Jeremy Ruckert, Josh Proctor Lead New Arrivals Expected to Play Meaningful Snaps This Season

By David Wertheim on June 9, 2018 at 8:45 am
Tyreke Smith could make a big impact for Ohio State this fall

Ohio State's 2018 recruiting class is now fully on campus and ready to make some noise.

The Buckeyes 2018 recruiting class was another elite one pulled in by Urban Meyer. Featuring three five-stars and a whopping 13 top-100 ranked players, the class finished #2 in the 247sports composite rankings, trailing only Georgia. 

Of course, a class filled with that much talent is expected to have some players who can contribute immediately. Here, we will take a look at a few players who enrolled this week that can step on the field and make a difference from game one. 

Josh Proctor, Safety 

While Jordan Fuller has one safety spot locked down, the other seems to be open. With the departure of Damon Webb, and no particular player has risen up to secure the starting job. Isaiah Pryor seems to be the frontrunner after earning some playing time himself as a freshman, but the opportunity is there for Proctor to seize the job right out of his hands. 

Proctor is a big-time athlete, evident by his long arms and impressive frame. Here he is making two great plays, one on offense and one on defense. 

Proctor, the #71 overall prospect from the 2018 class and the #7 overall safety, will compete with Pryor, Jahsen Wint, Amir Riep, Brendon White, and others for the final safety spot. In the event Proctor doesn't win the job outright, expect him to earn some rotational minutes at safety and heavy time on special teams. 

Jeremy Ruckert, Tight End

With the graduation of Marcus Baugh, the tight end spot at Ohio State is wide open. Rashod Berry is an athletic freak, but isn't exactly the most polished or "skilled" tight end, as he was only recently moved from the other side of the ball (he was brought up as a defensive end). 

Ruckert, on the other hand, was ranked the #2 tight end prospect in last years class, out of Lindenhurst, New York, and is one of the most polished tight end prospects in Ohio State history. With 2016 signees Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell failing to impress in their first two years in Columbus, Ruckert has the opportunity to slide right in as another weapon for new Ohio State gunslinger Dwayne Haskins. 

Tyreke Smith, Defensive End

The defensive line for Ohio State has been one of the strongest units on the team in recent years, but with the departures of Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Tracy Sprinkle, Michael Hill, and Sam Hubbard, the opportunity is there for young players to step in and earn playing time. 

Enter Smith, another athletic freak out of Cleveland whom the Buckeyes were able to hold off Penn State in order to land. Another highly-touted player, checking in at #34 in the final 2018 rankings, Smith has a good opportunity to earn playing time this season immediately as coach Larry Johnson is a fan of rotating his players in order to keep them fresh throughout the season. 

With Nick Bosa and Chase Young expected to be one of the nations best pass-rushing duos this season, and Jonathon Cooper filling in as well, the rotation is fairly thin this season. Smith can—and likely will— help change that.

Other contributors will certainly pop-up for Ohio State. Every year, it seems as though there are players who are expected to make a large impact that don't, and there are names that are expected to have a "learning" year, that perform admirably in large spots. It will be an intriguing storyline to follow throughout the season. 

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