Ohio State's offensive line recruiting is already off to a tremendous start for the Class of 2019. In West Virginia's Doug Nester and Mentor's Ryan Jacoby, the Buckeyes have a pair of four-star prospects who should bring some versatility to the trenches.
At 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, Nester has the ideal size to man one of the tackle spots. Jacoby isn't quite as massive (6-foot-5, 270), but he may actually may be the more likely of the two to help fill the void at tackle. They both have another season to develop, so there's still a lot of room for improvement.
The importance of landing Nicholas Petit-Frere this past February can't be overstated, but there's still a big need in the trenches; especially at tackle. In the state of Ohio, there are just two remaining offensive line prospects who hold Buckeye offers. And the recruitments of Jonathan Allen and Zeke Correll appear to be trending in different directions.
Allen – a Dayton Dunbar product – received his Ohio State offer just this past week after previously stating that said offer would be a game-changer in his recruitment. At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, he's got the measurables but is the very definition of a raw prospect. The bulk of his upbringing has been on the hardwood and he's experienced just one season on the gridiron.
The tackle had previously mentioned Ohio State as one of his top schools, and that was before the offer was even extended. He was in Columbus back in February and is planning on making an unofficial visit today.
Rated as the No. 17 player in Ohio and No. 461 nationally, there hasn't been a whole lot of hoopla surrounding this recruitment. But when you consider that he's still new to the game, appears to have tremendous athleticism, and holds offers from offensive line factories like Wisconsin and Iowa, then I think there's no reason to fret over the fact that has just three little stars next to his name.
The Buckeyes are expected to take 2-3 tackles in the 2019 class, and the recruitment of Dunbar's starting left tackle is certainly trending up. It would hardly be a surprise if this one were to be wrapped up in the near future.
The recruitment of Cincinnati's (Anderson) Zeke Correll looks to be in a much different place. Thanks, in part, to Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.
Correll is the country's No. 9 guard prospect and the fifth-ranked player in the state of Ohio. He's a Kentucky legacy, but his recruitment is now down to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Stanford. The four-star has made numerous trips to Columbus and South Bend – where his brother attends law school – and it's very likely to come down to the Buckeyes and Irish.
Correll is a pure interior line prospect, and it's been reported that Ohio State likes him as more of a center. That may be where things get a bit tricky because the Buckeyes have clearly honed in on four-star Harry Miller as the top center target. The Georgia native seems destined for Columbus or Palo Alto, and a decision could come this summer.
Because the aforementioned Doug Nester may also project as an interior lineman, the remaining need for centers and guards likely isn't going to compare to that of tackles.
One would think the staff could bring in Miller at center, Correll at guard, Nester as a guard/tackle, and then Jacoby plus another tackle or two. After all, we've long thought that five or six signees would be the goal along the offensive line.
Notre Dame hasn't been a national title contender for some time now, but there's no denying the player development that's taken place in the trenches. The Fighting Irish have also been known to pluck a few talented linemen from the Buckeyes from time to time.
Correll is slated to take his official visits in June, and as of now Ohio State is expected to get the last shot; though a decision date has yet to be finalized. His crystal ball once read 100 percent in favor of the Buckeyes, but there's no question the Irish are surging for one of the state's top prospects.