Ohio State's spring game has come and gone and the weekend festivities ended with a new commitment for the Class of 2020. While Friday's pledge form Lejond Cavazos was expected, the overall returns from the weekend likely won't be realized for some time. As with every year, the annual scrimmage was a star-studded recruiting affair that was just as much about the 2021 class as it was the current cycle.
Ryan Day already has a commitment from five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, and the Pickerington (North) standout is the No. 2 overall prospect for the Class of 2021. Obviously that's one heck of an early start, and it's pretty scary to skim through the list of America's top prospects and see all the names that Ohio State is currently the frontrunner for.
Philadelphia (St. Joseph's) teammates Kyle McCord and Marvin Harrison Jr. have no doubt emerged as two of the Buckeyes' top 2021 targets. The quarterback-receiver duo were back in Columbus this past weekend, and by all accounts things could not have gone much better for Ryan Day and his coaching staff. Ohio State appears to be trending in such a way that a commitment could be on the horizon for each of the Pennsylvania stars.
There's been plenty of action over the last few weeks in regards to the 2020 class and beyond. One of the more intriguing storylines, however, has been Day's pursuit of a 2021 signal caller. Several of the country's top quarterbacks have visited Ohio State in recent weeks, including North Carolina's Drake Maye and Illinois' J.J. McCarthy. But it's becoming more and more clear that the Buckeyes may be zeroing in on McCord—the country's No. 8 quarterback for 2021 and another pro-style passer that Day covets.
St. Joseph's Prep is one of Pennsylvania's powerhouse programs and the school has collected four state titles over the last six years. As a sophomore and first-year starter, McCord completed 26 of 37 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns in the team's championship game victory over Harrisburg. His season stats were also impressive as he connected on 201 of 302 attempts for 2,883 yards and 38 scores against some solid competition.
To give you an idea on the program's level of competition, this coming season the Hawks will face Washington D.C St. John's and Bradenton, Florida's IMG Academy in consecutive weeks. St. John's is the home of five-star Buckeye targets Rakim Jarrett and Mekhail Sherman. Everyone knows about IMG Academy and the talent it produces, including four-star Ohio State pledge Lejond Cavazos.
McCord's top target last season is now the country's No. 6 wide receiver prospect. Marvin Harrison Jr. hauled in eight passes for 76 yards in the state title victory and is already being chased by several Big Ten and SEC programs. The 6-foot-4, 174-pounder clearly has some solid bloodlines and he's visited Ohio State multiple times already this year. The son of an NFL Hall of Famer, Harrison Jr.'s route running certainly seems more refined than most high school sophomores.
A lot has been said about Brian Hartline's recruiting efforts, and that's for good reason given the work that's been put in for the Class of 2020 and beyond. Right now the Buckeyes have an early lead for one of the best in class for 2021, and while there's still a long way to go, it's looking like a lead that won't soon be lost.
This was crazy... I got the opportunity to meet @Cantguardmike a couple of times this week. Someone I look up to as a player and a person. Appreciate the encouraging words. Unforgettable moment. #Zone6 #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/5c5H3HSS6V— Marvin Harrison Jr. (@MarvHarrisonJr) April 13, 2019
Neither Harrison Jr. or McCord have definitive commitment dates in mind; at least not for the time being. Quarterback recruiting is a different breed and it's looking like several 2021 dominos may start falling later this spring and into the summer. Harrison also has made it clear as to who's way out in front in his recruitment, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the duo hop on board by the time their junior season rolls around.
The Buckeyes still look to have one fairly big hurdle remaining and it comes in the form of Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers. Both McCord and Harrison Jr. have discussed making a trip before any sort of decision is made. The defending national champions are currently recruiting at an absurd level and are in line to nab the nation's top overall 2020 prospect – Maryland defensive end Bryan Bresee – when he announces his decision next week.
Going up against Clemson is a chore for any team on the trail, but right now Ryan Day has Ohio State in pole position for a pair of standouts from The City of Brotherly Love.