The Lone Star State Remains a Vital Part of Ohio State's Recruiting Plans After Urban Meyer Laid the Foundation in 2017

By Andrew Ellis on November 11, 2020 at 8:35 am
The state of Texas has been good to Ohio State.

Ohio State is still messing with Texas.

We're in year two of the Ryan Day era, and I think it's fair to say that one of the few "questions" has already been answered in a big way. Following Urban Meyer's departure, many wondered if the program would maintain the national recruiting success that it enjoyed for those seven years. Meyer is maybe the best recruiter of all time, so it was a valid concern. 

From California to the Pacific Northwest and all across the Eastern Seaboard, Day and his staff have continued to recruit as well as any other program in America. Ohio State's 2021 class is ranked No. 2 behind only Alabama while 2022 is sitting at No. 1 in the team rankings. Needless to say, there should be absolutely zero concerns on the recruiting front.

It's well known that Texas is always one of the country's most talent-rich states. Ohio State signed J.T. Barrett out of Wichita Falls back in the Class of 2013, and we all know what he accomplished during his five years in Columbus. But the Lone Star State floodgates really opened up in 2017 when Urban Meyer signed Jeffrey Okudah, Baron Browning, and J.K. Dobbins in what was one of the program's best recruiting classes of all time.

Five-star wideouts Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba left Texas over the last two recruiting cycles, and the Buckeyes have five-star Houston-area guard Donovan Jackson committed for 2021. Even more good news is on the way for Ryan Day and Co. as the Texas-to-Ohio pipeline is showing no signs of slowing down. 

For the Class of 2022, 18 of the country's top-100 prospects reside in the state of Texas. As with every recruiting cycle, some are bound to sign with the Longhorns, Aggies, and Sooners while several others will make their way to places like Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge. Two of Ryan Day's top-of-the-board targets are in the Lone Star State, and the Buckeyes are the team to beat for them both. 

Our recent recruiting chatter has revolved around Southlake's Quinn Ewers for a few weeks now. Listed as the nation's No. 1 overall prospect by 247 Sports, Ewers has been Ryan Day's top 2022 quarterback target ever since he was offered as an eighth-grader back in June of 2018. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is being dubbed as the best prospect since Trevor Lawrence, and his Aug. 14 commitment to the Longhorns was a massive win for Tom Herman and Mike Yurcich. 

Texas then proceeded to lose two of its first four games, and that led to all sorts of chatter about Herman's future in Austin. On Oct. 28, Ewers backed off of his commitment with a tweet that certainly made it sound like he has a pretty good idea as to what his future holds.

Is something on the horizon in terms of a potential commitment? I tend to think so. But if it doesn't come in the next week or two, then I'd be keeping a close eye on Clemson. The Tigers have yet to offer, but I know they've been sniffing around and could become a factor if Day doesn't get things locked up relatively soon. 

Back when Ewers committed to Texas, there was plenty of chatter about the potential domino effect. It wasn't all that crazy considering the amount of talent a prized quarterback can draw to a program; especially when it's another local star who already has a relationship with the signal-caller.

In this case, the pass-catcher is five-star Del Valle, Texas's Caleb Burton. The Austin-area wideout has been at the top of Brian Hartline's board for some time now. Ohio State can afford to be picky at the position after the extraordinary 2020 haul and what's shaping up to be yet another great one for 2021. Oklahoma, Alabama, Texas, and all the national powers are in the mix, but the Buckeyes have been trending in a big way.

Much like with Ewers, there's no "official" timeline for any sort of commitment. The crystal balls started coming in hot and heavy a few weeks back when several of Ohio State's 2022 commits began hinting at some potentially big news. If Hartline is able to reel in the nation's No. 1 wideout once again, it would be his third five-star get from the state of Texas and further proof of his standing as one of America's elite recruiters. 

We unveiled our first 2022 recruiting board last week, and some had asked about the lack of Ohio prospects on the initial list. First of all, it's worth noting that four of the seven current commitments are of the in-state variety. And while the Buckeye State is typically one of the country's top talent producers, it's still not on the same level as states like Texas, Florida, California, and Georgia. 

Ryan Day has made his presence felt in numerous states from coast to coast. Washington, Arizona, California, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia are among the many. He's also doing what Buckeye coaches are expected to do in landing Ohio's best players from year to year. 

But Texas is an entirely different animal with the powerful SEC programs looking to pillage from the Longhorns on an annual basis. Alongside Florida, it's the most contested recruiting ground in the country. Ohio State has managed to land several of the Lone Star State's best prospects of late, and that trend is showing no signs of stopping under Ryan Day. 

Special thanks to Charlie Strong and Tom Herman. 

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