I’ve been seeing that title a lot recently on various websites. This is Ohio State’s best recruiting class ever. But, is it true, or more media speak?
I love the legendary status that the class of 1967 continues to hold. They became known as the Super Sophomores when they won the national title in 1968 for coach Woody Hayes. Now, that class was fantastic and won 27 of their 29 games from 1968 through 1970. Freshmen were not eligible before 1972 and they only had 3 years to make their mark on the school’s history books with this class
finishing up with a 27-2 record.
That class included such mystical, larger than life figures as Rex Kern, Jack Tatum, John Brockington, Jim Stillwagon, Leo Hayden, Larry Zelina, Bruce Jankowski, Jan White, Doug Adams, Tim Anderson and Mike Sensibaugh. Most readers of this blog won’t know any of those guys, but I can guarantee that the majority of real Buckeye fans remember them.
Most of their starters in the 1968 national championship season were 19 years old. It was an amazing group of athletes.
Then, there’s the class of 2013 that helped win the national championship in 2014. That class included Eli Apple, Gareon Conley, Jalin Marshall, Vonn Bell, Dontre Wilson, Joey Bosa, Marcus Baugh, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Hill, JT Barrett, Billy Price, Corey Smith, Darron Lee, and Tyquon Lewis.
You will easily recognize the names of Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, JT Barrett and Darron Lee. Some are still on the team going into 2017 like Barrett, Marcus Baugh and Tyquon Lewis.
They did not win any more national titles after that great 2014 season, and quite a few left after their junior seasons. Plus some of the ones that redshirted left after their sophomore seasons.
This great recruiting class went 12-2 in 2013, 14-1 in 2014, 12-1 in 2015 and 11-2 in 2016. But, by 2016 a good portion of those guys were already stars in the NFL like Zeke Elliott, Joey Bosa, Eli Apple and Darron Lee were part of a record group of Ohio State players picked by the NFL.
But, the latest Buckeye class is also pretty talented.
Right now, according to the ESPN rankings, they have commitments from 2 five star recruits in the nation’s top ranked Cornerback, Shaun Wade from Jacksonville, Florida. The other 5 star guy is Safety Jeffrey Okudah from Grand Prairie, Texas.
Some services have some more of their recruits as 5 star guys. But, using ESPN Baron Browning from Kennedale, Texas, is a 4 star and the 2nd ranked recruit at his position in the country. Hyattsville, Maryland’s 4 star Defensive End, Chase Young, is the 3rd rated guy in the country at his position. 4 star and 3rd ranked Offensive Guard Wyatt Davis from Bellflower, California is also
committed to the Buckeyes.
Most recruiting services have Wide Receiver Trevon Grimes from Fort Lauderdale, Florida ranked as a 5 star. But, ESPN has him rated as a 4 star and the 5th ranked Wide Receiver in the country. He’s a talent no matter where he is ranked. Pure speed and explosiveness combined with great size and hands.
The Buckeyes made quite the splash in Texas mostly at the expense of the Texas Longhorns who finished the season with another 5-7 record and some of these players leaning towards the Longhorns at one time. Coming out of La Grange, Texas is the 5th ranked Running Back in the country, JK Dobbins. Missouri City, Texas by way of Blinn Junior College provided Cornerback Kendall Sheffield who was the top rated Cornerback in the Junior College ranks. The one time Alabama commit should be a threat to start right away with the Buckeyes losing so many Defensive Backs to the NFL.
Ohio State has commitments from the 1st and 3rd ranked Safeties in already mentioned Okudah and Isaiah Pryor from Bradenton, Florida.
One has to go way down the list of Buckeye commitments before you run across one from Ohio and 4 star Josh Myers from Miamisburg, Ohio is the 6th ranked Offensive Guard in the country.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Bishop Gorman is a football factory and the Buckeyes have 2 commitments from 4 star recruits from Gorman. 7th ranked Defensive Tackle Haskell Garrett and 6th ranked Dual Threat Quarterback Tate Martell. Bishop Gorman is a dominating program right now and they aren’t afraid to take on all comers including Fort Lauderdale St Thomas Aquinas.
They only have commitments from 5 players from Ohio, which Woody Hayes would never approve of and they are all 4 star guys. Highly coveted Defensive Tackle Jerron Cage, and equally coveted Cornerback Amir Riep are both from Cincinnati. Highly ranked Athlete Brendon White is from Powell, Ohio and could play several positions.
Cleveland native Jaylen Harris is a 6-6, 195 Wide Receiver with enormous potential.
Out of Bradenton, Florida comes 4 star Cornerback Marcus Williamson and from Indianapolis comes another 4 star in Linebacker Pete Werner.
The only commitment they have that’s not a 4 or 5 star is Kicker Blake Haubeil from Buffalo, New York.
If everyone sticks, and supposedly all are solid with the Buckeyes. Ohio State is not out of the
running with several other top recruits as well. Landing any of those recruits would just be icing on the cake. The Buckeyes currently have 19 recruits with 2 5 stars and 16 4 stars and 1 3 star.
Their rivals to the north, Michigan, is also recruiting really well with 25 commitments and 23 of those 4 star recruits and 2 3 stars. Could another 10 Year War be about to happen? For the sake of college football, I certainly hope so.
A lot of football fans are laughing at Ohio State for getting stomped by Clemson, 0-31 in the playoffs, but I wouldn’t laugh too hard with this kind of talent on the way. They are also in the hunt for quite a bit more big time talent. When all is said and done, this very well could be Ohio State’s best all time recruiting class.
If they can win a national title, or two.