Josh Proctor gives the Buckeyes two of the best safeties in the 2018 class.
In a bit of a surprise move on Saturday, 4-star Oklahoma safety Josh Proctor committed to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. The commitment of Proctor gave Ohio State seven verbal commitments in the class of 2018, and the two of the top safeties in the nation along with Jaiden Woodbey.
What kind of impact will Proctor’s commitment have on Ohio State now and going forward?
Proctor is a 6-foot-2 190-pound safety out of Owasso, Oklahoma. He is rated as the No. 7 safety in the 247 Composite rankings and is the No. 2 player from the state of Oklahoma. He joins six other Buckeyes as verbals in this class, and they all rank within the Top 100 nationally.
While it was forecasted that he would end up playing for Bob Stoops and the Sooners down in his home state of Oklahoma, three visits to Columbus were enough to seal the deal for the Buckeyes. Proctor chose Ohio State over Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas.
Is it too soon to use the Malik Hooker comparison on this one? Hooker was a two-star sport in Pennsylvania before committing to the Buckeyes and Proctor is also a star basketball player to go along with his prowess on the football field.
We only got to see one year of Hooker in the defensive backfield for the Buckeyes, but he played himself into a first-round draft pick because of his ability to read plays and his closing speed. When I watch Proctor’s film he has the ability to close quickly just like Hooker did, and the Buckeyes will love having that kind of skill set roaming on the defensive side of the ball. Proctor can also play up on the line and blitz, and if you watch some video he can lay the wood as well.
Ohio State has been recruiting the defensive backfield at an amazing pace the past few years, and with the addition of Josh Proctor, the rich get richer. Coming in alongside another top 100 prospect in Jaiden Woodbey, the Buckeyes appear set at safety for a few years. Ohio State landed six defensive backs in the class of 2017, and so far they have two in 2018, with the likelihood that they add a few more.
Isaiah Pryor was the only true safety in the 2017 class, and Jordan Fuller, Wayne Davis, and Jahsen Wint are still there from the 2016 class. The likely starters this year are seniors-to-be Damon Webb and Erick Smith. Bringing in two of the nation’s best will help solidify the back end of the defense for Ohio State after the departures of Smith and Webb.
The Depth Chart
As Erick Smith and Damon Webb will leave the program after this season, the Buckeyes will be left with only four true safeties on the roster going into the 2018 season. It was likely they were going after at least two in this class, and as of right now they have the two that they coveted the most.
I expect to see Jordan Fuller, Jahsen Wint and others get some playing time this year so that the Buckeyes are not completely green going into the 2018 season, but Woodbey and Proctor should be able to come in and compete for playing time right from the start due to the lack of depth.
At the rate that the Buckeyes are churning out first-round draft picks, we can only assume that Josh Proctor will stick around for a few years in Columbus. He has all the intangibles to be a high-impact player for Ohio State, and if he is able to compete at a level close to the one year Malik Hooker gave the Buckeyes -- along with Jaiden Woodbey -- the Buckeye secondary should be in good hands for the next few seasons.
It is not known yet if Proctor will enroll early at Ohio State, but regardless he is sure to come in and try to make an immediate impact. With not a lot of experienced depth in front of him (yet), he should be able to push into the two-deep pretty quickly, assuming that he keeps everything in order.