Ryan Day may be on the verge of something special.
We've barely reached the spring and the sports world is at a standstill, but it's time to start talking about what Ryan Day's 2021 recruiting class has the potential to become. The NCAA-mandated dead period has surprisingly boosted the Buckeyes' class and extended the lead over Clemson atop the national recruiting rankings.
Ohio State already has a pair of five-stars in the fold with Pickerington's Jack Sawyer and Philadelphia quarterback Kyle McCord. Some more good news is likely on the way as Tony Alford appears to be on the cusp of adding one of the nation's top tailbacks in TreVeyon Henderson. The addition of the five-star Virginia standout would only add to Ryan Day's two-week commitment barrage.
It seems as though every cycle there's that moment when you take a look at the Ohio State recruiting class and get the feeling that it could be one of the best ever. The Buckeyes are always up toward the top of the leaderboard with Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, and the rest of the nation's elite. But this time we truly are getting the sense that the class may be able to reach some new heights.
Urban Meyer's top recruiting classes came back in 2013 and 2017. While the 2017 version featured the highest total score of the Meyer era, it was the 2013 class that helped to win a national title and saw six players go on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. With the likes of Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis, the 2017 class also has a chance to reach that same number.
The Class of 2013 finished No. 2 in the country with a total of 303.35 points and an average commit rating of 93.14. As a point of reference, that 93.14 equates to a solid four-star rating (with five-stars starting around the 98 range). The 2017 haul also finished second, but it totaled 312.14 with an absurd average rating of 94.59. The class may have been No. 2, but the average player rating was tops in the country.
Because all of the 2013 signees have come and gone and the same can be said for many from 2017, the only way to really compare them with Ryan Day's current collection is based on the stars and rankings. When looking at it from that perspective, the Class of 2021 is sitting pretty with a higher average rating than 2017 (95.09 vs. 94.59) and has a realistic shot at matching the number of five-stars (5) from that same class.
When TreVeyon Henderson makes his intentions known, he's expected to be commitment No. 15 and the third of the five-star variety. Day and his staff will then likely have room for another 8-10 additions before all is said and done, and Ohio State continues to be in a tremendous spot for several other high-end 2021 targets.
Five-star Washington wide receiver Emeka Egbuka seems to be coming down to an Ohio State vs. Clemson battle. Egbuka is the country's top pass-catcher and No. 9 overall prospect. Fort Lauderdale's Troy Stellato is another wideout who's down to the Buckeyes and Tigers, and he's looking to decide by the end of the summer. The fact that a Stellato addition (listed at No. 141 nationally) would actually lower the Buckeyes' class average tells you just how well things are going on the trail.
The defensive line and secondary are the biggest remaining areas of need, though Kerry Coombs did add three defensive backs to the fold last week. Priority targets like Derrick Davis Jr., Tony Grimes, Jantzen Dunn, and perhaps Gator commit Kamar Wilcoxson all remain as options in the backfield. Five-star J.T. Tuimoloau and New Jersey's Tywone Malone are among the key targets for Larry Johnson as he looks to add another three or four in the trenches.
Quarterback recruiting has been done with McCord. Running back recruiting is nearing its conclusion. Wide receiver is sitting pretty and Al Washington may be finished already with Reid Carrico and Cincinnati athlete Jaylen Johnson at linebacker. The class is filling up at a rapid pace, but there's still plenty of work to be done.
The 247 Sports class calculator is a nice little tool to play around with. And while it's important to realize that these rankings are going to be updated multiple times and Ohio State still has to work to keep the current commitments solid and in the fold, the calculator can give us an idea of where things may be heading.
- Potential Additions: RB TreVeyon Henderson, WR Troy Stellato, OL J.C. Latham, OL Jager Burton, TE Jack Pugh, DL J.T. Tuimoloau, DL Tunmise Adeleye, DB Derrick Davis Jr., DB Jantzen Dunn
With the above additions (which are absolutely realistic though not an official prediction), the class would jump up to 23 commitments and a total score of 320.20. There's a long way to go and plenty more twists and turns to unfold, but that potential 23-man haul for the 2021 class would surpass any that Meyer was able to assemble during his time in Columbus.
Not bad for what will only be Ryan Day's second recruiting class.