Commit Watch: Buckeyes on Track to Add to the 2021 Class, Top 2022 Targets Also on the Brink of Decisions?

By Andrew Ellis on May 23, 2020 at 1:15 pm
It's been a busy spring for Ryan Day and the Ohio State coaching staff.

Ohio State's commitment drought has reached two weeks.

After a flurry of commitments in March and April, has Ryan Day lost his touch on the trail? All jokes aside, things have slowed down a bit as the Buckeyes' recruiting efforts have been moving at a more typical pace thus far in May.

Day and his staff secured 10 new prospects in March and April. This month has seen a pair of additions in 2021 punter Jesse Mirco and 2022 athlete C.J. Hicks. It's not the torrid pace that we saw early on in the spring, but the lack of campus visits can present a challenge to any school even though virtual visits seem to be filling in just fine for some programs.

It seems as though things are trending toward at least some semblance of normalcy as voluntary workouts can resume next month. The Buckeyes won't be holding what was planned to be a major visit weekend on June 12, but we'll still be watching a handful of prospects as we inch closer to the summer. 

Hudson Wolfe • ★★★★ • Tight End • Savannah, TN 

It's Ohio State versus the SEC as Kevin Wilson looks to close out 2021 tight end recruiting. Things have really picked up here over the last few weeks, and we're to the point where the Buckeyes are in a great spot to land Tennessee's Hudson Wolfe even without a return visit to campus; though a public decision date hasn't been set just yet. 

Ranked as the country's No. 9 player at the position (No. 1 according to Rivals), the other primary contenders are Alabama, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. The in-state Volunteers have been on a commitment barrage and appear to be the stiffest competition right now. Jeremy Pruitt's already got one tight in the fold and just landed a 6-foot-7, 260-pound athlete who also may project at the position. 

  • Trending: UP

Jager Burton • ★★★★  • Guard • Lexington, KY

The dead period hasn't helped the Buckeyes with one of Greg Studrawa's top offensive line targets, but it's worth noting that this one isn't necessarily expected to come to an end soon. We've included Jager Burton on the list even though the four-star has stated that he wants to make his official visits before deciding. Still, he's dropped a few hints that it may go down sooner than that. 

That official visit to Columbus was originally scheduled for June 12, but those plans will have to be rescheduled. Burton's teammate and good friend – four-star wideout Dekel Crowdus – committed to Kentucky a few weeks back. The relationship with the Buckeye staff and the rest of the 2021 commitments is strong, but there seems to be some pressure to stay closer to home. The Crimson Tide remain in the mix as well.

  • Trending: DOWN

Emeka Egbuka • ★★★★★ • Wide Receiver • Steilacoom, Washington

Ohio State landed in Emeka Egbuka's top-four last week, but the nation's top wideout has yet to set a decision date. The reason for that seems directly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic since he hasn't been able to make it back to any college campuses. The question now is does he wait things out even longer or can Brian Hartline get this one done via phone calls and virtual meetings?

It's long been said that getting his father on campus was an important piece to this puzzle, and that very likely won't be able to happen until the fall. Egbuka had wanted to make a decision prior to his senior season and enroll in January at his school of choice. Oklahoma, Washington, and Clemson are also in the mix here, but it's tough to bet against Brian Hartline. 

  • Trending: UP

Gabe Powers • ★★★★ • Linebacker • Marysville, Ohio

With limited spots remaining for 2021, there are a handful of 2022 prospects the Buckeyes seem to be pushing for. C.J. Hicks is expected to end up at linebacker, and Marysville's Gabe Powers is the other top option within the state. Ohio State fought off Clemson for 2021 Ironton linebacker Reid Carrico, and Al Washington may have to do the same for Powers.

The Tigers haven't offered just yet but have shown a lot of interest in recent weeks. Rumors started to swirl about a May commitment for the state's top prospect, but just this week he reported that it likely won't happen until next summer. Will it actually take that long? We're guessing not, but his inability to make the short trip to campus has shaken things up a bit.

Powers may be in a similar spot as Strongsville tackle Blake Miller. Many have been waiting for Miller to make the call since the Buckeyes offered in late April, but he too insists that he'll wait things out a bit. Miller just missed our list, but he and Powers remain the best bets when it comes to the in-state targets. 

  • Trending: STEADY

Dasan McCullough • ★★★★ • Athlete • Olathe, Kansas 

Kansas star Dasan McCullough remains on the watch list, and there's a pretty good reason for that after the Buckeyes offered in late April. We previously talked about his father and his ties to the state of Ohio and to Kevin Wilson, and that could be a major factor in this recruitment. It may just be a matter of whether the Ohio State staff is willing to add to the Class of 2022.

McCullough is 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and is listed as an athlete and safety depending on the recruiting service. Derrick Davis Jr. is a top target for the class of 2021 who has a similar positional outlook. If McCullough were to join the 2022 class in the near future, one has to think the Nittany Lions would try using that to their advantage in the pursuit of Davis; the fourth-ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania. 

A 2022 linebacker haul of Powers and Texas's Justin Medlock with athletes like Hicks and McCullough also options to end up at the position? Yes, please.

  • Trending: UP

Unlike the early portion of the spring, there aren't a whole lot of decision dates to be on the lookout for. That certainly doesn't mean there won't be some news on the trail, however. Jesse Mirco hadn't been on anyone's radar right up until the moment the Aussie punter made his intentions known on May 6. 

Ryan Day and his staff continue to impress with virtual visits and Zoom calls, but things are set to change in June when the players and coaches return to campus. The time set aside to interact with recruits will go down a bit as the team prepares for whatever the 2020 season will ultimately look like.

Fortunately, Mark Pantoni and his team have a phenomenal track record and have shown no signs of slowing down despite some unprecedented times across the country and the college football landscape.

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