Quarterback recruiting is a beast of its own.
Landing one of the nation's top signal-callers often can help define a recruiting class. The Buckeyes have had no shortage of those lately as the staff has brought in Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell over the last two years. Haskins was the nation's No. 7 pro-style passer while Martell was the No. 2 dual-threat for 2017.
The best of the bunch, however, may still be yet to come.
Five-star Emory Jones made his Ohio State pledge last summer, and the Franklin, Georgia star has been targeted by programs like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida State ever since that time. Still, things remain quite well between the Buckeyes and their prized commit as Jones has helped to spearhead a class that checks in at No. 2 in the nation.
From a national perspective, the 2018 quarterback class got a lot more chaotic on Tuesday when Justin Fields – the No. 6 prospect in the country – backed off of his Penn State pledge.
With several of the nation's premier programs now caught up in the struggle that is 2018 quarterback recruiting, the relief of already have one of the nation's best in the fold is as apparent as ever before.
|Prospect||Hometown||RaTING||Nat./Pos. RANK||Commit Status|
|TREVOR LAWRENCE||Cartersville, GA||★★★★★||No. 1 (No. 1PRO)||Clemson|
|JUSTIN FIELDS||Kennesaw, GA||★★★★★||No. 6 (No. 1 DT)||Uncommitted|
|MATT CORRAL||Long Beach, CA||★★★★★||No. 17 (No. 2 PRO)||USC|
|EMORY JONES||Franklin, GA||★★★★★||No. 24 (No. 2 DT)||Ohio State|
|JACOB SIRMON||Bothell WA||★★★★★||No. 25 (No. 3 PRO)||Washington|
|DORIAN THOMPSON-ROBINSON||Las Vegas, NV||★★★★||No. 41 (No. 3 DT)||UCLA|
|PHIL JURKOVEC||Gibsonia, PA||★★★★||No. 53 (No. 4 DT)||Notre Dame|
|TANNER MCKEE||Corona, CA||★★★★||No. 57 (No. 4 PRO)||Uncommitted|
|ARTUR STIKOWSKI||Old Bridge, NJ||★★★★||No. 64 (No. 5 PRO)||Miami|
|COLSON YANKOFF||Coeur d'Alene, ID||★★★★||No. 80 (No. 5 DT)||Washington|
The Fields' decommitment is likely going to go down as one of the more pivotal moments of the 2018 cycle. Penn State now has to circle back and evaluate its options all the while a half dozen other programs appear to be legitimate contenders for the country's top-ranked dual-threat passer.
When looking at some of the nation's best in the class, a few things stand out right away. First of all, the state of Georgia is absolutely loaded at the position, and it's not a good look that Kirby Smart hasn't gotten in on any of that action; at least not yet.
It's also pretty apparent that – as things stand right now – Chris Petersen's Huskies are on track to have one heck of a quarterback room over the next several years. Washington has two of the country's top passers while several traditional SEC powers, Florida State, and now Penn State are all still looking for someone to line up under center.
There certainly are a number of other talented quarterbacks outside of the top ten, but right now the Justin Fields sweepstakes is the hottest topic in the college football recruiting world. Georgia, Florida State, Florida, and Auburn are just a few of the programs who are in hot pursuit.
Fields' crystal ball shows just how interesting this one is expected to get.
For the Buckeyes, it's a bit of a luxury to be able to relax a bit and focus on other areas of need, but the staff is certainly aware that there are a number of programs – including Nick Saban's Crimson Tide – who are still on the lookout for a quarterback.
Urban Meyer and Co. have offered just five 2018 quarterbacks, and not a single one of them received the offer after Jones made his intentions known. For comparison's sake, Georgia has now extended offers to 22 while Bama is looking at 19 at the position.
The domino effect that stems from quarterback recruiting is much more noticeable than that of others since the typical class features just one player at the position. With the tendency to commit fairly early in the process, these players commonly take on a leadership role much like they do on the field.
The Buckeyes continue to benefit from Emory Jones' leadership as the five-star has been instrumental in the recruitments of blue chips like Brenton Cox and Teradja Mitchell, two of Ohio State's most recent pledges.
Meanwhile, Penn State and a number of other programs are still waiting to get theirs.