As winter comes to a close and spring begins, high school football schedules are solidifying for this fall.
We already know that several of Ohio State's 2021 commitments will face high-profile tests during their senior seasons, starting right away in week one. Jack Sawyer, Kyle McCord, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jayden Ballard will all be playing big games against out-of-state opponents to begin their final year of high school football in late August.
Aug. 28, 2020: Bishop Gorman (NV) at Massillon Washington (OH)
The opening night of high school football in Ohio will feature Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman coming to the Buckeye State to take on the historic Massillon Washington program at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
The Massillon Washington Tigers are led by four-star Ohio State wide receiver commit Jayden Ballard, who will be looking to kick off his senior season with a bang on a national stage. While the Bishop Gorman Gaels do not have the firepower that they have in some past years, they are still loaded with Division I recruits.
The current headliners for Bishop Gorman are 2022 four-star Oregon running back commit Jaydn Ott and 2022 four-star defenders Cyrus Moss and Zion Branch, all of whom are garnering national recruiting interest. However, the Tigers are the defending Division II runner up in the state of Ohio and return plenty of talent that will make this an interesting game.
Aug. 29, 2020: St. Joseph's Prep (PA) at Shadow Creek (TX)
Five-star quarterback commit Kyle McCord and four-star wide receiver commit Marvin Harrison Jr. will travel to the Lone Star State to take on the defending 5A Texas state champs for their opening game of the season.
Entering their third high school season together, this future Buckeye duo will be chasing their third straight Pennsylvania state championship in 2021. Their season will not start easy, however, as the two have to face a very good Shadow Creek team led by two 2021 three-star defenders in Terrence Cooks and Jaylen Lane with three-star dual-threat quarterback Kyron Drones manning the offense.
That said, St. Joseph's Prep faced a very tough national schedule last fall and came out better because of it. Shadow Creek's defensive firepower will be a good opening test for McCord's arm and Harrison Jr. on the outside. After getting injured late last season, McCord is on a mission to prove he is the best quarterback in the 2021 class, while Harrison will look to show he is the class' top receiver.
Aug. 30, 2020: Nazareth Academy (IL) at Pickerington North (OH)
The final game of the opening weekend for current 2021 Ohio State commits is a rivalry before the real rivalry.
This game features Ohio State's top-ranked recruit in the 2021 class, five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, facing off against Michigan's top-ranked recruit in the 2021 class, four-star quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy. Illinois-based Nazareth Academy boasts a handful of Division I football recruits and is one of the best programs in its state.
Beyond McCarthy, Nazareth's other stars include 2021 three-star defensive end Ryan Keeler and 2022 four-star wide receiver Tyler Morris, whom the Buckeyes are interested in. The headline attraction of this game will of course be Sawyer attempting to bring down McCarthy, but the Illinois-based power will bring a talented and sound team to the Buckeye State for a game that will no doubt help Sawyer prepare for his time in Columbus.