Even though the crowd was surprisingly small for such a beautiful evening, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has to be pleased with the turnout of talent at the annual Friday Night Lights camp.
Who stood out among the players on the field? Who might end up in this class? What about the underclassmen? Let's take a position-by-position look.
QUARTERBACK: The two commits for 2017 were on hand, as was the future 2018 commit, and Danny Clark, Tate Martell and Emory Jones all showed why Ohio State wants them on the roster. For Clark, I've seen seen him throw a lot over the past three years. A LOT. I'm not sure I've ever seen him throw the football better. He has the strongest arm of the three, but last night his footwork and accuracy were really good. This was the first time seeing Martell, and to be fair he's not a combine quarterback. He needs ten offensive guys around him, and let's go play real football. He threw it well, especially on the run, and it was easy to see why he is so highly rated. When it comes time to play real football, Martell will show the full arsenal of his skills. I like him. Emory Jones might have stood out to me more than any player in the camp, and after seeing him for the first time, I would say he is a more talented J.T. Barrett. Can he be the QB that Barrett is? We shall see. But he's quicker, more athletic and has a much stronger arm than J.T. Suffice to say, the quarterback spot is in great shape at Ohio State going forward. Again, it's GREAT, not just good.
RUNNINGBACK: The Buckeyes landed a commitment from 2018 back Brian Snead, which is really awesome because this means two things. (1) He knows what state you're in, and (2) You're probably in his top-10. Probably. This is a Florida rising junior, so let's revisit this commitment in 18 months. Other than that, party on. Jaelen Gill will be in this class, and I believe his commitment will stick once he makes it. Gill caught the ball well, and showed the overall polish we've come to appreciate since he was a freshman. They will need to take two backs in the 2018 class and 2017 class, with depth being pretty poor on the current roster.
WIDE RECEIVER: The three big guns were on hand, and there was a scary moment when Jaylen Harris landed awkwardly on his neck after being undercut. He was taken off on a stretcher, but I did speak to his parents after the camp and he seems to be sore but otherwise in fine health. The other two top dogs were Trevon Grimes, who did not work out, and Tyjon Lindsey, who did work out and was very impressive. I have no change in the pecking order here: Grimes and Lindsey in the class, and Harris taking visits and deciding later this year. Have to mention Warren Harding's Lynn Bowden, who was pretty sweet Friday night. Don't think there will be room, but he's as good or better than guys on the current roster. He has great skill.
OFFENSIVE LINE: For 2017, I'm not sure Ohio State would take a project lineman like they have the past few years. If they felt they could, Thayer Munford is better than some of the guys they've taken recently. He was very good Friday evening. He holds an Alabama offer, and it was easy to see why. He is a massive kid, with good feet. He had to have impressed the Buckeye staff last night. For 2018, the Buckeyes offered Devontae Dobbs after the camp and he's going to be a tough pull out of Michigan. Jack Carman was there but did not work out. I have Carman in the 2018 class.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Ohio State landed five-star defensive end Chase Young, as was predicted earlier on Friday. He was good at camp, showing a burst off the edge and fitting in with guys they've recruited earlier like Tyquan Lewis and Jalin Holmes. Young should be the only defensive end in the class.
LINEBACKER: I've seen 2018 backer Dallas Gant a lot and I'm more impressed each time I see him. He is a Josh Perry clone, and I think he's going to be great at the next level. The Buckeyes have offered, and will be in a battle with Notre Dame and Michigan State.
DEFENSIVE BACK: As I've said over the years, I cannot go off film in evaluating these guys accurately, because I need to see them in person. Add me as a HUGE fan of Darnay Holmes, and I see no possible way they turn him away if he wants to be in the class. This kid can PLAY. The Buckeyes will land Amir Riep Saturday afternoon, and this is another big get for the Buckeyes.