Even if Ohio State only signed the players who it already has committed for the recruiting class of 2021, the Buckeyes would still probably have one of the best recruiting classes in the country next year.
With this week’s commitments of four-star cornerback Jakailin Johnson, three-star cornerback Devonta Smith, four-star running back Evan Pryor and four-star defensive back Andre Turrentine, Ohio State already has 14 pledges for the class of 2021, tied with Florida for the most among all FBS teams.
That quantity comes with quality; those 14 prospects have an average 247Sports composite rating of 95.01, which ranks as the third-highest average among all 2021 recruiting classes behind only Michigan (which has only two commits) and Clemson (which has 10).
Cumulatively, Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 already has a composite class score of 268.81, which would have ranked 10th among the completed recruiting classes of 2020.
Ohio State’s recruiting efforts for the 2021 cycle got off to a strong start when they landed a commitment from five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer all the way back in February 2019, and the class has continued to get steadily stronger and stronger from there.
The Buckeyes’ class of 2021 already includes 11 commitments from players who rank among the top 150 prospects in the class, and it already includes at least one player in every major position group: one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one tight end, two offensive linemen, one defensive end, one defensive tackle, one linebacker and four defensive backs.
|WR||JAYDEN BALLARD, MARVIN HARRISON JR.|
|OL||BEN CHRISTMAN, DONOVAN JACKSON|
|CB||JAKAILIN JOHNSON, DEVONTA SMITH|
|S||JAYLEN JOHNSON, ANDRE TURRENTINE (CB)|
With 14 total commitments, Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 is filling up at a rapid and rarely seen pace. By comparison, only seven of Ohio State’s 2020 signees, only one of the Buckeyes’ 2019 signees and only two of the Buckeyes’ 2018 signees were committed by March.
The Buckeyes have done that without settling for second-rate talent. If their class of 2021 was now complete, the average composite rating per prospect would rank as the best for any recruiting class in Ohio State history. Only two of the Buckeyes’ current commitments are ranked as three-star prospects, tight end Sam Hart and cornerback Devonta Smith, and neither of them are far off from potentially reaching four-star status.
|Year||Commits||5★||4★||3★||Average Composite Rating|
Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 is currently on pace to be the Buckeyes’ first No. 1-ranked class since 1996, and at the least, it looks like a class that could stand right alongside Ohio State’s much-heralded recruiting class of 2017, which has yielded a trove of Buckeye stars including Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Shaun Wade, Wyatt Davis, J.K. Dobbins, Josh Myers, Baron Browning, Pete Werner and Thayer Munford.
The Buckeyes’ 2021 class is already loaded with potential future stars like Sawyer, five-star quarterback Kyle McCord and top-ranked guard Donovan Jackson, and with nine months to go until the early signing period, there’s still plenty of time for the class to get even stronger.
Ohio State remains heavy in pursuit for some of the class’ other top prospects – including top-three running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Donovan Edwards, five-star wide receiver Emeka Egubka, four-star wide receiver Troy Stellato, four-star offensive tackle JC Latham, four-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye, five-star defensive tackle J.T. Tuimoloau, five-star cornerback Tony Grimes and four-star safety Derrick Davis Jr. – and any one of them could add even more firepower to the Buckeyes’ already-exciting class.
The Buckeyes certainly aren’t going to get content with what they have and slow down their recruiting efforts now; instead, the commitments they already have will allow them to put even more effort (with assistance likely to come from the committed players making recruiting pitches of their own) into trying to land their other top targets who are still uncommitted.
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, though, Ohio State is already positioned to add promising talent to every position group just as long as all the players who are currently committed ultimately sign with the Buckeyes in December or February. And considering that it’s only March, in the midst of an unexpected dead period that could have slowed the Buckeyes down but instead only sped them up, that’s a really good position for Ryan Day and his staff to be in.