SAN ANTONIO - In a little over 24 hours, 90 of the nation's best high school seniors will take the field at the Alamodome in San Antonio for the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Ohio State will once again be well-represented with nine signees invited to the game, leading all programs for the fourth-consecutive year — Miami has the second most with six.
- U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL
- SATURDAY, JAN. 6 @ 1:00 P.M. EST
- ALAMODOME - SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
- FULL ROSTER
Of this year's 22 signees, the following are set to play on Saturday:
|NAME||POSITON||STARS||HIGH SCHOOL||ALL-AMERICAN TEAM|
|JAELEN GILL||RB||★★★★★||WESTERVILLE (OH) SOUTH||EAST|
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||★★★★★||LINDENHURST (NY)||EAST|
|TARON VINCENT||DT||★★★★★||BRADENTON (FL) IMG ACADEMY||EAST|
|DALLAS GANT||LB||★★★★||TOLEDO (OH) ST. JOHN'S JESUIT||EAST|
|TYREKE JOHNSON||CB||★★★★||JACKSONVILLE (FL) TRINITY CHRISTIAN||EAST|
|MAX WRAY||OT||★★★★||FRANKLIN (TN)||EAST|
|KAMRYN BABB||WR||★★★★||ST. LOUIS (MO) CHRISTIAN BROTHERS COLLEGE||WEST - WILL NOT PLAY, ACL|
|JOSH PROCTOR||S||★★★★||OWASSO (OK)||WEST - WILL NOT PLAY, ANKLE|
|TOMMY TOGIAI||DT||★★★★||POCATELLO (ID) HIGHLAND||WEST|
The way Ruckert and Johnson have taken their play to another level during practices this week, it wouldn't come as a shock to see either have a rather large impact on the game and take home Most Valuable Player after leading the East to a rather convincing win.
At last year's event, Ohio State awaited college decisions from five-star cornerbacks Jeffrey Okudah and Darnay Holmes and four-star safety Bubba Bolden. Things are a bit different this time around, though, as only 23 of the 90 players attending the game did not put pen to paper during college football's first Early Signing Period.
All that said, there are still a few players set to announce during Saturdays telecast:
|NAME||POSITION||STARS||HIGH SCHOOL||FINALISTS (FAVORITE IN BOLD)|
|BRENDAN "BOOKIE" RADLEY-HILES||CB||★★★★||BRADENTON (FL) IMG ACADEMY||Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UCLA|
|RONDALE MOORE||WR||★★★★||LOUISVILLE (KY) TRINITY||Louisville, Purdue|
|CHRIS MURRAY||OG||★★★★||SANTA ANA (CA) MATER DEI||Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA|
|J.J. PETERSON||★★★★||MOLTRIE (GA) COLQUITT COUNTY||Alabama, Tennessee|
|AMON-RA ST. BROWN||WR||★★★★★||SANTA ANA (CA) MATER DEI||Notre Dame, Stanford, USC|
Ohio State had early interest in Moore, who recently decommitted from Texas. He'll likely be Jeff Brohm's first real weapon in West Lafayette, though. St. Brown, meanwhile, included the Buckeyes among his schools last summer, but recently narrowed his list to three.
MORE REASONS TO WATCH
ADDRESSING A NEED
When Fairfield five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman committed to Clemson last month, it left Ohio State with only one offensive tackle in the class in the aforementioned Wray. With starting left tackle Jamarco Jones having exhausted his eligibility and a glaring lack of depth being him, the position is something the Buckeyes absoultely have to address by the traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
Maryland four-star Rasheed Walker and Florida four-star William Barnes, both of whom plan to take an official visit to Columbus later this month, will suit up for the East on Saturday. They've each had strong weeks in San Antonio, and the game will be a great opportunity to compare and contrast their play to Carman's.
OTHER TOP TARGETS
Florida five-star cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain II have also eyed official visits to Ohio State, though the Buckeyes only anticipated taking two players at the position this cycle. Four-star Sevyn Banks is the only true cornerback in the class, while Johnson's position is up for debate as he's shown the elite athleticism that would translate to anywhere in the secondary.
Campbell and Surtain will show why they're the top-rated cornerbacks in the country on Saturday, and it'll be interesting to see if Ohio State makes a real push for either thereafter. It's highly unlikely they end up playing their college ball in Columbus, though, with several other big-time schools closer to home sure to ramp up their pursuit, as well.
ANY ROOM LEFT?
Ohio State already holds commitments from three linebackers in four-stars Teradja Mitchell, K'Vaughan Pope and the aforementioned Gant, but is set to welcome California five-star Solomon Tuliaupupu for an official visit later this month.
Most recruiting analysts believe he'll end up at USC thanks to proximity and his Polynesian roots, but he was blown away by his first and only trip to Columbus for the Spring Game last April. The Buckeyes are seemingly the only program that can pry him away from the Trojans, and they'll likely have the final chance to impress before a decision comes on Feb. 7.
Ohio State has limited spots remaining in the class, but would certainly make room for a player of Tuliaupupu's caliber — the same goes for Campbell and Surtain, too. But distance may ultimately prove to be too big of a factor.