Ryan Day, Buckeyes Likely to Reevaluate Some Familiar Names Leading Up to February's National Signing Day

By Andrew Ellis on December 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Ryan Day and the Buckeyes still have plenty of options for 2019.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The early signing period was mostly pretty good to Ryan Day and the Buckeyes. Yes, Jordan Battle flipped to Alabama and Dwan Mathis randomly decided to sign with Georgia, but overall it was a pretty solid showing for Day. It's never easy to deal with a bit of coaching turmoil, and I'd say things certainly could have gone a lot worse.

Speaking about his newly signed players last Wednesday, Day made it pretty clear that space was an issue for the Class of 2019. Ohio State has signed 15 players thus far and will work to keep four-star West Virginia lineman Doug Nester in the fold. Nester was the first commitment for the class but is now considering Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Georgia as well.

When asked about the possibility of some new additions leading up to February's traditional signing day (Feb. 6), Day did note that he and his fellow coaches do "need to do a really good job" of identifying the talent who is still on the board and seeing who they can get.

Ohio State's season will reach its culmination on Jan. 1st, and the staff should then have plenty of time to reevaluate some existing options and perhaps even extend a few new offers. We look at some remaining prospects to watch closely over the next six weeks.

M.J. Devonshire • Cornerback • Aliquippa, PA • ★★★ • Nat. Rank: No. 486

Ohio State has a bit of a problem right now in that it doesn't have a single cornerback signed or committed for 2019. The aforementioned loss of Jordan Battle makes this a position of great need leading up to national signing day. The Buckeyes may very well elect to extend some new offers, but the most likely option may be turning up the heat on a familiar target. 

Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, M.J. Devonshire isn't one of the bigger corners we've gotten used to seeing at Ohio State. Still, he's a guy who was offered early on in the process and has long been talked about as a 2019 option. He resides in prime Pitt Panther territory, but some feel this is a recruitment the Buckeyes can win if they elect to push. West Virginia is also a strong contender for the country's No. 50 corner.

Dawand Jones • Offensive Tackle • Indianapolis, Indiana • ★★★ • Nat. Rank: 1020

Mentor's Ryan Jacoby is the lone offensive tackle signee for Greg Studrawa and the Buckeyes, and the position remains a need for 2019. Kevin Wilson has been all over the recruitment of three-star Indy tackle Dawand Jones, and the 6-foot-8, 360-pounder has seen his recruitment explode in recent months. 

Jones has earned offers from Michigan, Penn State, Auburn, Florida, USC, and Oregon and his recruitment seems nowhere close to complete. He's set to take a few more visits in January and the Buckeyes appear to be in line for an official. The massive tackle also holds offers on the hardwood which adds an extra level of athletic appeal.

Florida State and USC have seemed like the top competition but in the last 24 hours a pair of Seminole insiders have submitted crystal ball picks for the Buckeyes. 

Jonathan Allen • Offensive Tackle • Dayton, Ohio • ★★★ • Nat. Rank: No. 778

Ohio State offered Dayton Dunbar offensive tackle Jonathan Allen back in May, and many (myself included) thought it was only a matter of time until he was a part of the 2019 class. Allen made numerous visits and performed in front of the staff several times, but it just never ended up happening and he's seemed like an afterthought ever since. 

With the need for tackles still lingering, the Buckeyes may elect to look into the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder once again. Allen will sign in February and his top five includes Indiana, Duke, Cincinnati, Penn State, and Ohio State. Right now it's looking like the Hoosiers and Bearcats may be the top options.

Tre'Von Morgan • Wide Receiver • Massillon, Ohio • ★★★ • Nat. Rank No. 680

Massillon Washington wideout Tre'Von Morgan suffered a collarbone injury in the spring which slowed up his recruitment a bit. The three-star did manage to add two inches and several pounds of muscle to his frame which is now listed at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds. He held a number of MAC offers early on, but since his body transformation over the offseason Morgan has added several power-five offers. 

Iowa State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Michigan State, and TCU have all extended offers to the state's No. 28 prospect. Morgan has officially visited Iowa State and plans on taking his remaining officials before signing in February. Penn State is another program that's shown interest of late.

As for the Buckeyes, Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams are already signed at wide receiver, but perhaps Morgan is a guy who could be viewed as a bit of a wideout/tight end hybrid? This should be one of the more interesting in-state recruitments to watch and we'll see if Ohio State makes any sort of push with the limited space remaining.

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