Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 was already one of the best in school history more than seven months ago.
When the Buckeyes signed 21 players on Dec. 16, the first day of the early signing period, they had already secured a class that ranked as the nation’s second-best, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, behind only Alabama. Even then, Ohio State had already tied its record for the most composite five-stars it had ever signed in a single class in the modern recruiting era; its overall class score was already the third-highest in school history.
And that was before Quinn Ewers and J.T. Tuimoloau joined the class.
Tuimoloau, who enrolled at Ohio State in July after taking his recruiting process into the summer, is the No. 4 overall prospect in the class of 2021 and the fourth-highest-rated player Ohio State has ever signed. Ewers, who will enroll at Ohio State later this month after announcing Monday that he would join the 2021 class, is the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2021 and the highest-rated player Ohio State has ever signed, as he becomes just the sixth recruit to ever finish with a 1.000 rating in 247Sports’ composite ratings.
Now, what was already a loaded recruiting class for the Buckeyes has become a historically great recruiting class, giving Ohio State a class of 23 scholarship freshmen that is full of potential stars.
Ohio State’s freshman class of 2021 now includes a school-record seven five-star recruits, including four of the top 10 prospects in 247Sports’ composite rankings: Ewers, Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer (No. 5 overall) and Emeka Egbuka (No. 10 overall), along with Donovan Jackson (No. 19 overall), TreVeyon Henderson (No. 23 overall) and Kyle McCord (No. 28 overall).
Ewers and McCord are both five-star quarterbacks, marking the first time since Florida in 2007 (Cam Newton and John Brantley) that a school has signed two five-star quarterbacks in the same recruiting class. Tuimoloau and Sawyer are the two highest-rated defensive players ever signed by Ohio State (not including Ted Ginn Jr., who was initially recruited as a cornerback but played wide receiver for the Buckeyes), with Sawyer coming in as Ohio State's fifth-highest-ranked signee ever. Ewers, Egbuka, Jackson and Henderson are all ranked as the top players at their positions in the 2021 class.
With a class that also includes 13 four-star recruits and just three three-star recruits, Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 has what would be the highest average player rating ever for a recruiting class if not for Alabama’s class of 2021, though Ewers’ reclassification reduced the margin between the classes’ average ratings to just one-hundredth of a point (94.99 for Alabama to 94.98 for Ohio State). The Buckeyes’ overall class score of 321.68 is also now the highest in school history, surpassing the 2018 class’ previous record of 317.06, and the fifth-highest ever for any school’s recruiting class.
|QB||QUINN EWERS||★★★★★||#1 NATL | #1 QB||6-3 | 206||Southlake Carroll (Southlake, TX)|
|DE||J.T. TUIMOLOAU||★★★★★||#4 NATL | #2 DL||6-4.5 | 277||Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, WA)|
|DE||JACK SAWYER||★★★★★||#5 NATL | #3 DL||6-5 | 248||Pickerington North (Pickerington, OH)|
|WR||EMEKA EGBUKA||★★★★★||#10 NATL | #1 WR||6-1 | 190||Steilacoom (Steilacoom, WA)|
|OL||DONOVAN JACKSON||★★★★★||#19 NATL | #1 IOL||6-4.5 | 308||Episcopal (Bellaire, TX)|
|RB||TREVEYON HENDERSON||★★★★★||#23 NATL | #1 RB||5-11 | 195||Hopewell (Hopewell, VA)|
|QB||KYLE MCCORD||★★★★★||#28 NATL | #6 QB||6-3 | 215||St. Joseph's (Philadelphia, PA)|
|CB||JAKAILIN JOHNSON||★★★★||#50 NATL | #3 CB||6-1 | 175||DeSmet (Saint Louis, MO)|
|DT||MIKE HALL||★★★★||#53 NATL | #10 DL||6-3 | 290||Streetsboro (Streetsboro, OH)|
|CB||JORDAN HANCOCK||★★★★||#73 NATL | #5 CB||6-1 | 170||North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA)|
|RB||EVAN PRYOR||★★★★||#83 NATL | #6 RB||5-10 | 190||William Amos Hough (Cornelius, NC)|
|LB||REID CARRICO||★★★★||#87 NATL | #9 LB||6-3 | 225||Ironton (Ironton, OH)|
|WR||MARVIN HARRISON JR.||★★★★||#97 NATL | #14 WR||6-3 | 190||St. Joseph's Prep School (Philadelphia, PA)|
|WR||JAYDEN BALLARD||★★★★||#99 NATL | #15 WR||6-2 | 175||Washington (Massillon, OH)|
|OL||BEN CHRISTMAN||★★★★||#124 NATL | #7 IOL||6-6 | 299||Revere (Richfield, OH)|
|DT||TYLEIK WILLIAMS||★★★★||#166 NATL | #25 DL||6-3 | 330||Unity Reed (Manassas, VA)|
|S||ANDRE TURRENTINE||★★★★||#169 NATL | #9 S||6-0 | 175||Ensworth (Nashville, TN)|
|S||JANTZEN DUNN||★★★★||#172 NATL | #10 S||6-2 | 178||South Warren (Bowling Green, KY)|
|CB||DENZEL BURKE||★★★★||#196 NATL | #8 ATH||6-0 | 189||Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ)|
|OL||ZEN MICHALSKI||★★★★||#313 NATL | #22 OT||6-6.5 | 288||Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs, IN)|
|TE||SAM HART||★★★||#395 NATL | #16 TE||6-5 | 225||Cherokee Trail (Aurora, CO)|
|S||JAYLEN JOHNSON||★★★||#414 NATL | #30 S||6-1 | 200||La Salle (Cincinnati, OH)|
|P||JESSE MIRCO||★★★||#6 P||6-3 | 200||ProKick Australia (Australia, AUST)|
|Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports|
Ohio State's freshman class includes 14 players who were ranked within the top 100 prospects for the class of 2021; that's also a school record, surpassing the previous high of 13 top-100 prospects in the 2018 class.
Considering all of that, Ohio State’s freshman class of 2021 begins its career with massive expectations. With a class this talented, anything less than winning a national championship in the next three years would be a disappointment. They’ve already gotten off to a good start this offseason, though, with making an impression on Ohio State’s coaches and staff.
“As a group, this may be one of the most mature and best groups we’ve ever had,” director of player personnel Mark Pantoni said in May before Tuimoloau and Ewers joined the class. “They came in day one, put their heads down and went to work … so it’s been exciting, and we’re very excited about their future.”
Even before it was known that Ewers would be joining the class, Ryan Day said at Big Ten Media Days that he expects the class of 2021 to make a major impact for the Buckeyes beginning this fall.
“You're going to see a lot of our guys play as freshmen this year, but that's because they earned it,” Day said.