Four-Star California Quarterback C.J. Stroud the Last Remaining Piece in Ryan Day's 2020 Recruiting Class?

By Andrew Ellis on December 4, 2019 at 11:05 am
C.J. Stroud may help to complete Ryan Day's first recruiting class.
Via @CJ7STROUD
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Ryan Day's first recruiting class continues to impress.

The first Wednesday of every month is when we like to update our board for Ohio State's current recruiting class. With the early signing period beginning just two weeks from today and Ryan Day's class nearing capacity, we've reached the point where a full board update just isn't feasible. 

Ohio State has 25 commitments in the 2020 class with one of those – Cincinnati kicker Jake Seibert – expected to arrive as a grayshirt. The expectation has long been for the class to end up in the 24-26 signee range, and that's precisely how things continue to trend for the Buckeyes—barring a late surprise, of course. 

Next month is when we'll unveil our first board for the star-studded Class of 2021, but there's still one big priority piece remaining as Day and his staff look to wrap things up for 2020. 

Tony Alford's running back saga had been the talk of the recruiting trail, but that situation was addressed a few weeks ago when three-star tailback Miyan Williams flipped from Iowa State. While there's still a chance to add another back, the transfer portal may be a more likely bet. 

Jeff Hafley's defensive backfield reload seems to be complete. Brian Hartline is set to bring in the best wide receiver class of all time. And six offensive linemen are on track to be added to Greg Studrawa's unit. 

There's a real shot that Ohio State's 2020 class is wrapped up by the end of December, and the staff's efforts may then fully turn to the College Football Playoff and then the Class of 2021. But the top remaining 2020 target is still out there and continues to look for the right college fit. 

We've been discussing the likelihood of adding a second quarterback ever since the departures of Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin. And right now, California's C.J. Stroud is unquestionably the top priority on the ever-shrinking 2020 recruiting board. 

Long-time Buckeye pledge Jack Miller is a tremendous quarterback, but Ryan Day and Mike Yurcich are clearly looking for more depth at the position. Stroud isn't someone who seems to be too enamored with the recruiting process, so it's been relatively quiet. He's a kid who oftentimes waits several weeks just to announce that a school has extended an offer. 

He announced the Ohio State offer on Oct. 8, but Day and Yurcich have been heavily involved dating all the way back to the summer months. Stroud's Elite 11 MVP performance and his subsequent senior campaign have brought more attention from the recruiting outlets and powerhouse programs. 

The 6-foot-2.5, 194-pounder was a three-star prospect on all of the recruiting outlets heading into the summer. He now checks in as a four-star and No. 81 nationally on 247Sports and surged up to No. 41 on yesterday's updated Rivals.com rankings. Georgia, Oregon, and Michigan are all among his recent offers. 

Stroud has made an official visit to Georgia and took an unofficial trip to Columbus on Oct. 6 for the Michigan State game. Baylor seems to be an afterthought after some early involvement and last weekend's planned trip to Oregon was canceled. With Stroud expected to sign during the early signing period (which begins Dec. 18), he's got two weeks to make a few more visits and reach a decision. 

The one remaining visit that does seem pretty locked in is the Dec. 14 official to Ohio State. That's certainly some good timing considering the looming signing period, but Georgia and Michigan (and perhaps even USC) continue to be involved and one or both could get a visit in the next two weeks. 

As a prospect, Stroud's 247Sports profile lists the player comparison as Dak Prescott. His film (below) shows a precise quarterback that can get out of the pocket and make all of the throws. He's not a Justin Fields type of athlete, but he certainly appears to be more mobile than a player like Dwayne Haskins. 

Some recent coaching turmoil is bound to lead to changes for a number of prospects, and there's always a chance Ohio State could get back into it with a few players of interest. But there's little question that C.J. Stroud will remain the priority target to help put a bow on the Class of 2020.

Ryan Day will look to use Ohio State's stellar play at the position and ties to quarterback trainer Quincy Avery to reel in another big 2020 piece. 

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