We Can Too: Ohio State's Lowest-Rated 2018 Signees All Have the Potential for Stardom in Columbus

By Andrew Ellis on February 25, 2018 at 8:30 am
Three-star DB Marcus Hooker was Ohio State's lowest-rated 2018 signee.

Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are once again bringing in one of American's top recruiting classes. We've spent a lot of time talking about a group that features some serious star power with names like Teradja Mitchell, Jaelen Gill, and Taron Vincent.

The biggest boom of the cycle came on signing day when Nicholas Petit-Frere – a five-star and the nation's top offensive tackle – sided with the Buckeyes over Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and every other program in America.

Needless to say, there's a lot to be excited about. 

As with just about every recruiting class ever assembled, there's also a handful of less-heralded players being welcomed to Columbus. Ohio State signed three prospects who had less than four little stars next to their names. The 2017 class included two three-star prospects while 2016 saw the Buckeyes sign seven.

It's impossible to look back at past classes to gauge what to expect from the latest crop of signees. For every Malcolm Jenkins or James Laurinaitis there's another three-star who fizzled or just had a lackluster career; for one reason or another. 

So what should we expect from this year's three-star trio? 

The Latest Three-Stars
Player Hometown Pos. Measurables Pos. Rank Nat. Rank
Chris Olave San Marcos, CA WR 6-foot-1, 170 pounds No. 68 No. 399
Alex Williams Pickerington, Ohio DE 6-foot-7, 250 pounds No. 34 No. 617
Marcus Hooker New Castle, PA DB 6-foot, 185 pounds No. 60 No. 642

Chris Olave is one of three pure receivers that Zach Smith is welcoming to #Zone6. The Buckeyes beat out Michigan and a number of West Coast powers in its pursuit of the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder. The wideout position as a whole is in good hands for 2018, but with three seniors on the roster – plus the loss of Trevon Grimes – there will be a pretty big need for 2019 and beyond.

Olave is a little different than the other two names on our list. He was considered a composite four-star up until the latest batch of rankings updates. His descent is rather hilarious considering he caught 93 passes for 1,764 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior. We aren't expecting an immediate impact and he does need to pack on some pounds, but I'd look for Chris Olave to be a contributor starting in 2019.

The Buckeyes made a late offer to Pickerington North's Alex Williams, and it was too much for the then West Virginia commit to turn down. At 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, his measurables are as good as anyone in the class, and Williams could end up at defensive end, offensive tackle, or even tight end. 

Ohio State made the decision to offer in mid-December and the local standout made things official during the early signing period. It seems likely that he at least starts out on defense –especially given the need for pass rushers – but Williams should contribute somewhere down the road. 

The lowest-rated signee for the 2018 recruiting class probably has the most recognizable name. New Castle, Pennsylvania has been pretty good to the Buckeyes of late, and if Marcus Hooker ends up anything like his big brother, then Ohio State fans are sure to be pleased. 

A star on the gridiron and the hardwood, Marcus' commitment to Ohio State was a bit of a surprising one. The Buckeyes were in pursuit of several of the country's top defensive backs, but when they extended an offer to the three-star, it took less than 24 hours for him to jump at the opportunity.

As with many past defenders, it wouldn't be a surprise if Hooker starts his career making an impact on special teams; whether that be in 2018 or a bit further down the road. He's listed as a cornerback by some outlets, but the Buckeyes recruited him primarily as a safety.

He may not be the physical freak that his brother is, but the younger Hooker has been a playmaker on both sides of the ball and is currently leading New Castle's basketball team on their 22-2 season.

The Buckeyes have had success in the past with their three-star signees as players like Darron Lee, Michael Thomas, Chris Worley, and the aforementioned Malik Hooker all went on to become stars in Columbus.

As for the latest batch, there's no telling what the future holds or how long it will take for them to make some type of impact. Ohio State's staff has proven to be exceptional when it comes to evaluating talent, so let's not forget about some of the less-heralded 2018 newcomers.

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