Meet the Ohio State Football Recruiting Class of 2017

By Andrew Lind on February 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm
Select '17

Though Alabama finished atop the recruiting rankings for the seventh-consecutive year, Ohio State just put the finishing touches on its highest-rated class of all-time.

The staff received commitments from 21 players from nine different states, all of which are among the most talented players in the country at their respective positions. Not to mention, the Buckeyes' 94.47 per-player average is second to none.

Eleven Warriors has been on top of things since the first letter of intent was faxed in early this morning. But as Signing Day 2017 comes to a close, we're excited to present to you the members of Select '17:


U.S. Army All-American Jeffrey Okudah is a unanimous 5-star recruit and considered the No. 1 safety prospect in the nation according to both Rivals and ESPN … considered one of the Top 10 players in the nation overall, with 247Sports and ESPN ranking him No. 8, and Scout and Rivals Nos. 12 and 16, respectively … a tremendous athlete who also had the No. 1 “athlete” ranking as a senior by Scout … his coverage skills even had him ranked as the No. 1 cornerback, by 247Sports … one of the Top 2 players out of talent-rich Texas this recruiting cycle and an American Family Insurance all-USA defensive back … posted 43 tackles, five pass break-ups and 795 total offensive yards in helping South Grand Prairie, coached by Brent Whitson, to the Texas class 6A state playoffs in 2016 … named second-team Class 6A all-state as a senior by the Associated Press … averaged over 24 yards per catch as a receiver in 2015 and also contributed 46 tackles and four pass break-ups … finished second last summer, to Ohio State signee JK Dobbins, at the Nike+ football ratings competition at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. … Okudah is the son of the late Marie Okudah … his guardians are Jane and Patrick Obodo.


Chase Young is a consensus 5-star prospect (Rivals, 247Sports and Scout) and one of the Top 10 players regardless of position in the nation, with Rivals and 247Sports each ranking him No. 8 overall … he is also considered one of the Top 2 defensive ends, with both 247Sports and Scout listing him No. 2 and Rivals and ESPN rating him No. 3 at the position … the No. 1 player in the state of Maryland, Young helped DeMatha, coached by Elijah Brooks, win the 2016 state championship with a 12-0 record by recording 118 tackles and 37 tackles-for-loss, including 19 quarterback sacks … he also forced five fumbles and had a strip sack fumble return touchdown and an interception return touchdown … named the Washington Post’s all-metropolitan defensive player of the year … named a U.S. Army All-American and to the American Family Insurance all-USA Football Team … played two seasons at DeMatha and team finished on a 17-game winning streak … played two years at Pallotti High School in Laurel, Md., before transferring to DeMatha … No. 36 on the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team … a finalist at The Opening this past summer in Beaverton, Ore. … recorded 27 tackles for loss, including 19 quarterback sacks, in 2015 for DeMatha, which has now won four consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles … is the son of Carla and Greg Young.


One of the top linebackers in this recruiting class, Baron Browning is a 5-star prospect (Rivals, 247 and Scout) who earned the No. 1 outside linebacker distinction from Rivals, 247Sports and Scout and a No. 2 ranking for OLBs by ESPN … considered among the Top 10 players in this class by Rivals (No. 9 overall) and had a No. 11 ranking by 247Sports … named a U.S. Army All-American and a finalist for the 2016 high school Butkus Award as top linebacker … helped Kennedale, near Fort Worth and coached by Richard Barrett, to an 11-4 season in 2016 and a spot in the Texas 4A state semifinals for the first time in school history … was the state’s Associated Press 4A defensive player of the year with 81 tackles, 10 TFLs and 10 PBUs … also named Fort Worth Star Telegram all-area … the two-time first-team all-state honoree had 74 tackles and eight TFLs as a junior and finished his career with eight forced fumbles … is the son of DeKisha and Barry Browning … father was a two-year football letterman at TCU … brother, Barry Jr., is a Stanford graduate who was a four-year football letterman for the Cardinal between 2007-10.


Enrolled and started classes at Ohio State in January 2017 … Shaun Wade is a 5-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports) who was honored with two national awards this year while starring for a Trinity Christian Academy team that has now won four consecutive state championships … Wade was named the 2017 Lockheed Martin defensive back of the year, an award that was presented at the U.S. Army All-American bowl, and he was named the American Family Insurance All-USA defensive player of the year … considered one of the Top 25 players nationally with overall rankings of No. 6 by ESPN and No. 17 by 247Sports and No. 24 by Rivals … has a consensus Top 5 cornerback rating with a No. 1 position from ESPN, No. 2 by 247Sports and No. 3 by Rivals … finished the 2016 season with 63 tackles, seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and nine pass break-ups for coach Verlon Dorminey … named a U.S. Army All-American and a MaxPreps All-American … had 35 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass break-ups in 2015 … two-time Florida Class 3A all-state honoree and considered one of the Top 5 players in the state … is the son of Gwen and Randy Wade.  


Talented and dominating 5-star offensive lineman (by Rivals, 247Sports and Scout) Wyatt Davis is one of the Top 25 players in the nation overall, with Scout ranking him No. 16 among his peers, Rivals No 22 and 247Sports No. 24 … a tackle for coach Jason Negro, Davis is considered the No. 1 guard prospect in the nation by all three of those rankings services and the No. 3 guard by ESPN, which also lists him No. 38 on its ESPN 300 … two-time member of the American Family Insurance all-USA Football Team and a U.S. Army All-American … chosen the U.S. Army’s Glenn Davis Award winner for epitomizing the Army’s high standard for excellence in community service, education and athletic distinction … named the Los Angeles’ Times Southern California player of the year and Trinity League lineman of the year as a senior … helped St. John Bosco to a 13-2 season and the Division I CIF championship as a senior … helped team to 13-1 and 12-2 seasons in 2015 and 2014, respectively … also played basketball … is the son of Inge and Duane Davis … father is an actor who has played roles of famous athletes such as Joe Louis and Buster Douglas … grandfather is NFL Hall of Fame defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, Willie Davis … brother, David, played football for Washington State and Cal and is a Cal graduate.


Rivals 5-star receiver (Rivals) Trevon Grimes had his 2016 senior season end after his third game with a knee injury, but he was outstanding prior to the injury and is considered one of the Top 50 prospects in this recruiting cycle … Grimes had a high overall ranking of No. 33 by Rivals and Top 5 receiver status by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN … originally from Indianapolis, he moved to Florida in the sixth grade with his parents, Leah and Lebron Grimes, and flourished at St. Thomas Aquinas, on the football field for coach Roger Harriott and also on the track circuit … listed as the No. 11 overall player by PrepStar and this publication’s No. 1 receiver prospect, Grimes had 42 career receptions for 770 yards with 11 touchdowns and an 18.3 yards-per-reception average for Aquinas teams that won state titles in 2015 and 2016 … Grimes had 15 receptions for 274 yards (18.3) and two touchdowns as a senior and before his injury … named all-Broward County as a junior after a 27-catch, 496-yard season and led the Raiders with seven scores … attended The Opening, in Beaverton, Ore., this summer … state of Florida 300-meter hurdles champion as a freshman and sophomore, and was 110-meter hurdles runner-up as a freshman … named Sun Sentinel 2015 Class 4A-3A and all-Broward County track athlete of the year.


U.S. Army All-American J.K. Dobbins committed to Ohio State before seeing the campus, a credit to those on Ohio State’s staff who recruited him and because Ohio State competes for championships … Dobbins missed all but one play of his senior season after breaking a bone in his right leg, but 5,149 rushing yards and 74 touchdowns during his first three seasons for coach Matt Kates carried him to consensus 4-star recognition and Top 50 status nationally among all players in this class (No. 43 overall by 247Sports and No. 44 by ESPN) … he was rated among the Top 5 running backs in the nation, including the No. 2 all-purpose back by 247Sports … this summer he was the Nike+ football rating champion at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. … finishing second was another Texas and Ohio State recruit: Jeffrey Okudah … statistically, Dobbins had 2,740 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior and 2,243 yards and 37 TDs as a sophomore in 2014 … he was named Class 4A all-state in 2015 by both the Texas Sports Writers Association and the Associated Press … he helped La Grange to two state playoff appearances approximately two decades after his late father, Lawrence Dobbins, played on La Grange’s 1997 state semifinalist team … his mother is Mya Grounds.  


Josh Myers, a 5-star offensive lineman (Scout), committed to Ohio State as a sophomore in January 2015 after initially receiving a scholarship offer from Ohio State the spring of his freshman year … the No. 1 player in the state was rated as the No. 3 guard in the nation (Scout), the No. 2 guard by Rivals and the No. 6 guard by ESPN … overall, Meyers was listed as the No. 54 player by 247Sports, No. 55 by Rivals and No. 57 by Scout … the U.S. Army All-American was a first-team Associated Press Division II all-state pick as a junior and senior and helped coach Steven Channell’s Miamisburg teams to a 34-12 four-year record and four state playoff appearances … included was a 9-2 season in 2015 and a 10-3 season in 2016 that included a deep playoff run that ended with a loss to state champ Cincinnati LaSalle in the regional championship game … named first-team all-Greater Western Ohio Conference four times … is the first offensive lineman to be named player of the year by Ohio high school sports publication JJ Huddle … Myers’ family is full of athletes: his mother, Julie, is in the University of Dayton athletics hall of fame as a basketball player; his father, Brad, was an offensive lineman at the University of Kentucky between 1984-87; and his brother, Zach, capped his career as a Kentucky Wildcat in 2016.  


U.S. Army All-American and 5-star quarterback (Scout) Tate Martell was named national player of the year by three organizations as a senior: USA Today named him its American Family Insurance all-USA offensive player of the year and both Gatorade and MaxPreps selected him as their respective national player of the year … undefeated as a starting quarterback (43-0) for coach Kenny Sanchez at Bishop Gorman, Martell threw for 7,507 yards and 113 touchdowns (and only nine interceptions) in his career, and he rushed for 2,294 yards with 35 more scores for a team that was undefeated national champion each year he was the starting quarterback … named first-team all-state all three years as a starter … threw for 2,362 yards with 41 touchdowns and only one interception as a senior in 2016 … also rushed for 1,257 yards and 21 TDs, and was named the Southwest League Offensive MVP … a MaxPreps All-American who was named the No. 2 dual threat quarterback prospect in his class by Rivals, 247Sports and Scout … one of the Top 50 players nationally with Scout and Rivals positioning him 27th and 39th overall, respectively … originally from Southern California, Martell is the son of Tafi and Al Martell.  


Isaiah Pryor is an overall Top 100 prospect and a 4-star safety from Lawrenceville, Ga., who played for IMG Academy, in Bradenton, Fla., as a senior in 2016 … one of the nation’s Top 50 prospect on the ESPN 300 with a rating of No. 45 … teamed in the IMG defensive backfield with Ohio State early enrollee Marcus Williamson and helped IMG, coached by Kevin White, to a 12-0 record, a No. 1 ranking in the state of Florida and a No. 4 national ranking … made 54 tackles on the season and was rated the No. 3 safety prospect in this class by ESPN, and No. 7 by 247Sports and Scout … an Under Armour All-American on the field, Pryor was outstanding off the field, as well, being named a finalist for the Watkins Award, which honors the top African American scholar-athletes in the U.S. … recorded 40 tackles as a junior in 2015 for coach Andy Dyer at Archer (Ga.) High School … named honorable mention Class 6A all-state and all-Gwinnett County in 2015 … wrestled for multi-state champion program at Archer, as well … helped Archer to an 11-4 record and a state 6A title game appearance in 2014 … is the son of Lillian and Richard Pryor … father played defensive end for Iowa from 1984-88 under Hayden Fry.  


Haskell Garrett is a consensus 4-star prospect from the national power Bishop Gorman program that has gone 43-0 during his three seasons and won state and overall national championships all three years … he is also considered a Top 50 player overall (No. 47 by Scout) and a Top 10 defensive tackle prospect, with Scout rating him No. 4, Rivals and 247Sports each ranking him sixth and ESPN No. 7 … he led a terrific Bishop Gorman defense as a senior with 54 tackles, including 20 tackles-for-loss … also had 7.5 sacks and an interception … had 56.5 TFLs and 25 sacks for his career, including 20.5TFLs and 11.5 sacks as a sophomore and 16 TFLs and six sacks as a junior ... team went 15-0 in 2016, including wins over national powers Cedar Hill (Texas), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), Cocoa (Fla.) and St. John Bosco (Calif.) … first-team Nevada all-state pick and a U.S. Army All-American … 4A Sunset / Southwest League defensive most valuable player … MaxPreps and PrepStar All-American … is originally from Vermont, but briefly lived in Hawai’i after the death of his father when Garrett was 13 … Mother is Maria Key and family member of Shelly and Ray Mook.


Enrolled and started classes at Ohio State in January 2017 … Brendon White was an athletic, multi-position star coached by Steve Hale at Olentangy Liberty … a consensus 4-star recruit, White was rated the No. 2 athlete in the class by Rivals and the No. 3 athlete by 247Sports … Rivals also ranked him the No. 2 player in Ohio and the No. 91 player nationally … moved to quarterback in 2016 after being named a first-team Associated Press all-state defensive back in 2015 … helped Liberty (13-1) win its first regional championship in 2016 and advance to the Ohio Division I state semifinals for the first time in school history … scored five touchdowns – four of them off receptions – in a regional semifinal win over Medina … named area offensive player of the year in 2016 with 799 passing yards and 11 scores, 842 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, plus had 22 receptions and four more touchdowns … Associated Press all-state season as a junior in 2015 featured six interceptions on defense, catching 26 passes as a receiver and accumulating 11 touchdowns and nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards … graduated from Liberty in December 2016 and actually practiced with the Buckeyes during bowl practices … is the son of Nikol and William White … father was a 1987 Ohio State captain and an all-Big Ten defensive back who went on to have an 11-year career in the NFL playing for the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.


Kendall Sheffield is rated as the No. 1 cornerback coming out of junior college by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … he is the No. 4 junior college prospect overall by ESPN … he will be a transfer to Ohio State from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas and he will have three seasons of eligibility with the Buckeyes … in 2016, he played defensive back and returned kicks for Blinn and recorded 31 tackles, two interceptions and 11 pass break-ups, plus he scored touchdowns on both punt and kickoff returns … Sheffield was a consensus 5-star prospect in the 2015 recruiting class out of Thurgood Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas … he signed with Alabama and then redshirted the 2015 season with the Crimson Tide before transferring to Blinn prior to the 2016 season … as a prepster, he was a Under Armour All-American, an all-USA first-team selection by USA Today and a first-team Associated Press Texas 5A all-state selection in 2014 … he played for coach James Williams … rated the No. 2 cornerback by Scout and No. 3 by ESPN … overall rankings were as high as No. 9 by Scout and No. 12 on the ESPN 300 … Sheffield was outstanding as a sprinter, as well, winning the 2014 Texas state 5A 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles championships and repeating as 110-meter champion the next year … he is the son of Shelia and Cecil Sheffield.

Amir Riep was a unanimous 4-star prospect and one of the most coveted prospects from Ohio in this recruiting class with more than 40 scholarship offers … a four-year starter for coach Tom Bolden at Colerain High School, Riep is rated as high as the 99th overall player by Scout with Top 25 cornerback rankings by all the ratings services with highs of No. 12 by ESPN and No. 19 by Scout … helped Colerain to its 17th consecutive Greater Miami Conference championship and No. 1 state ranking before finishing 11-1 in 2016 … despite missing three games with an injury, Riep was named all-GMC in 2016 on the strength of 20 tackles and four interceptions, giving him 15 career interceptions … he also averaged 20.4 yards off five punt returns and was named all-Ohio by MaxPreps and to PrepStar’s Dream Team … named all-Southwest District as a junior and a senior … was the GMC defensive player of the year in 2015 with 65 tackles, three forced fumbles and city-leading seven interceptions while helping Colerain to the state semifinals … earned Cincinnati Enquirer all-city, first-team all-Southwest District and second-team Associated Press all-state honors in 2015 … attended The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., prior to senior season … is the son of Katherine Gowdy and Maurice Riep.

Jaylen Harris is a consensus 4-star prospect who had an outstanding senior season for Cleveland Heights and coach Mac Stephens … caught 53 passes for 820 yards and eight touchdowns for the 6-4 Tigers and was named first-team Associated Press Division I all-state … one of the Top 150 players in the nation, Harris had overall rankings as high as No. 137 by Scout, which also rated him as its No. 20 receiver prospect … received a No. 118 overall ranking and Dream Team honors by PrepStar … named to the American Family Insurance all-USA Ohio first team … considered among the Top 5 players overall in the state of Ohio (No. 5 by 247Sports), Harris was the top receiver in Ohio and No. 3 in the Midwest according to Scout … as a junior he caught 42 passes for 796 yards and five touchdowns in only seven games, giving him two-year totals of 95 receptions, 1,666 yards and 13 touchdowns … named all-Lake Erie League, all-District and all-Cuyahoga County as a junior and helped his team to the state playoffs … also a standout on the basketball court throughout his career … named 2015-16 Associated Press all-Northeast District as a junior after averaging 14.8 points per game … Harris is the son of Angela and Ronnie Harris.


Central Ohio native and consensus 4-star prospect Marcus Williamson spent three years at Westerville South High School before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior season of 2016 … he is considered one of the top cornerbacks nationally with a No. 14 rating by Scout and No. 24 by ESPN … also listed among the Top 150 players nationally with Scout’s No. 123 overall ranking tops … playing in a defensive backfield that also featured 2016 Ohio State signee Isaiah Pryor, Williamson and Co. helped IMG to a second consecutive undefeated season in 2016 with a 12-0 mark, a No. 1 rating in the state of Florida and a No. 4 national rating … he recorded one “pick-six” interception, recovered two fumbles and returned one for a touchdown, plus recorded 36 tackles and two pass break-ups in 2016 for coach Kevin White … one of 10 from IMG named an Under Armour All-American … earned an invite to The Opening, in Beaverton, Ore., this past summer ... was named special mention Division I all-state as a junior in 2015 for Westerville South … named first-team all-central district and special mention all-Ohio Capital Conference as a junior … also named a 2015 American Family Insurance all-USA Ohio second-teamer … is the son of Tamar and Marlon Williamson.

Two-time Associated Press Division II first-team all-state defensive lineman Jerron Cage is a unanimous 4-star prospect who is rated among the Top 15 defensive tackles in his class by ESPN (No. 11) and 247Sports (No. 13) … Scout rates him as its No. 16 defensive tackle … Cage, whose older brother, Daniel, has started 11 games along the defensive line for Notre Dame the past two seasons and will be a senior in the fall, is a member of the ESPN 300 (No. 138) and the No. 3 player in the state according to ESPN … the No. 2 tackle in the Midwest according to Scout … a PrepStar Top 300 All-American … first-team MaxPreps/JJ Huddle all-Ohio selection … two-time Cincinnati Enquirer all-area selection … Cage, a three-year starter for coach Andre Parker, recorded 43 tackles-for-loss for his career, a total that includes 24 quarterback sacks … the three-time all-Southwest District performer was its defensive player of the year in 2015 as a junior when he posted 48 tackles, including 10 sacks … led Winton Woods defenders with 81 tackles as a senior … has also been a standout wrestler throughout his high school career under the direction of coach Jason Dean … is the son of Dionne and Adrian Cage.

Rivals, 247Sports and Scout 4-star prospect Pete Werner was a standout outside linebacker at Indianapolis Cathedral for coach Rick Streiff and was talented enough that he also played safety and cornerback at times throughout his career … among the Top 300 players nationally by both Scout (No. 266) and 247Sports (No. 293) and among the Top 20 outside linebackers with rankings of 16, 17 and 18 by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout, respectively … Werner was a first-team Associated Press Class 6A all-state pick as a senior for a Cathedral team that went 7-5 and advanced to the regional finals … missed three games because of an injury, but recorded 64 tackles, including 17 tackles-for-loss and eight quarterback sacks, and finished third for Indianapolis Star Mr. Football honors … earned top linebacker award in the state by the Star … American Family Insurance all-USA Indianapolis super team member … rated as the No. 1 outside linebacker in the Midwest by Scout and a PrepStar all-Midwest region honoree … honorable mention AP all-state in 2015 … also ran the 400 meters on the track … is the son of Nancy and Greg Werner … father starred in football and baseball at DePauw University, is in its Athletics Hall of Fame and played two years in the NFL with the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles … older brother, Dan, plays for Harvard.

Thayer Munford is rated as a 4-star prospect by ESPN, 247Sports and Scout with position rankings at offensive tackle as high as No. 22 by Scout and No. 30 by 247Sports … he is also rated overall among the Top 300 players in the nation with Scout’s No. 207 the highest … Munford is from Cincinnati, but he transferred to Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio for his senior season … ruled out of playing for much of the season, but was able to play final three games of the regular season and one playoff game … played his first three years of high school football at Cincinnati power LaSalle High School … Munford helped LaSalle win consecutive Division II state championships, in 2014 for coach Nate Moore and in 2015 for coach Jim Hilvert … was named third-team Associated Press all-state and first-team all-Greater Catholic League as a junior … named third-team Associated Press all-state and all-GCL as a sophomore, as well, when LaSalle won the first state football championship in school history … also competed in track and field at LaSalle … transferred to Massillon after the 2015 season when Nate and Becca Moore became his legal guardians … is the son of MeLisa Thompson.

Elijah Gardiner is one of three receivers at least 6-foot-4-inches tall in this Ohio State recruiting class and the second to commit to Ohio State in January … he garnered tremendous attention in January and chose the Buckeyes over an SEC school, a Big 12 power and multiple in-state schools .. playing for 3A Kemp High School, located about 25 miles southeast of Dallas, Gardiner was listed as the No. 27 wide receiver prospect in the Midlands region … he was the No. 133 receiver nationally by ESPN and No. 137 b 247Sports … ESPN rated him among the Top 100 prospects in talent-rich Texas … Gardiner played everywhere for coach Brandon Hankins in leading Kemp to back-to-back state playoff appearances, including their first appearance since 2008 in 2015 … only played receiver for two years and also played quarterback, running back and cornerback … in final game of his career, he helped Kemp score 36 fourth quarter points and come back from three 21-point deficits by throwing for two touchdowns plus a two-point conversion, and rushing for two touchdowns and another two-point conversion … named all-district in Class 3A in 201 … a state 3A qualifier in track and field in the triple jump … also long jumped and ran the 200 meters … honorable mention East Texas Dream Team in basketball by The Malakoff News … is the son of Brandy Odell and Loyce Myers.


Blake Haubeil is one of the top kickers, if not the top kicker, in this 2017 class of prospects with national rankings of No. 1 by 247Sports, No. 3 by Scout and No. 4 by Rivals … he was named to the USA Today all-USA first-team offense as a senior … named a USA Today first-team all-New York state pick in both 2015 and 2016 … a two-time first-team all-Western New York performer, Haubeil was 17-of-22 for his career in field goals with a long of 61 yards and he was 89-of-91 on extra points for a total of 119 points … his 61-yard field goal came during his junior season in a three-point win over Buffalo South Park and is the second-longest in New York state history … set a Monsignor Martin Athletic Association record by hitting 56-of-56 extra points as a senior, including six in the Crusaders’ state Catholic High School Association championship game win over Cardinal Hayes … hit six-of-nine field goals with a long of 56 yards in 2016 and 53 of his 76 kickoffs went for touchbacks … all-East Region by PrepStar … rated the No. 1 kicker coming out of the 2015 Kohl’s kicking camp … honorable mention all-state Class B at Amherst High School before transferring to Canisius for his final two seasons … is the son of Brooke and Rik Haubeil.

All biographical information courtesy of

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