NUMBERS, NUMBERS, NUMBERS: I'm still thinking 21-22 right now, but Ohio State could actually see another mass NFL exodus following the bowl game at the end of this season. Suffice to say there are more players looking like "go early" types than there was before the Bowling Green game. Add in the Danny Clark decommitment, and all of a sudden numbers are starting to clarify. New names that need to be added to leave-early possibilities are Marcus Baugh, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Noah Brown. It's way too early for these four to be making decisions, but not too early to entertain the thought.
THE CHARLIE STRONG FIRING EFFECT: Whether it happens Saturday evening or after the season, Strong is done at Texas. And prospects being recruited by Strong know the end is coming, and that also ends the relationships Strong has built. After the Notre Dame win, Strong had the ear of some recruits Ohio State hopes to sign in February. Today? They won't be listening. And it's hard to recruit when you're fighting for your job night and day.
JEFFREY OKUDAH: Buckeye. Period.
J.K. DOBBINS: Has a girlfriend at Texas and has been looking at his options. With Strong now removed from the equation, only Cam Akers keeps him from Ohio State. I believe Ohio State needs to add two backs in this class, and that will be an easy sell to Dobbins. He should accept them adding a Morgan Ellison or someone like that. He's not going to want to be in the same class with a stud like Akers. And if for some reason they do land Akers, and Dobbins walks, that wouldn't be all that bad.
BARON BROWNING: Texas was coming on REAL STRONG (no pun intended) for Browning, and he was definitely listening. Michigan is also in the picture, but I believe Ohio State is ahead of them. I thought a Texas team with momentum would be enough to land Browning, but that will not be happening. I have Ohio State as the favorite to land Baron Browning, but not etched in stone yet.
ANTHONY HINES: Texas is more than likely done, but I don't think OSU picks this one up. I think Strong being out will push Hines to Texas A&M.
MARVIN WILSON: Never thought OSU had a prayer at this kid, but what I heard this week has me changing that outlook. Ohio State has a shot, and they will be getting an official visit it appears. IF OSU can get Okudah, which I have as a certainty, and add Browning and keep Dobbins, which I have as probable, then they would become my favorite to land Marvin Wilson. A lot has to fall into place here, but I can definitely see Wilson following all his boys to Columbus. First off, Wilson has to get off the plane in Columbus.
JAYLEN HARRIS: Is he too good to pass up? Will the knee injury to Trevon Grimes have them look to add another wideout? Is there room to add Harris? I do not have those answers right now, but the needle is moving back toward Harris being in this class. With the Grimes injury, the Torrance Gibson mess, and the under-development of a few wide receivers on the roster, I believe Jaylen Harris gets the full court press from Urban Meyer and signs with Ohio State on National Signing Day.
BUBBA BOLDEN: If they want Bubba, they will sign Bubba, but is there room? The real possibility that Hooker bolts probably makes Bolden a priority, even with Okudah all but in the hopper. Okudah could also play corner, or be paired next to Bubba as twin safetys. I would keep an eye on this kid going forward, but I'm getting the feeling there will be room and he will coming aboard with his boys Garrett, Martell and Lindsey.
SHAUN WADE: Don't have a lot to add here. He continues to take visits and snoop around, like a good Florida recruit always does. They want him and he's a great player, but who knows at this point?
Others in the mix for this class are guys like Trey Smith and Jay Tufele, but I don't feel Ohio State will sign either player.