NUMBERS: It's expected to be a normal sized class in 2018 for Ohio State, with approximately 13 seniors, a few transfer possibilities, and another potential high early NFL group. I'm going to work off 23-24 for now, then laser focus the number over the next year. I'm not going to just throw five-star names at every position group at this early point. Let's track visits and interest over the coming year, and not just throw every highly rated kid from across America in the class in February of 2017.
POTENTIAL EARLY NFL DEPARTURES: Always a fun topic, but highly unpredictable. Who had Tyquan Lewis staying, and Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore leaving at this time last year? The guys I'm looking at that could take a huge leap and leave early would be Mike Weber, Isaiah Prince, Sam Hubbard, Denzel Ward, Jerome Baker, Dre'Mont Jones and of course Kendall Sheffield.
QUARTERBACK: The Buckeyes have their man in Emory Jones, and now it's a matter of hanging on to him for a solid year. I feel good about Jones and Ohio State, but he will take visits and cause heart failure among the fan base over the coming months with other visits.
RUNNINGBACK: The depth chart is light at this spot, and I could see three backs taken in this class. Brian Snead is in the class, and he is a very good talent. I think there's a decent chance he signs with Ohio State, but let's watch him closely. I have Jaelen Gill in the class, but there is a twist. To get a Lorenzo Lingard or Zamir White to join the class, you might have to tell them Gill is a slot WR/H-back, but Gill thinks he's a runningback and wants to be a runningback. This could get tricky, but I think they need three here. And of course, Gill "COULD" be a slot/H for them going forward as it might be his best spot.
OFFENSIVE LINE: They took three last class, but none of them are sure-fire tackles. There is a sure-fire tackle in this class named Jack Carman, and even though he has not committed yet I have him as IN. I think they will chase two or three other tackles. They should take one inside guy, possibly Fredrick Scruggs, otherwise known as Juice. This group should number four by next Signing Day.
TIGHT END: They took zero in 2017, which was fine because they took three the year before. I think they need two in this class, because I think there is some dead wood in the group. They love Jeremy Ruckert, and he is the top target on the board. I think they get Ruckert. There are other possibilities here, including in-state Trent Gillison, who is committed to Michigan State.
WIDE RECEIVER: I believe they see L'Christian Smith as a tight end, but I know Blue Smith doesn't see himself as a tight end. Nor does he want to be recruited as a tight end, because he does not want to play tight end. I'm not sold that he isn't a wide receiver, so let's leave him here for now and see how his recruitment proceeds. Out of staters C.J. Moore and Kamrynn Baab are clearly in the mix, as are about ten other wideouts. I think they will take three in this class.
DEFENSIVE LINE: Forget defensive end recruiting, because they own that position. I have Tyreke Smith IN the class. They have a good shot at game-player Micah Parsons, and the Penn State commit will torture and troll internet recruiting fans over the next 12 months. The good news? He will sign with someone. In-state Aeneas Hawkins and Leonard Taylor both have offers. They will have to battle to get Hawkins, and will have to decide to take Taylor or not. They also have a great shot at FIVE-STAR defensive tackle Taron Vincent. They probably lead for him, but there are other schools in pursuit. He would be at the top of the defensive board.
LINEBACKER: Got a feeling this could be the best LB class in the country, and I think they're in great shape with Palaie Gaoteote, who comes from the Tate Martell/Haskell Garrett tree. They just might have him locked up, but let's see how things go with USC. I think Ohio State has two in-state four-stars IN the class in Dallas Gant and Chris Oats. Take these three studs and call it a wrap for linebacker.
DEFENSIVE BACK: Coming off the greatest DB haul I've ever seen, Ohio State will look to keep that train rolling. They will probably take three or four here, and there is a cast of thousands in the mix. Two guys to watch would be in-state Xavier Henderson, who is committed to Michigan State. The Buckeyes have never stopped recruiting him. I do not like their chances with Jaiden Woodbey, who a lot of folks think is coming to Ohio State. I think he will game-play all the way to Signing Day, but sign with USC.
SPECIALIST: They have a young punter and young kicker in the fold, so this area might get skipped the next few years.
PREDICTION: It's Ohio State, so let's go out on the limb and predict a highly rated class. As long as Urban Meyer and Mark Pantoni are running the show you can write down a great class every year for the foreseeable future. The questions are about "WHO" they might sign, not "WHERE" will they be ranked.