Is Ohio State losing traction on top targets in 2019 recruiting class?

Jeremy Birminghamabout 3 years
Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham



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Today’s Ohio State recruiting Question of the Day

Good Tuesday to you all. We’ll get back into the Recruiting Question of the Day flow by examining a bit closer this concept, ushered forth from the depths of Twitter, that the 2019 recruiting class at Ohio State is heading in the wrong direction.

Before we dive into this, let’s start with a little objectivity: Ohio State is right now — as I write this early on Tuesday morning — is ranked as the country’s No. 6 overall recruiting class for 2019. The Buckeyes added 4-star linebacker Kane Patterson on Monday, and there will be another commitment in this class at some point soon. No matter where it comes from, it will vault the Buckeyes into a top-4 spot.

That’s pretty good. Most fan bases would be thrilled by that kind of success, especially when combined with the country’s No. 2 class in each of the last two years.

And yet, there’s a sense of uncertainty about the 2019 group. And I think this is a byproduct of the focus that’s been placed on the quickly emerging group of  2020. There’s little doubt that the majority of that comes as a result of the perceived lack of momentum with 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison, especially after the less-than-ideal story about him being “more confused than ever” that we posted here at Lettermen Row while at The Opening in Dallas.

I still believe that eventually Harrison’s recruitment ends with him choosing Ohio State. If it doesn’t and Harrison chooses Michigan or Penn State? That will be a devastating blow to the Buckeyes, and there’s no other way to put it.

But he’s not the only recruit left on the board in 2019. Harrison is certainly not the only Top-100 player Urban Meyer and his crew are still chasing. Are they really trending down for any of the guys that they’ve focused on for months?

Here’s a look at some of them, and we’ll approach this as simply as possible: “Up” or “Down” or “Steady,” and then a little note on what’s going on with those primary targets.

  • No. 5  OL •  Darnell Wright • Steady, but they’ve never been the team to beat.
  • No. 45  WR • Kyle Ford • Steady, should visit this fall.
  • No. 57 DB • Nick Cross • Down, pretty much out.
  • No. 62 WR • Marcus Washington • Steady, and that’s good, because the Buckeyes are the team to beat.
  • No. 72 DB • Kaiir Elam • Steady. Buckeyes will get another visit, and Urban Meyer is personally recruiting.

So really, that’s it among the Top 100. Ohio State does have plenty of other prospects on its radar still, so let’s expand the parameters a touch to the Top 150.

  • No. 103 WR • Elijah Higgins • Steady, but the Buckeyes are the reason this isn’t going up. They need to decide where he fits and if they can really go all in here.
  • No. 106 WR • David Bell • Steady, but closer to down, and for every similar reasons as Elijah Higgins.
  • No. 143 OL • Trevor Keegan • Steady, but again, this on the Buckeyes. Changing lists along the offensive line may force them to crank up the heat, but I don’t think it will be enough to hold off Michigan, which has been all in for a while.
  • No. 146 WR • Jameson Williams • Steady, and like Washington, that’s good. He’s Ohio State’s to lose.
  • No. 147 DT • Tyler Davis • Down, but there are a number of good defensive tackles that may be suit Ohio State’s needs better.

It’s been written here and elsewhere many times, but the reality is that the Class of 2019 isn’t a spectacular group across the country. It lacks the star power that recent or future groups have. That definitely takes a little shine off of things, but it’s not to suggest that the Buckeyes aren’t going to sign a top group, because they will. Meyer always does.

First things first for Ohio State: Don’t lose Zach Harrison. Everything else falls into place from there.

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