When Feb. 8 rolls around and the 2018 recruiting cycle is in the rear-view mirror, it's likely that the Buckeyes will have signed 12 Ohioans total in its last two recruiting classes. If you're more of a traditionalist and prefer to see upwards of 10 in-state signees in every single Ohio State recruiting class, then the 2019 haul may end up being more up your alley.
But quite honestly, that probably won't be the case.
With the NFL Draft decisions now behind us, the next wave of personnel moves will come via players not returning for fifth years and those who elect to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Thus, there won't be a crystal clear picture on team needs for some time now. The needs in 2019 are likely going to be similar to what the staff is working on now to close out the current cycle, so it's safe to expect that the emphasis will lie heavily in the trenches.
The good news is that the state of Ohio is looking pretty solid along both the offensive and defensive lines. A quick in-state snapshot shows who Urban Meyer and the Ohio State staff have already honed in on for the Class of 2019.
|Zach Harrison||DE||Lewis Center||★★★★★||No. 1 (No. 4)|
|Jowon Briggs||DT||Cincinnati||★★★★||No. 2 (No. 65)|
|Nolan Rumler||OT||Akron||★★★★||No. 3 (No. 78)|
|Cade Stover||OLB/DE||Lexington||★★★★||No. 4 (No. 102)|
|Noah Potter||DE||Mentor||★★★★||No. 9 (No. 244)|
|Zeke Correll||Guard||Cincinnati||★★★★||No. 10 (No. 276)|
|Ryan Jacoby||OT||Mentor||★★★★||No. 12 (NA)|
Of the seven prospects who have already been offered, Rumler is a Michigan legacy and has already pledged to the Wolverines, Briggs may very well be leaning toward the Fighting Irish, but the Buckeyes are in a solid spot for each of the remaining five.
Zach Harrison has already earned the "freak" label and may very well be the state's top player of the last decade or so. We had Jackson Carman No. 1 on our recruiting board for this entire cycle, and here's a little #SpoilerAlert: Harrison will also earn that distinction when next year's version is unveiled. Some had Carman labeled as a must-get, but the top player for 2019 is even more deserving of that status. Penn State is coming hard after the Lewis Center star, and this really seems like a battle Ohio State has to (and should) win.
It seems like it's been "only a matter of time" for Cade Stover ever since he was offered back in March. The versatile Lexington defender is still among the uncommitted, but it would be a mild shock if he didn't end up in Columbus. Michigan, Notre Dame, and others have all come calling since the Buckeye offer. Stover has made multiple trips to Happy Valley this year as well.
Mentor's Noah Potter was offered in October and teammate Ryan Jacoby earned that same honor just last week. The Buckeyes are the team to beat for the duo. Zeke Correll – the country's No. 10 guard prospect – hails from the Queen City and is a University of Kentucky legacy. Notre Damme, Penn State, and Wisconsin have also offered the four-star His crystal ball is almost 100 percent Ohio State with the lone exception being the usual Notre Dame insider.
The class will of course feature an in-state flavor, but getting up into double digits is going to be tricky. As with every other year, the staff's goal is to bring in the best players, whether they reside in New Albany or Alaska. Assuming the Buckeyes once again sign 22-25, I'd expect there to be 6-7 from within the state, though it's impossible to predict who's going to burst onto the scene between now and February of 2019.
Ohio has some extremely talented lineman in the coming class, but the Buckeyes' focus will likely be elsewhere when it comes to the skill positions and the defensive backfield. Some will be clamoring for more or once again questioning the talent pool within the state, but I can't imagine another top-three ranked recruiting class would lead to too many complaints.