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Bank Blog: Final Thoughts On The OSU Class

The final numbers are tabulated and Ohio State finished with the number-four ranked class in the country for 2017. This continues the talent haul that has gone on since Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus.

Whether you agree or disagree with the final rankings is entirely subjective and usually related to how you think your team finished in relation to your rival, but that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

To those who scream rankings aren't an exact science, you are 100% correct and it's impossible to be correct on each and every player. But, to those same people understand that there isn't all that much difference between the classes of Alabama and LSU.

If you are consistently in the Top-10 of the recruiting rankings every year then you are elite in the recruiting world. This Ohio State class matches up with any other class in America. Period. 

To me, the rankings far more about filling your needs and grabbing "first choices", as much as anything else. Replacing a four-star decommit with another four-star keeps the ranking even, but it's not even inside the staff's meeting room. And that's far more important. 

QUARTERBACK: Ohio State basically swaps out Danny Clark for Tate Martell, and that simply has to be viewed as a win today. Getting Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day only boosts Martell's value in my eyes, although I would have loved to see Clark come under the tutelage of the new guys. GRADE: A. 

RUNNINGBACK: The depth is not good at this position, and the staff knows this. Look for them to take three in the 2018 class if possible. I think the world of J. K. Dobbins and think he can be a STAR. But they were always worried he might bolt to Texas, so they needed to go slowly at runningback until he was signed. By then it was too late to land a top flight back. Could they have taken Morgan Ellison instead of Elijah Gardiner? They could have, but chose to not do that. GRADE: A. 

WIDE RECEIVER: Losing Tyjon Lindesy hurts because he was a first-choice and it was late in the process. I don't look at Jaylen Harris replacing Lindsey, because I think they felt Jaylen was going to be a late take the entire time. The fact that Harris was in no hurry worked perfectly with Ohio State's timeline. Had he tried to commit in October, he likely would have been turned down and gotten ticked off and went elsewhere. Gardiner was the late add once they knew all the early-NFL guys, and realized they were out of the Tufele/Wilson sweepstakes. They had a spot with their number of 21 and took a shot on a kid with upside. No problem with that at all. Landing Trevon Grimes is the home run in this group, and he has the potential to be the best wide receiver of the Meyer era to date. He is bigger, faster and more athletic than Mike Thomas. Will he work himself to the bone like Thomas did? That will be the key to his development. If he's Torrance Gibson 2.0, then get the transfer papers ready. Love the Gibson talent, but need the Thomas work ethic. GRADE: A.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Two sure things in Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, and a PLAN-B with huge upside in Thayer Munford. Losing Jake Moretti hurt and there's no way around that. He was a first choice and a sure thing like the other two. Grabbing Munford was the best available option, and his story is well documented. If he's right, he will move into the "sure thing" category, because he has talent. They needed three linemen in this group and got what they needed. GRADE: A. 

ATHLETE ROLE: I have no idea where Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White end up spending the bulk of their time at Ohio State. But I would take both guys in a minute. These are big, fast, impressive athletes that are what you see on the field at places like Alabama, Ohio State and USC. Find their spots and let them go. My guess is both could be linebackers, but that's a guess. Love both guys. GRADE: A. 

SPECIALIST: Kickers matter, right? Don't think so? Go back and watch the Penn State game, or the Michigan game, or the Clemson game. Quit taking rejects and failures from other teams and go get the da** best kicker in America for gosh sakes. Well, Blake Haubeil might be just that. Don't risk a potential national championship season on the leg of a shaky kicker like we've seen for a few years at Ohio State. If Haubeil is big time then put him on scholarship this fall and quit screwing around with average. This position matters. GRADE: A. 

DEFENSIVE LINE: I think Chase Young is largely overlooked, and I don't know why. This is the next Jaylin Holmes or Tyquan Lewis, and he fits with the superstar DE's they've taken lately. The depth chart is crowded, but he might play next year. As for the tackles, they landed Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage and both are exactly what Ohio State has been taking recently. They are excellent prospects and Garrett has the most talent of the two. Would they have loved Marvin Wilson and/or Jay Tufele? Of course they would have. But this is a good haul and it keeps the cupboard stocked. GRADE: A. 

LINEBACKER: Ohio State landed arguably the best player in the country at his position in Baron Browning, and then replaced Antjuan Simmons with Pete Werner. That swap is a slight win in my books, or an even trade, depending how you look at it. Simmons was a first choice, but so were Danny Clark and Tood Sibley. I'll take Werner and thank my stars how that one worked out. I expect Browning to play next year, and Werner is going to jump ahead of some of the dead wood at this spot. GRADE: A. 

DEFENSIVE BACK: This might end up being the greatest defensive back haul in the history of Scout's recruiting rankings. They took five players that would all be legit number-one guys in any other year. Guys like Doran Grant, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, Vonn Bell, Malik Hooker, Eli Apple and Bradley Roby have all been pretty good players for Ohio State recently. Well there isn't one member of this defensive back class that doesn't rate with or better than those guys coming out of high school. Not one. Amir Riep and Marcus Williamson would be my fourth and fifth guys, but should end up as NFL draft choices one day. Kendall Sheffield should be the number-one corner next year, and be one-and-done. Shaun Wade? A better prospects as a corner than Conley, Lattimore or Apple. Jeffrey Okudah? My personal choice as the top overall prospect in this great class. And better than Hooker or Bell coming out of high school. GRADE: A+++++. 

RECRUITING COACH OF THE YEAR: While Meyer always is the lead recruiter for every single prospect at Ohio State and deserves to be ranked with Nick Saban in this category, this year the big dog was not Zach Smith. Although Smith did his usual great job, this year's recruiter of the year was easily Kerry Coombs. And it was not close. He was the point man or assisted for Isaiah Pryor, Marcus Williamson, Amir Riep, Jerron Cage, Blake Haubeil, Kendall Sheffield, Pete Werner, Shaun Wade and Jeffrey Okudah. And this info came straight from Ohio State. GRADE: A+++. 

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a continuation of what goes on at Ohio State year after year, but this class just might be a little better than usual. The 2015 group was a very highly rated class, but if you remember I was not as crazy about that class as the ranking would show. All four-stars are not four-stars to me. There were a lot of second and third choices in that class, and not guys they really wanted. Of the 21 commits in this class there are a ton of first choices, almost every player in the class. That is what influences my personal ranking, not going star for star. GRADE: A+. 


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