Welcome to college football recruiting in 2015, and that means the silly season is upon us. The time of year when players that have been recruited to a school for months, now decommit and try to find the right school in a few weeks.
The Ohio State class for 2016 is currently listed at number-three, and is going to be a highly ranked class at the end of the day. But it's not going to look like the class people thought it would be a few weeks ago.
Who are the wants and who are the needs at this point for Ohio State?
Dwayne Haskins: With the quarterback position so important, and Tristan Wallace now out at Ohio State, Haskins is a NEED. Should they not land Haskins, the drop off to Tylin Oden is steep. Haskins visited last weekend, and by all accounts things went well for the Buckeyes. These are the types of recruits Urban Meyer has landed his entire coaching career, and I think it just might happen again with Haskins. Have to feel Ohio State is in great shape to land this exciting quarterback.
Jahsen Wint: This is an under-the-radar recruit, and a taker for Ohio State. When it looked like Jordan Fuller, Andrew Pryts and Damar Hamlin were coming aboard, Ohio State would have never looked at this kid. They need safeties right now, so Wint would be classified as a WANT. I would expect Jahsen Wint to be committed to Ohio State very soon. They will still be on the lookout for defensive backs even after he commits.
Donnie Corley: Even though Austin Mack is committed, and he is an excellent player, the Buckeyes are still looking to add another outside receiver. When looking at the returnees at Ohio State, it's clear that Corley is a NEED. If not Corley, then Nate Craig, Sam Bruce or Binjimen Victor becomes the NEED. Corley is going to be a tough pull, and I would have his odds lower than Haskins, but this is a battle Ohio State can win.
Jonah Morris: With all the uncertainty at wide receiver, and Ohio State definitely looking to add another one, Morris is in this picture. Not sure he would be a WANT at this time, let alone a NEED, but this is the perfect PLAN-B recruit. Should everything fall apart at wide receiver, Ohio State could grab Morris late in the process.
Antwuan Jackson: A decision is expected soon, but there have been tons of decision dates. He took his official to Auburn last weekend, and that's the main competition with the Buckeyes. I think Ohio State has done a great recruiting job with Jackson, and this could be the recruit that Larry Johnson beats the SEC for. I would favor the Buckeyes at this time, but only by a whisker. With defensive tackle depth being what it is, Antwuan Jackson is a NEED. I'm not at all optimistic on Rashard Lawrence or Dexter Lawrence, and Rashaun Gary is a pipedream.
Binjimen Victor: It looked like Ohio State was the favorite for this four-star wideout fir a while, and he certainly is a NEED. The key to this is probably how does Victor feel about Miami hiring Mark Richt? He loves the Canes, but was never going to play for Al Golden. This one will probably come down to Signing Day, and Ohio State would love to add this kid to their roster. And the Buckeyes can definitely win this one.
Sam Bruce and Nate Craig: Both players would fall into the NEED category, but I don't see either signing with Ohio State.
Tony Butler: I think Ohio State could still get in with Butler, even at this late date. It doesn't appear that the Buckeyes will look at the in-state three-star, so he would not be considered a WANT, but this could be a PLAN-B recruit the Buckeyes look to pluck nearer to Signing Day.I would keep the name out there, even though right now it looks extremely unlikely.
Malik Harrison: I have the Columbus Walnut Ridge athlete as IN for this class, and he would be taken as a linebacker prospect. He would be characterized as a WANT, since he has the offer. Look for an official in January, and a commitment at that time. Assuming he does not pop sooner for the Buckeyes.
Is this list complete? Absolutely not. Ohio State will spend the dead period looking at every recruit on their board, and new names should emerge for January visits. The all-star games are approaching, and some high level recruiting can take place at these events.
There are still three weekends available for official visits in January. I expect Ohio State to have a full dance card for all three dates.