Ohio State’s recruiting class lost a commitment on Monday, as Florida DE Andrew Chatfield decided to reopen his recruitment. The decision did not come as a shock, but it was a rare bit of bad news for Urban Meyer’s talent acquisition machine.
Meyer has enjoyed consistent success since coming to Columbus – all six of his Buckeye classes have finished in the top-10 nationally, with five placing in the top-5 and two finishing second overall. (All rankings of players and classes are from the 247 Composite, as of August 8.)
The 2017 OSU class was Meyer’s strongest yet, finishing second in the country despite only including 21 members. It featured a remarkable five 5-star players.
Going back to 2000 (the oldest year in the 247 database), no school has ever brought in more than six 5-star players in one class. There is a chance that Ohio State could top that this season.
Right now, the Buckeyes hold commitments from the nation’s #12 player, DT Taron Vincent, #19 player, DE Brenton Cox, and #25 player, RB Jaelin Gill. All are rated as 5-star recruits, giving the class three.
The Buckeyes are also heavy favorites in the Crystal Ball predictions for the #5 player, DE Micah Parsons (68% of Crystal Ball picks are for OSU), #8 player, OT Jackson Carman (94%), and #13 player, CB Anthony Cook (80%).
On top of those guys, OSU either already holds commitments from or is overwhelming Crystal Ball favorites for five other players currently ranked between 26th and 50th nationally. With a solid senior season, any of them could climb the rankings to earn a fifth star, giving the Buckeyes a potential haul of seven or more.
However, that might not even be the most impressive measure of the players OSU is bringing in. The average rating for members of the 2017 class was 94.51, the best in at least 15 years. That broke the record of 94.26, held by the Mark Sanchez/Ray Maualuga/Brian Cushing class of 2005 at USC.
Incredibly, the average rating for the 16 players currently committed to the Buckeyes’ 2018 class is even higher: 95.29.
What do these numbers really mean, though? How much difference is there between a class of players rated 95 and one averaging a 90?
Here’s some context: Michigan is putting together a strong 2018 class, and is one of only nine programs with an average committed player rating over 90. That said, the average 2018 Michigan recruit (90.15) is rated closer to Northwestern (85.24) than they are to OSU (95.29).
In the 2017 class, the gap in Big Ten classes between #1 OSU (94.51) and #3 PSU (88.91) was bigger than the gap between #3 PSU and the teams tied for #10, Rutgers and Illinois (83.72).
The eight 5-star players in OSU’s 2017 and 2018 classes are double the number of the rest of the Big Ten combined. Michigan has two, PSU and Iowa have one each.
The 2017 Ohio State class was considered an absolute masterstroke, and included seven of the top-50 players in nation and 11 of the top-100. The 2018 OSU class has already matched both of those numbers, and they are considered heavy favorites to pile on even more premium talent in the months before Signing Day.
If you want to look way ahead, the 2019 class just landed its first member and naturally, he’s rated a 5-star prospect, too.
The Meyer era is totally redefining what a blockbuster recruiting class looks like, and against all odds, the Meyer machine is seemingly only getting stronger.