Signed: Five-Star Receiver Emeka Egbuka Officially a Buckeye As “Tough Decision” Lies Ahead of Whether to Enroll Early

By Zack Carpenter on December 16, 2020 at 10:05 am
Emeka Egbuka

Ohio State officially has the No. 1 receiver in America for the second consecutive year.

Emeka Egbuka, a five-star prospect ranked as the No. 1 receiver and No. 9 overall player in the 2021 class, has put pen to paper and faxed his national letter of intent to Mark Pantoni and Co.

The Egbuka File

  • Class: 2021
  • Size: 6-foot-1/190 lbs.
  • Pos: WR
  • School: Steilacoom (Steilacoom, Washington)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★★
  • Composite Rank: 9 (1 WR)

With that, the Buckeyes now have a player who is arguably the most talented receiver in an absolutely loaded two-year haul for Brian Hartline between the 2020 and 2021 classes.

“Obviously, he’s gifted with a lot of physical ability,” Steilacoom head coach Colby Davies told Eleven Warriors in a recent interview. “He can run, he can jump, he’s got good size, he’s strong. But there’s no holes in his game. I think that’s what separates him from a lot of people. Not only does he have that physical ability, but he’s a complete player especially at this level.”

Ohio State never truly wavered out of Egbuka's No. 1 spot in terms of his favorite school, and that's what we had reported throughout the past year as he continued to do his due diligence in the recruiting process. When Clemson fell out of contention and Egbuka had the Buckeyes squared up with Washington and Oklahoma as the other options in his final three, a visit two weekends ago to Norman looked like it could shuffle things up a bit.

In the end, though, a number of major factors proved to be too much for the Sooners to beat out the Buckeyes, and Hartline again landed either the No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in a recruiting class for the fourth consecutive cycle (2019-2022).

“He was really relieved when he knew where he was going, and he did it the right way,” Davies said. “He had three schools left, and he called the two coaches that he wasn’t gonna go to and let him know about his decision and why. And he heard those two coaches out, and then he told the coach and program that he wanted to be in that he was in. That was very relieving for Mek. And now, the decision’s made and he can just hunker down and work and get ready for the next level and get ready for the next chapter and get ready for his new program.”

In a loaded room full of five-stars at the position in Garrett Wilson, Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Egbuka is the next in line and has the ability to become a day-one starter and at the very least a major day-one contributor as a true freshman.

“Yeah, I think there’s no doubt (he can start as a true freshman,” Davies said. “Mek has the ability to walk into any situation and compete right away. Not only physically is he gonna be there, but some of the things mentally that would keep a guy off the field, just understanding how to play the game at that level and comprehension of the playbook and ins and outs and nuances of how to play receiver at that level, he’s gonna figure those things out really, really quick.”

But, as Davies says, that's where a major decision is on Egbuka and his family's plate as we sit about two weeks away from the early enrollees who will be reporting to campus during the January 5-9 move-in dates.

“I do think that for him to compete for a starting position right away, he probably needs to be in spring ball,” Davies said. “That’s gonna make it really difficult to compete right away if he’s not in spring ball. If he’s not an early enrollee, it would make it a lot more difficult for sure.”

Early on in his plans, that was what Egbuka was gearing up to do wherever he wound up choosing to continue his career. He was going to enroll early and kick off his career as soon as possible.

But when Washington pushed back high school football to the spring, Egbuka was publicly and privately adamant that he was going to stick around Steilacoom to break some high school receiving records and try to win the program's first-ever state championship with his friends and teammates after the Sentinels finished as runners-up in 2019.

With the state in limbo, however, in terms of whether or not football will be played in the spring, we believe it's likely that Egbuka winds up choosing to enroll early at Ohio State. But that's an internal decision. One that will have to be made quickly over the next week or so.

“He knows that (he doesn’t have much time to decide). We’ve talked about it,” Davies said. “We’re just kind of surveying the situation here what it looks like for playing football and how everything’s transpiring. Obviously, he's gotta make a tough decision here pretty quick. I think the whole COVID situation’s definitely gonna have an impact on it because I honestly don’t know the comfort level of his parents letting him enroll early and not being able to help him make decisions. But I don’t know. Their family has a lot to talk about and decide over the next week or two.”

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