaster for all involved.
As a preface, I will not go in-depth on the current commitments for the 2020 class, as I don't want to go scrounging for tape and stats, only to lose the work because of a decommitment.
Those will come when signing day comes in November. This class was set to be another record-setting class for Coach Myers after the pinnacle class of 2019. Two of the top ten recruits in the country were in the fold, the 2019 class was garnering accolades left, right, and center, then the bottom kind of fell out.
Within a month at the beginning of 2019, both of the top 10 recruits had flipped to B1G rivals Johns Hopkins and Maryland. Gone were the best left-handed attackman in the country and the 2nd-best defenseman in the nation.
Fortunately, both of those needs were addressed quickly through further recruiting, but the Buckeyes will need to start winning battles for high profile recruits to start overtaking the powers of lacrosse in results. Or finding superior talent where no one else is looking.
2020 recruiting looks to be nearly done, but has some incredibly intriguing options that continue to evolve.
The 2020 class is set to replace about 11 outgoing seniors from the current team, including Tre Leclaire, Ohio State's leading goalscorer the past two seasons. Currently, the Buckeyes have 10 commits in the 2020 class.
From basic math, assuming the current team is full, it looks like there is one final spot for the 2020s to fill. The class features three defensemen, two middies, four attackmen, and a FOGO as of right now.
Where the final commit will come from is anyone's guess, especially since things have been very slow since the Logan Santos commitment. That said, there are some candidates worth mentioning.
First and foremost, I will put out the disclaimer that I have no sources in the program, just some educated guesses as to where the staff may be going in the future.
The biggest candidate I would say you should keep an eye on is midfielder Connor Cmiel, out of St. Ignatius in Cleveland. A offensive player from the outset, Cmiel is balancing his recruitment in football with lacrosse, which is why he has not really been someone on the radar until now.
Cmiel has offers from Bowling Green and Air Force, as well as a couple of FCS schools interested, including Fordham, Harvard, and others. Lately, however, Cmiel has started to have a bit more interest in the lacrosse world.
He has options, and while it would be exceedingly hard to pull off the lacrosse upset over football (free ride vs. not), Cmiel would certainly be welcome in Columbus.
He was named a USILA All-American for 2019, and has incredible (duh) athletic ability, something the Buckeyes have sorely lacked at the position of late. Cmiel is also a 4-star middie as evaluated by Inside Lacrosse, so this is far from a developmental player.
If, and it is a BIG if, Ohio State can get Cmiel to come to Columbus, it would be a major coup for Coach Myers as he looks to complete the 2020 class. It would also go a long way to getting Ohio State on the forefront of the in-state talent that has been leaving for schools elsewhere, either on the coast or to Notre Dame.
After talking about an Ohio kid, we'll move back to the more traditional shores of lacrosse recruitment. Will Tominovich is a defenseman for St. Mary's in the MIAA of Maryland. He was a HS teammate of future Buckeye Garrett Nilsen, and earned all-MIAA honors as a pole this past year.
Tominovich is a current Georgetown commit who dropped off the OSU radar a few months ago, due to his committed status, but recently popped back up after the close of the MIAA season. I don't know if it's a look at the OSU depth chart, or watching several Buckeyes ransack the St. Mary's team in the MIAA title game, but Tominovich has suddenly at least showed enough interest to float the possibility that a flip could happen.
With Henry Watson, Diego Zimmerman, and Jack Graffagnino already in the fold, Tominovich would solidify another exceptional defensive haul.
I promised I would talk about them a little here last week, and I try to be a man of my word, but I don't believe that George and Norman Pitt will end up in a Buckeye uniform, even if they'd be a good addition to the squad.
Twins from Canada, the Pitts are box guys through and through. They've got 2-man games for days, and it appears that much of Admiral Farragut's offense is simply "let the Pitt boys do something." In fairness, they are very good at running an offense.
Their lacrosse IQ is exceptional, even if their athletic ability is just slightly above average. As attackmen, that would be less of an issue, but I don't think the Buckeyes have room in the offensive end to give 2 of 3 spots to them.
As middies they might find a home, but it would require essentially building the offense around them. Which, having watched some of the late games in the season again, might not be the worst idea. Regardless, I think the Florida pair will find a home in D1, but it won't be in Columbus.
Finally, the Buckeyes seem to be in the market for a goalkeeper in the 2020 class. Shocking, I know. It remains to be seen if any or the prospects involved will pull the trigger, but right now at least 3 different players are in the mix.
Max Nolan, a Bucknell commit who plays for Bergen Catholic in New Jersey, is on the radar. Nolan was 2nd-team All-State, and boasted a save percentage of 65%.
Michael Simone, goalkeeper for Smithtown West in New York, is also a guy the Buckeyes are looking at. Simone anchored the defense for a team that was nationally ranked this season, before getting knocked out of the state playoffs much earlier than they would have liked.
And finally, Nicholas Pecora, keeper for Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, rounds out the group of candidates that seem most likely to join the ranks. Pecora was All-League for Deerfield this spring, 1 of 5 players to do so for the squad.
Any of these players would be a solid addition to the goalie rotation, though I would say that Max Nolan would be the most accomplished at this point. In any case, it is not a lock that any of these keepers will be on the roster. But it sure is fun to speculate!
Currently, the 2020 class is solid, if unspectacular. Having just 10 commitments after pulling in the most talented class in Buckeye history will make things seem a bit less shiny than it actually is.
And in relation to the other B1G squads, 2020 is not exactly crushing the competition. It's a long way until November, however, so the staff has plenty of time to get things back on track.