Julian Fleming's reputation continues to rise as the day for his early enrollment at Ohio State draws nearer.
Fleming, a five-star receiver and the Buckeyes' top senior commit, was ranked No. 1 overall in ESPN's latest Top 300 rankings for the 2020 class that came out Tuesday. He took the spot of running back Zachary Evans, who moved down to No. 7.
If Fleming holds onto the top spot, he would be the first receiver ranked No. 1 overall in the history of ESPN's Top 300 rankings. ESPN's highest-rated receivers all-time were Percy Harvin (2006) and Julio Jones (2008), who each finished No. 2 overall.
Fleming is a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Southern Colombia (Pa.) High School who recently broke Pennsylvania's all-time state receiving yards and receiving touchdowns record. He is the gem of Ryan Day and Brian Hartline's 2020 class, but he was close to heading elsewhere.
"For a while, I thought I was going to Penn State, then for a while I thought I was going to Clemson, and then I just finally settled down and figured it out," Fleming told ESPN. "It was just the at-home feeling and their players. [Ohio State] puts their players first and all my visits there, I had countless hours with all the players, so I really got the college vibe right away."
Other Buckeye recruits rank high
Fleming isn't the only future Buckeye who ranked high on the latest list from ESPN.
Paris Johnson Jr., a 6-foot-7, 290-pound left tackle from Cincinnati's Princeton High School, was ranked No. 15 overall. Offensive lineman Luke Wypler was ranked No. 32, while Clark Phillips III (No. 93) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 94) each ranked in the Top 100 as well.
In addition to the five players in the top 100, the Buckeyes have 11 more commits ranked in the top 300, giving them the second most top-300 commits (16) in the 2020 class behind Alabama (19).
The rest include Mookie Cooper (No. 109), Jacolbe Cowan (No. 130), Cody Simon (No. 136), Lathan Ransom (No. 160), Darrion Henry (No. 173), Gee Scott Jr. (No. 198), Ryan Watts III (No. 239), Kourt Williams (No. 246), Lejond Cavazos (No. 280), Grant Toutant (No. 281) and Jack Miller (No. 288).