CURRENT RANKING: The 2016 Ohio State recruiting class is ranked at number-one in early May, with 15 recruits currently committed. Included in that group are ten four-star prospects and one five-star recruit, Kareem Walker.
WHO MIGHT MOVE UP? It's still early to be looking at a bump in rankings, but the summer camps are only a month away and the start of fall practice is closer than people think. In taking a quick look, three-star prospects Malik Barrow and Jack Wohlabaugh would appear to be knocking on the door of four-star status. I can't speak for Barrow, but Wohlabaugh is right there. I'm looking to see him in person in the next few months before suggesting a ratings bump, but I've got my eye on him.
The toughest jump is going from four-star to five-star, and it's not a move anyone at Scout would recommend without being 100% certain that a prospect deserves the upgrade. For me, the one player that is close would be Jonathon Cooper. I want to see him in pads this fall, but an invitation to The Opening could serve as a springboard for the national people to move him up prior to his season. Demario McCall is another candidate for five-star status, and like Cooper, I'm waiting to see him in pads this fall.
WHO'S GOING TO COMMIT? This is a tough question to answer for the most part, but Ohio State will be adding two highly ranked players eventually. Both Austin Mack and Nick Bosa are IN, and it's only a matter of time. Mack, a four-star wide receiver, is scheduled to announce in mid-June, and it's going to be Ohio State. For the five-star Bosa, it seems like he will want to end his recruitment prior to his senior season, so I'm guessing an announcement at Friday Night Lights in July could be the ticket. Both players are among the best in the country at their respective positions, and each will help Ohio State's overall class ranking.
WHO MAKES IT IN FROM OHIO? Two of the toughest players to read are tight end Luke Farrell and defensive end Prince Sammons. Both hold Buckeye offers, but neither appears to be in a hurry to jump on board. I think both are takers at this point should they want in, but with summer camp approaching, both players could see their spots filled before they are ready to decide. Both position groups are loaded, both with quantity and quality, so neither player would fall into the must-get territory. Brendan Ferns has to be taken off the board, so this would be it for in-state players holding offers.
WHO GETS OFFERED IN-STATE? The most likely prospect is Tony Butler, and he just happens to play the position that is going to be the most fun to follow over the coming months: Defensive Back. Assistant Chris Ash is still looking to add numbers, even with the recent addition of Kareem Felder. Regarding Felder, nearly every year there have been summer commits that end up not being in the class and he would be number-one on my list should that happen with this group. They definitely like him, but I think they can get better and if they do he could be encouraged to look elsewhere. As far as Butler goes, I'm going out on a limb and predicting he DOES get a Buckeye offer. If/when that occurs, look for a decommitment from Pittsburgh and a quick pledge to Ohio State for Butler.
WHAT POSITION GROUP SHOULD PEOPLE FOLLOW? Without question, it's going to be defensive back and Ash has been all over the country checking people out. They should be able to add three more comfortably. Ohio State will also look to add a big time receiver in addition to Mack, and they could chase the top kids all the way to February. Or they could take Ahmir Mitchell right now, and close the book on the position. They will also look to add another defensive tackle, in addition to Barrow.
THE FINAL NUMBER: This could be the one factor that keeps Ohio State out of the top spot, although with this group it's hard to know what number they are working off of. I would guess they would end up in the 21-22 range, but that's tough to call right now. Their history shows they will add talented players right up to National Signing Day, and figure out the numbers later. Landing 22 commits, with an average star rating over 4.0 should be enough to have Ohio State in the mix for the recruiting title for the class of 2016.
Here is a recent interview with Bosa, where he discusses his recruitment in detail: