National Signing Day is now just one day away, and there are still major questions unanswered for Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class.
All of those question marks are along the offensive line, where OSU is actively pursuing four players, including one graduate transfer.
The line is also the biggest position of need for the Buckeyes right now. OSU only has 11 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster or already signed for 2019. That means the answers that start coming Wednesday are important ones, for 2019 and beyond.
The four prospects considering the Buckeyes are 2019 recruits Doug Nester, Enokk Vimahi, and Dawand Jones, and grad transfer Jonah Jackson.
Nester has been verbally committed to OSU for more than 18 months, and was planning to sign in December and enroll in January. However, after Urban Meyer announced his retirement, Nester delayed his decision. He visited Virginia Tech and Penn State, as well as Ohio State.
Now, all indications are he will sign with the Hokies on Wednesday. This would be a big loss for the Buckeyes’ class. Nester is ranked just outside the top-100 nationally, and considered the No. 6 guard in the country.
He will officially announce his decision Wednesday afternoon at 5.
My signing will be at 5 tomorrow in the Spring Valley Auditorium❕Hope everyone can make it❕ pic.twitter.com/zT4SKJA7Dp
— Doug Nester (@Freshie74) February 5, 2019
Vimahi is another guard prospect, rated as the 7th-best player at the position and the 124th-ranked recruit overall in the 2019 class.
There is some legitimate drama around his choice. Vimahi’s final decision is likely down to either the Buckeyes or USC.
If there’s any question how badly Ohio State wants to land him, Ryan Day flew to see Vimahi in Hawaii last week on an in-home visit. That’s a long trip to make at such a crucial time.
Vimahi will play one season of college football, and is then planning to spend two years on a mission trip.
But his talent, and the Buckeyes’ need at the position make his choice a very big deal for OSU.
Vimahi will announce his decision Wednesday at 12:30 pm Eastern time.
Committing at Kahuku High School Feb 6th 7:30 AM HST! STAY TUNED ?
— Enokk "Inoke" Vimahi (@enokkvimahi) February 3, 2019
The third recruit who will announce on Wednesday is Dawand Jones, a tackle prospect from Indianapolis.
Jones stands 6-foot-8 and 360 lbs., and is the only tackle prospect the Buckeyes are in the running to land.
He is a raw prospect whose rankings (88th-rated OT, No. 1,039 player overall) are out of whack with his offers. He will choose between Ohio State, Penn State, USC, Florida, and Indiana.
Jones does not project as an immediate contributor, but with his size, could turn into a monster with a few years of development.
From all indications the Buckeyes are the favorites, with the Nittany Lions looming as the biggest threat.
Jones will announce his choice Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
With Nester likely out, and the other two still somewhat up in the air, landing Jackson is now even more important.
He earned honorable mention all-Big Ten as a guard for Rutgers in 2018, and would have a good chance to be a major contributor for the Buckeyes in 2019.
He immediately scheduled a visit to Columbus, but OSU isn’t the only program pursuing Jackson. He also planned a trip to Oklahoma, and had heard from Alabama and Michigan as well.
Jackson is unquestionably the player with the best chance to contribute in 2019. If he decided to sign with OSU, that would provide some badly-needed depth on the interior of the line.
He could announce his choice at any time, and is the only player not expected to make a decision on Wednesday.
But given that Oklahoma and Ohio State were his first trips, it stands to reason that the longer his decision drags out, the less optimistic the Buckeyes and Sooners should be.
— Jonah Jackson (@Jackson77Jonah) January 24, 2019
One other name to at least keep an eye on is Georgia Tech grad transfer Parker Braun.
He was a two-time all-ACC selection as a guard for the Yellow Jackets, and has one year of eligibility remaining.
Braun visited Florida last weekend, but is also considering the Buckeyes and Texas.