It's been a busy couple of weeks for Ohio State as the coaching staff has added several talented prospects to the mix. This includes the Buckeyes' top 2019 center target in four-star Harry Miller, former Spartan quarterback commit Dwan Mathis, and most recently one of the staff's top defensive back targets in Fort Lauderdale''s Jordan Battle.
Friday Night Lights and a slew of new pledges have catapulted Ohio State back into the top-six of the national team recruiting rankings. There are 13 commits in the fold, and Urban Meyer and the coaching staff will be on the prowl for another 10-12 before next February's national signing day.
Beyond the 2019 class, the Buckeyes are also building something special for the Class of 2020, and though we are still extremely early in the process, it has the looks of being one of the best we've seen under the Meyer regime.
I'm not sure one could ask for a better start to the class. The Buckeyes got the ball rolling in April when Jake Wray became the first to jump on board. The younger brother of 2018 early enrollee Max, the younger Wray is already 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds and checks in as the country's No. 165 prospect. He holds offers from Alabama and the bulk of the national powers.
We mentioned that it's been a busy couple of weeks, and the past four days have been especially exciting for 2020. Four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos became commitment No. 2 on Wednesday and became another in a long line of commitments/signees from Bradenton, Florida's IMG Academy. He's a versatile defender could can play a number of spots in the backfield.
The Cavazos commitment was planned and expected, but on Thursday night the Buckeyes landed one from seemingly out of the blue in five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. The Cincinnati St. Xavier lineman was 100 percent crystal balled to the Buckeyes, but an early pledge wasn't exactly expected as schools like Notre Dame and Stanford have also been heavily involved.
Johnson is a five-star prospect and is rated as the country's No. 8 overall player. At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, he looks as though he was assembled at some sort of plant that does nothing but create prototypical left tackle prospects.
So, to recap, the Buckeyes have two bookend tackles and a stud defensive back already on board. But where does Urban Meyer and Co. go from here? Can the 2020 class compare to the two most recent versions that Ohio State has put together?
I will be announcing my commitment this Sunday July 1st at 1PM central time!— Jack Miller (@jackjamesmiller) June 27, 2018
You'll probably want to stay dialed into the site later this afternoon when Jack Miller announces his college choice. We've long been talking about the Scottsdale signal-caller who may be Ohio State's top target at the position regardless of class. With Dwan Mathis and Jack Miller in the fold, the position would be in great hands for the foreseeable future. Crazy to think that quarterback was actually a slight concern just one week ago.
We are still 20 months away from signing day for the class of 2020, so it's really impossible to go too in depth on positional need, numbers, and other intricacies. However, there are a handful of other prospects – all of whom are rather highly touted – who have the Buckeyes at or near the top of their lists.
We've actually been told that at least a pair of 2020 prospects have attempted to commit in recent weeks but it was requested that they slow things down a bit. That's not a knock on the talent of the player by any means, but the Ohio State staff also has to consider the current class and it wouldn't be wise to potentially scare off anyone in the Class of 2019.
Looking around the class, the No. 1 prospect resides in Damascus, Maryland and the Buckeyes are a major player for defensive end Bryan Bresee. Ohio State is the crystal ball favorite, but Georgia and Penn State are also positioned quite nicely. Oak Park, Michigan's Justin Rogers is the country's No. 1 guard prospect. It would be a bit of shock if the Buckeyes missed out on the five-star. Rogers has been to Columbus countless times in the past year.
Four-star Illinois wideout A.J. Henning is very likely to see his recruitment come down to Ohio State and Notre Dame. The top two players in New Jersey are very much in play in athlete Jalen Berger and guard Luke Wypler. Fort Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas) linebacker Derek Wingo was on campus recently and the Buckeyes are the crystal ball favorite for the four-star.
Last week Ohio State extended an offer to tailback Darvon Hubbard and the Akron native (who now plays in Arizona alongside Miller) could hop on board in the near future. Ohio State remains the team to beat for Cincinnati defensive end Darrion Henry. He's the No. 2 player in the state and one of four Ohioans who have been offered.
Even with two tackles in the fold the Buckeyes are hard after Kansas' Turner Corcoran and four-star Aurora, Colorado tackle Reece Atteberry. The latter grew up rooting for the Buckeyes and hasn't been shy about his affinity for all things Urban Meyer.
Ohio State's 2017 class finished No. 2 in the country and included five five-star prospects with an average player rating of 94.59 per signee (total score of 312.14 for 21 signees). The 2018 crop also finished No. 2, included a trio of five-stars, and an average signee rating of 94.29 (total score of 317.06 for 26 signees).
So, could the 2020 class challenge the recent hauls of 2017 and 2018?
It's way too soon to tell – and there's still a lot of work to be done for 2019 – but there's clearly plenty of reason for excitement as a solid foundation has been set and the class is off and running. Look for that excitement to continue this afternoon when one of the country's top quarterbacks makes his intentions known.