Steve Hare /

Bank Blog: Ohio State Recruiting Update

Ohio State is off to a good start to the 2018 recruiting class with four highly-rated commits, and several top prospects thought to be in the fold. Where do things stand right now?

NUMBERS: This is always a fun Ohio State topic for spring, knowing full well that this changes monthly and is a totally fluid proposition. For now, I'm going with a working number of 23 because I don't think it will be lower than that. Could it get to 24 or 25? They can pretty much make it what they want to make it, but let's go with 23 for today's discussion.

QUARTERBACK: They are absolutely, 1000% done with Emory Jones and as long as he's not looking, they're not looking. Jones landed an Alabama offer recently, but he's not going there. Period. If there is a threat, and I'm not sure there is even a small one, it would be Georgia. For now, Jones is their QB and I have him as SOLIDLY IN this class. 

RUNNINGBACK: A couple of interesting sidelights to last week's commitment of Jaelen Gill occurred. First off, when asked why this was the right time, Gill answered that he felt the class needed a jump-start. Do I think Jaelen thought that up on his own? No, I do not. I think Urban Meyer went to a few in-state guys and let them know that they needed some positive mojo, so if one of them knew for sure they were coming to Ohio, why not do it now to get things rolling? That happened a few years ago with Eric Glover-Williams when Michigan was rolling in early recruiting. Had Gill not been ready to step up, would there be others that might have dove in? I think so. The second point of Gill's commitment is the very public proclamation of being the next Curtis Samuel, rather than being the next Zeke Elliott. I think Ohio State wants it out there that Gill is an all-purpose back, not a pure tailback. Which he might be. But it's interesting to say the least, and points out the need for another back even with Gill and Snead in the hopper. I'm not as confident on Tavion Thomas anymore, even though he definitely could end up in this class. This is a combination of Gill committing, new offers coming from power programs, and the thought that he and teammate Joseph Scates could go to school together. But there are other candidates.

TIGHT END: They are 100% sold on Jeremy Ruckert, and I think the feeling is mutual. Do they need a second tight end in this class? That could depend on how guys like Luke Farrell and Kierre Hawkins develop this spring. I believe they will take a second, and this is a GREAT year in-state. I think they see Blue Smith as a flex tight end, but I don't think he sees himself that way at all. Let's put Ruckert in the class, and see if they chase any of the other quality in-state options. 

WIDE RECEIVER: See Blue Smith above. I have no clue how this affects him going forward. Kamryn Babb and Josh Moore are both viable options, and Ohio State is positioned well for both guys. In-stater Joseph Scates seemed to be in position to land a Buckeye offer, but I'm not feeling that right now at all. I would have Meechie Harris (Xenia) as a more logical in-state option, and this kid can play. They will take at least three at this spot. 

OFFENSIVE LINE: I have Jack Carman at the top of their recruiting board, and better news would be that he is IN the class. They are chasing some high level O-linemen from out of state that will start to clarify as we get into summer camps and fall visits. You have guys like Juice Scruggs, Matt Jones, Verdis Brown, Darrell Simpson, and many others. I see them taking four in this class, but that could depend on how a few dead-weighters shake out this spring. 

DEFENSIVE LINE: I know the common refrain is that Ohio State needs tackles, but I think they need defensive ends, because Hubbard, Holmes and Lewis will be walking next year, with Bosa right behind them. I have Taron Vincent as "IN", with the disclaimer that this is a Florida kid and it's March. I feel great about Tyreke Smith, and kinda good about Aeneas Hawkins for the in-state guys. There are a ton of highly rated national guys showing OSU as their favorites. I think they grab four here. 

LINEBACKER: I feel really good about both in-state guys landing at Ohio State, Chris Oats and Dallas Gant, but I'm hesitant to say IN just yet. They had Palaie Gaoteote, and I mean they HAD this guy. There was no reason to not feel that way, but he is now committed to USC. They will still chase him of course, and it is still March. I feel strongly that he will be back on campus again, and he is in play. I think they need three, maybe four, and that could depend on how some guys perform this spring. 

DEFENSIVE BACK: Coming off one of the greatest DB hauls in history, but they're still going to be active in this position group. They are looking national for both safety and cornerback, and those types of kids are tough to read in the spring. Of all the DB studs they're inn on, I like their chances with IMG's Houston Griffith but of course that's Florida and it's March. Jaiden Woodbey is in the fold right now, but will require watching for the next year or so. Look for three or four guys here. 

THE RANKING: Ohio State is definitely a given right now in the recruiting world, and this is going to be a great class. I'm happy to see such a great in-state group of guys and think half this class could be from Ohio. Of course, talent always rules, but it's nice to see a few more guys on the roster that grew up dreaming to be a part of this program. With numbers being back to the mid-20's, this could end up being the nation's number-one class in 11 months. 

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