The 2016 class in Ohio has always been thought of as extremely high in top-end talent, and nothing has changed in that regard. Coming off two sub-par years, the state of Ohio is rich in prospects right now.
Ohio State always wants to take ten in-state players at minimum every year, and the past few years that has been tough. The 2016 class will be totally different, in that this could be a year where 15 prospects are good enough to play football at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes currently have seven commits in their 2016 class, with four being native Ohioans. Several other in-state players hold offers, while there are numerous talents inside Ohio hoping to become Buckeyes. Who are the main players?
Demario McCall: FOUR-STAR. Just an amazing talent, and a player that Ohio State wants very badly. Could assume the Jalin Marshall role as a true freshman and make an impact. OUTLOOK: Hard to see McCall anywhere but Ohio State, and he could commit this weekend or shortly after.
Prince Sammons: FOUR-STAR. Probably more suited to play offensive tackle than defensive end, but he is a big-bodied athlete Ohio State would love to land. Should be getting a Texas offer soon, and he has expressed interest in the Longhorns. Michigan State is also a threat for Sammons. OUTLOOK: Think this recruitment has a ways to go, and he is not nearing a decision any time soon.
Brendan Ferns: FOUR-STAR. This recruitment has been very tight-lipped, but I see Ohio State as the prohibitive favorite over West Virginia and others. A weekend visit to Ohio State is forthcoming, but it probably will be after the spring game. That visit could be the end of his recruitment. OUTLOOK: I see Ferns as a Buckeye.
Luke Farrell: FOUR-STAR. Even with two tight ends committed, Ohio State would still take Farrell in a heartbeat. This is a very talented player, and someone they want. Is he depth chart worried? OUTLOOK: Not real open about his recruitment, but nonetheless, Ohio State is in great position to land Farrell.
Liam Eichenberg: FOUR-STAR. A decision is coming soon, and things are down to Ohio State and Notre Dame. He has ex-teammates at both schools, and they all think he's coming to their school. There is a family history with Ohio State, and that could make a difference in the end. OUTLOOK: Still think he's going to commit to Ohio State, but I don't see this as the slam dunk I once did.
Justin Layne: FOUR-STAR. A lot depends on the year you graduate from high school, and Layne would have been a guaranteed taker the past two years. This year? They are chasing Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, and might continue that pursuit for a long while. Might Layne end up in this class? Yes. Would they take his commitment today? Maybe not. OUTLOOK: Too tough to call right now, and he could decide to go elsewhere and not wait on Ohio State.
Jack Wohlabaugh: THREE-STAR. Really like this kid a lot and think there will be more offers coming his way. Holds a Michigan offer. Will be visiting this weekend, and would probably commit on the spot if the offer is extended. OUTLOOK: Probably a camp kid, but Wohlabaugh can play for Ohio State. Can they get better? Key question.
Gavin Cupp: THREE-STAR. Would have him slightly below Wohlabaugh, but not by much. He fits with the guys Ohio State brought in last year, as does Wohlabaugh. Looks like they will bring in three offensive linemen this year, as the numbers are high with this position group. OUTLOOK: If you offer he will come.
Messiah deWeaver: FOUR-STAR. He would be fairly down the list, but maybe if he hangs in there long enough he can land a Stephen Collier offer? I like his talents, but deWeaver might be better suited in a different style offense. OUTLOOK: I do not see this happening at this time, but nobody saw Collier as a taker in March a few years ago either.
Zach Sandwisch: THREE-STAR. The linebacker is committed to West Virginia, not that it would affect Ohio State should they decide to pursue him. Should they miss on Ferns, I could see Sandwisch getting a call from the Buckeyes. This kid can play. OUTLOOK: Would be PLAN-B, or PLAN-C.
Austin Andrews: THREE-STAR. A very talented cornerback, and a player on the radar for sure. I would think he would need a good camp showing, or at least put up big track numbers this spring, to be offered. He has the talent to play for Ohio State. OUTLOOK: This is the offer he wants.
Tony Butler: THREE-STAR. Really think this kid has his best football ahead of him, and he has a very high ceiling. Committed to Pitt, and that's all well and good. Probably would need to come to camp and ball out to be offered. Will visit this week because he's going to be in town watching his high school basketball team play in Columbus. OUTLOOK: Tough to see Pitt holding on to Butler should he be offered by Ohio State.
Jeremy Larkin, Jango Glackin, Ethan Tucky, Nik Urban, Darius Harper, Gunnar Vogel, Ruben Flowers, Malik Harrison and Tobias Gilliam would also be players that could work their way into the class with great camp showings.