Thanks to a massive two weeks on the recruiting trail in late June and early July, Ohio State’s yet-to-be-named 2020 recruiting class is already one of the nation’s best — and to think there is still nearly 17 months until the Early Signing Period.
The Buckeyes landed an early commitment from Georgia four-star offensive tackle Jake Wray, the brother of freshman Max Wray, back in April. But the class finally took off when IMG Academy four-star cornerback Lejond Cavazos committed to the staff on June 27.
Cincinnati St. Xavier five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. surprisingly pulled the trigger the next day, and the class grew to four by the end of the week when Arizona four-star quarterback Jack Miller III admitted the inevitable and pledged his services to Ohio State.
New Jersey four-star offensive guard Luke Wypler, who has been earmarked for center at the next level, then committed to the Buckeyes over Stanford the following weekend.
In the weeks since, all five commits have taken an active role in recruiting some of the nation’s best prospects to join them in Columbus. That’s exactly what needs to happen, too, if this class is going to be among the best in program history — if not in the history of 247Sports’ Team Recruiting Rankings.
So with that said, let’s take a look at Ohio State’s top targets on the offensive side of the ball.
QUARTERBACK - 1/1-2
Ohio State landed its top target at the position when Miller committed at the beginning of this month, but staff may look to add a second signal caller next cycle if there is some unexpected attrition on the current roster.
Bailey is in the conversation with Miller to be the best quarterback in the class, so it’s highly unlikely he’d want to competition when he can be “the guy” somewhere else. It’s much more conceivable to think, then, the Buckeyes will add a developmental prospects like Dixon or Suggs — though the later is also a five-star point guard and his future appears to be on the hardwood — or an in-state prospect like Crenshaw, who just led Pickerington Central to the state title last season.
RUNNING BACK - 0/2-3
With there still some uncertainty as to whether or not four-star commit Steele Chambers plays running back or linebacker at the next level, Ohio State will look to restock its backfield next cycle — and there are a ton of options to choose from.
Milton, though he’ll be a tough pull from the West Coast, has established a great relationship with running backs coach Tony Alford and is eyeing a visit this fall. Hubbard is originally from Akron and has not been shy about his affinity for the program. The same goes for Drennen, who will likely be an H-Back at the next level like his cousin Jaelen Gill.
Smith — the son of Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith — visited this spring, but that will be an uphill battle as the Buckeyes battle his father’s alma mater, Florida. And Bowman, last but not least, called Ohio State his dream school despite the fact that he’s never been to campus.
WIDE RECEIVER - 0/4
TARGETS: Florida five-star Marcus Rosemy, Pennsylvania five-star Julian Fleming, Illinois four-star A.J. Henning, Michigan four-star Rashawn Williams, Washington D.C. four-star Rakim Jarrett, Michigan three-star Devell Washington
Ohio State will take as many as four wide receivers this cycle, and I anticipate that will be the case next cycle, as well.
Rosemy has never been to campus, but the Buckeyes’ ties to St. Thomas Aquinas will make things interesting. Henning and Fleming are considered Notre Dame and Penn State leans, respectively, but both have shown significant interest in Ohio State by visiting this spring — and I anticipate the Buckeyes will be in it until the end of their recruitments.
Ohio State could very well add a Washington and Williams in two-consecutive cycles (Marcus and Jameson this year), but will have to fend off home-state Michigan and Michigan State in order to land them both. And Jarrett may very well be the first commitment out of the group, having expressed heavy interest in the Buckeyes ahead of an unofficial visit later this month.
TIGHT END - 0/0-1
Ohio State’s top target at tight end was Kentucky four-star Michael Mayer, but he committed to Notre Dame earlier this month. He and Gilbert, though listed as an athlete, are the only prospects at the position the staff has offered thus far.
Despite his connections as the teammate of four-star offensive tackle commit Jake Wray, it’s unlikely the Buckeyes will be able to pull Gilbert away from Georgia. That means tight end will likely boil down to a late-blooming in-state prospect, such as Caudill, Daugstrup or Lachey, who proves their worth during camp next summer.
*Hasn't received an offer
OFFENSIVE LINE - 3/5-6
COMMITS: Johnson, Wray, Wypler
Ohio State is off to a tremendous start with its Johnson, Wray and Wypler already in the fold. But the offensive line remains a top priority for the staff, especially given the fact that they’re unlikely to reach their goal of five or six top-flight linemen and may decide against reaching for a developmental prospect in the current cycle.
Rogers has long been linked with the Buckeyes, and his double-digit visits would suggest it’s only a matter of time before he makes the call — though he’s said he won’t commit until his birthday next fall. That ultimately might leave Atteberry and Corcoran fighting for just one spot in the class, though the staff certainly hopes it can fit both. If that happens, we may be looking at the best offensive line haul in the country, if not of all time.