Ohio State recruiting: What’s the latest on the Buckeyes’ 2018 football class?

We’re one week away from the start of the Buckeyes 2017 season and just about six months away from National Signing Day 2018. So far it’s been smooth sailing when it comes to Ohio State recruiting.

Here’s where things stand on the Ohio State Class of 2018 recruiting front this Friday. As you’d expect after landing the second-ranked class in 2017, the Buckeyes are doing very well.

Where the Ohio State recruiting class ranks

  • National rank: The Buckeyes have the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class for 2018, per the 247Sports composite. The Buckeyes have jostled with Miami for the top spot through most of the summer, but now it’s Texas in the No. 2 spot. Former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman has had a big summer.
  • Big Ten rank: Obviously, Ohio State ranks as the Big Ten’s No. 1 class, outpacing No. 2 Penn State. The Nittany Lions have 23 commitments, but the Buckeyes’ per-player average is more than four points better in the 247Sports.com composite rankings.

Latest news for Ohio State recruiting

  • Total commitments: 16
  • By state: California (1), Florida (2), Georgia (2), Maryland (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (2), Virginia (2)
  • Last commitment: Aug. 4 when  K’Vaughan Pope of Dinwiddie County, Va., picked the Buckeyes over Georgia to become commitment No. 17 at the time. Ohio State could be in line for a verbal this Sunday when Blue Smith makes his college choice.
  • De-commitments: American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) 4-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield decided to reopen his recruitment on Monday night, dropping Ohio State back to 16 commitments.

Top Ohio State commits for 2018

With four players ranked as 5-star prospects, Ohio State recruiting is off to a great start. Clemson is the only other program with more than one 5-star player committed.

Here are the Buckeyes’ top-ranked players so far in the Class of 2018.

Taron Vincent DT 13 1 ★★★★★
Brenton Cox DE 19 2 ★★★★★
Jeremy Ruckert TE 22 1 ★★★★★
Jaelen Gill APB 25 1 ★★★★★
Jaiden Woodbey S 33 3 ★★★★

Nine of the Buckeyes’ 16 commits are ranked inside the top 5 at their position and 11 are ranked among the country’s top 100 prospects.

Ohio State 2018 commits by position

As is the case with most good recruiting classes, Ohio State has made sure to address its needs position by position in 2018.

  • Quarterback (1): Ohio State landed Franklin (Ga.) 4-star QB Emory Jones — one of the Buckeyes’ top 2 targets at the position — in July 2016. He’s still entertaining conversations with Alabama and Florida State, but most signs point toward Jones signing with the Buckeyes.
  • Running back (2): Seffner (Fla.) 4-star prospect Brian Snead is the country’s fourth-ranked running back and has become a fan favorite since committing at Friday Night Lights in July 2016. Snead has not visited any other school and will sign with Ohio State. The Buckeyes added a second tailback in the class in June, landing Murfreesboro (Tenn.) 3-star talent Master Teague III, who picked Ohio State over Georgia.
  • Wide receiver (0): The Buckeyes are looking to land two players at this position.
  • Tight end (1):  Ohio State’s top target at the position, Jeremy Ruckert, committed to the Buckeyes over Michigan on July 17.
  • Offensive line (2): Former Georgia commit  Max Wray committed to Ohio State in April, shortly after his first visit to the school. He’s a tackle with the versatility and athleticism to play anywhere on the line if needed. Ohio State also addressed its need at center, landing a verbal pledge from Matthew Jones. The country’s third-ranked guard, also versatile, is from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., the school that produced Carolina Panthers running back Curtis Samuel and Buckeyes sophomore defensive back Jahsen Wint.
  • Defensive tackle (1): Ohio State has one defensive tackle committed, but it’s a good one. Taron Vincent, the top-ranked DT in the country, committed to the Buckeyes in early April.
  • Defensive end (1): Five-star DE Brenton Cox picked the Buckeyes over home-state Georgia in April, though the Bulldogs and others still are coming hard after the Stockbridge star.  He’s a first-team All-American, according to USA Today.
  • Linebacker (3): Three 4-star prospects make up this group. Pope, Virginia’s Teradja Mitchell and  Dallas Gant from Toledo, Ohio, are a very talented trio.
  • Defensive back (4):  Ohio State has three safeties committed: Jaiden Woodbey of Fontana, Calif., and Josh Proctor from Owasso, Okla. (both 4-star recruits), and Marcus Hooker of New Castle, Pa. They are joined by cornerback  Sevyn Banks of Orlando, Fla. Both Woodbey and Proctor announced recently they were shutting down their recruitment, but Oklahoma, among others, won’t go away quietly.
  • Athlete (1): Westerville, Ohio, running back Jaelen Gill is too versatile a player to put at one position, and Ohio State has no intention of doing that. Whether he’s a running back or a wide receiver, Gill is a special athlete from the Buckeyes’ backyard.
  • Specialists (0): It’s not likely Ohio State will add a scholarship player at kicker, punter or long snapper in 2018, but there is an intriguing long-snapping option who is being considered.

Top Ohio State recruiting targets: 10 names to know

10. Rasheed Walker • Offensive line • Waldorf, Md. • North Point

With the pickup of Pope last week, a new name makes its way into our top 10 and it’s Rasheed Walker. The country’s 11th-ranked tackle has quietly remained a real target for Ohio State the last few months, though 100 percent of his 247Sports.com Crystal Ball predictions have him headed to Penn State. Despite the odds stacked against them, it’s never wise to count out defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. when he’s recruiting in Maryland.

9. Micah Parsons • Defensive end • Harrisburg, Pa. • Harrisburg

A former Penn State commit, Parsons has been pro-Ohio State for a long time, thanks to his relationship with Johnson. Though Parsons would prefer to play in a 3-4 defense, the Buckeyes remain one of his top choices. The 5-star prospect and No. 5 overall recruit in the Class of 2018 is expected to decide near National Signing Day.

8. Nicholas Petit-Frere • Tackle • Tampa, Fla. • Berkeley Prep

Ohio State will hope to add at least two more tackles, and Petit-Frere is one of the names they’ve got high on their recruiting board. It’s always tough to land Florida’s best talents, but an inviting depth chart in Columbus could help the Buckeyes here. The Tampa product is now ranked as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country.

7. Tommy Togiai • Defensive tackle • Pocatello, Idaho • Highland

This spot could just as easily belong to American Heritage’s Nesta Silvera, but Togiai gets the nod after a three-day visit to Columbus in June. He’s scheduled an official visit for early September, and Ohio State has put itself in a good position to land the nation’s ninth-ranked DT. Silvera has not yet visited the Buckeyes but intends to in late October.

6. Jayson Oweh • Defensive end • Blairstown, N.J. • Blair Academy

For a player who no one had heard of in January, it’s pretty remarkable to consider the spot Oweh is in now. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end has skyrocketed up the Ohio State recruiting board and is now arguably one of the highest-priority players remaining. Penn State and Notre Dame are still involved, but a Jan. 1 decision is likely to come down to the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions.

5. L’Christian Smith • Wide receiver • Huber Heights, Ohio • Wayne 

There aren’t many 6-6, 210-pound receivers across the country, but “Blue” Smith is just that and that’s one of the reasons why he’s become such a big deal for Urban Meyer and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are fighting Kentucky for his services, and he plans to announce his decision Sunday. Ohio State can’t afford to lose to the Wildcats an Ohio prospect that it actually wants.

4. Tyreke Smith • Defensive end • Cleveland Heights, Ohio • Cleveland Heights

Another Ohio prospect that has the Buckeyes in a battle. A former basketball player from California, Smith has shot up nationally. He’s proved himself time after time this spring and summer at recruiting combines against the best of the best. This is a must-get for the Buckeyes and, once again, they’re fighting Penn State, Notre Dame and others for his commitment.

3.  Anthony Cook • Defensive back • Houston • Lamar

Like Togiai with Silvera, Cook could potentially be swapped out with Tyson Campbell. But I’m going with the Houston 5-star defensive back because he’s been so into the Buckeyes for so long. Ohio State will have a to-the-wire fight with the Texas Longhorns and LSU Tigers to land the No. 2-ranked cornerback in the class, but an official visit on Sept. 9 could be the thing to put them ahead for good.

2. Kamryn Babb • Wide receiver • St. Louis • Christian Brothers College  

Like Austin Mack in 2016 and Trevon Grimes in 2017, Babb has been the top wideout on Ohio State’s board for much of the 2018 recruiting cycle. There’s no reason for that to change anytime soon. Babb is a smooth route runner who catches everything thrown his way. The Buckeyes are in a good position to land him, but until he makes his announcement, expect LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and others to keep trying to sway the country’s No. 6 wide receiver.

Unfortunately, Babb tore his ACL in his right knee and is expected to miss his senior season.

1. Jackson Carman • Tackle • Fairfield, Ohio • Fairfield

A must-get for Ohio State from nearby Fairfield, Carman has had Buckeyes fans sweating since announcing that Clemson was his top school following a spring visit to South Carolina. The Buckeyes have worked overtime on Carman to keep him home, but Southern California also has made its way into the conversation. A decision is expected around December, and Carman is going to keep everyone guessing until then.

Owasso, Okla.,

The post Ohio State recruiting: What’s the latest on the Buckeyes’ 2018 football class? appeared first on Land of 10.

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