Back in February I gave you my way to early predictions for the 2018 Ohio State recruiting class, and its safe to say that some predictions were spot on while others were way off the mark. Today as we reach the end of June and have had a few months to see how things have shaken out since the class of 2017 signed, we are going to reassess where the Buckeyes are as of right now and how I see things today. Again take this with a grain of salt, as these are high school kids making decisions that will shape the rest of their lives and these decisions can and will change multiple times over the next few months. Let’s take a look at where I think thing stand right now with the Buckeye recruiting class and compare it to my first projection.
February Projection at QB: Emory Jones
The Buckeyes have had Emory Jones (6-2 193) committed since last July and while he has received other offers and even made a few visits to other programs, he remains solid to the Buckeyes. He has been a vocal leader of the class, and can be found on Twitter tweeting at potential Ohio State recruits trying to persuade them to join him in Columbus. Unless something drastic were to happen, Jones will be the quarterback in the class of 2018.
May Projection at QB: Emory Jones
February Projection at RB: Brian Snead, Jaelen Gill, Iverson Clement
When I made the projection back in February the Buckeyes already had a commitment from Brian Snead (5-11 200) out of Florida, and Jaelen Gill (6-1 182) was as close to a lock as there was for the Buckeye class. Since then Gill has committed to Ohio State and has been a leader in the class trying to lure the top talent to join him in Columbus next fall. I had Iverson Clement (6-0 190) on my original list and it looked like he was a pretty close to done deal to the Buckeyes, however I believe the Buckeyes asked him to hold off on committing and that caused him to look elsewhere. He committed to the Florida Gators last month. Other names out there include Dayton’s Tavion Thomas (6-2 225), who if the Buckeyes want him in the class, he will be a part of the class. However, the Buckeyes are going to chase hard after 5-star Zamir White (5-11 195) out of Georgia. While he seems to be headed to either Georgia or Clemson right now, the Buckeyes hold a place in his heart and he has been seen on social media wearing Ohio State gear. The Buckeyes have a good track record of getting backs to the NFL under Meyer (Hyde, Elliott, Samuel) and White has to know that he will be a huge asset in Columbus.
May Projection at RB: Brian Snead, Jaelen Gill, Tavion Thomas
February Projection at WR: Jahan Dotson, L’Christian Smith, Kamryn Babb
As we reach June, the Buckeyes still do not have a wide receiver committed in the class of 2018. That doesn’t appear ready to change anytime soon either. Wayne’s L’Christian Smith is a prime candidate to become the first to commit, however the Kentucky Wildcats might have something to say about that. Smith and his father made a visit earlier this month to meet with Urban Meyer himself who insured L’Christian that the Buckeyes would use him as a wide receiver. I still like the Buckeyes chances with Missouri 4-star wide out Kamryn Babb, although the Buckeyes would probably like to get him back on campus before he makes a decision. In my February projection I had Jahan Dotson as part of the class, but he appears to be favoring Penn State which could open up a spot for Xenia, Ohio’s Meechi Harris. While he doesn’t have an offer yet, one could come soon as the Buckeyes look to secure talent at the wide receiver position.
May Projection at WR: L’Christian Smith, Kamryn Babb, Meechi Harris
February Projection at TE: Jeremy Ruckert, Leonard Taylor
It was well documented that the Buckeyes did not take a tight end in the class of 2017 and would be looking for multiple targets at the position this year. It all starts with the 4-star out of New York, Jeremy Ruckert. Ohio State has been the crystal ball leader for Ruckert from the outset, however teams like Michigan and Notre Dame are still making a push to try and land the No. 2 overall tight end in the country. While a decision could come before his senior season, nothing is imminent right now. I had Springfield’s Leonard Taylor on my list back in February and that was based on the fact that it seemed like he was at Ohio State every weekend even when he was committed to the Wolverines. I think Taylor is a Plan-B kid right now, and the Buckeyes seem to be higher on Florida’s Zach Sheffer right now. Sheffer raved about his visit with the Buckeyes back in April saying it was the best visit he had been on. He has come out publicly and said that the Buckeyes are No. 1 on his list, and right now I would say the Buckeyes land him along with Ruckert. Other names to keep an eye on are Mustapha Muhammad out of Texas and Kyle Pitts out of Pennsylvania.
May Projection at TE: Jeremy Ruckert, Zach Sheffer
February Projection at OL: Jackson Carman, Verdis Brown, Matthew Jones
The Buckeyes got a commitment from Tennessee 4-star Max Wray which came as a bit of a surprise to many, however the three other guys that I pegged to be in the class in February I still think will end up in the class when all is said and done. Jackson Carman out of Ohio, Verdis Brown out of Florida via Illinois, and Matthew Jones out of New York still seem like the likeliest to end up in the class of 2018. We should find out in late June weather or not 3-star center Jake Kradel out of Pennsylvania is going to be a part of the class. He was scheduled to announce in early June, but pushed back that date to consider some other late offers.
May Projection at OL: Max Wray, Jackson Carman, Verdis Brown, Matthew Jones, Frederick Scruggs, Jake Kradel
February Projection at DE: Tyreke Smith, Micah Parsons, Malik Vann
Not much has changed here other than we are switching out Cincinnati commitment Malik Vann for already committed Brenton Cox. I still think that they Buckeyes are in good standing with Cleveland Heights star Tyreke Smith although it will still be a battle to get his services. Micah Parsons would be a huge get for the Buckeyes after his decommitment from the Penn State Nittany Lions, but again that one has a long ways to go. If we land Smith, Parsons and Cox in this class, that will go a long way in helping to replenish what seems to be quite a few guys headed to the NFL next season.
May Projection at DE: Tyreke Smtih, Micah Parsons, Brenton Cox
February Projection at DT: Taron Vincent, Aeneas Hawkins
The Buckeyes finally got their big defensive tackle when 5-star Taron Vincent committed to the Buckeyes over Florida State last month. I still think that the Buckeyes will get 4-star Aeneas Hawkins out of Cincinnati to pair with him, however they will continue to chase big names until signing day.
May Projection at DT: Taron Vincent, Aeneas Hawkins
February Projection at LB: Palaie Gaoteote, Dallas Gant, Christopher Oats
We saw Gaoteote commit to USC in a little bit of an upset when the Buckeyes had the lead for so long in his recruitment, but we got good news earlier this month when 4-star in-state prospect Dallas Gant committed to the Buckeyes. The Teradja Mitchell recruitment is coming to an end on June 2nd and he will be picking between the Buckeyes and the Seminoles and most expect it to be Florida State when the time comes. It wouldn’t shock me one bit if he picks the Buckeyes. If Mitchell goes to FSU that will open the door for the Buckeyes to take a guy like Michael Harris out of Georgia or even a Xavier Peters out of Ohio if he gets his academics in order. Even though his recruitment has been quiet, I still expect Christopher Oats out of Cincinnati to be a part of this class.
May Projection at LB: Dallas Gant, Christopher Oats, Michael Harris
February Projection at CB: Derrik Allen, Houston Griffith
A lot of changes here as we saw Derrik Allen commit to Notre Dame and Houston Griffith seems to be also trending that way. No one saw the Sevyn Banks commitment coming last month, and honestly it will surprise me if it sticks until signing day. I will leave him in for now, but again lets wait and see what happens between now and then. I still like the Buckeyes chances with 5-star Anthony Cook out of Texas. I expect this to be a three team race between the Buckeyes, LSU and in-state Texas. Cook has to like what he has seen the Buckeyes do in the last two NFL drafts and knows that Ohio State can turn him into another first round pick.
May Projection at CB: Sevyn Banks, Anthony Cook
February Projection at S: Jaiden Woodbey
Back in February I was fairly certain that Woodbey would be a part of this class, and I ended up being correct. However there has been a lot of speculation that he will be taking trips to other schools to make sure he is right in his commitment. I see a lot of the Shaun Wade saga from last year happening with Woodbey and while I expect him to make visits I also expect him to sign with Ohio State. The Buckeyes also got a commitment from 4-star Oklahoma safety Josh Proctor last month which came as a bit of a surprise as he was 100% crystal ball projected to the in-state Sooners. If the Buckeyes can land Woodbey and Proctor in this class then it will be a successful year at safety.
May Projection at S: Jaiden Woodbey, Josh Proctor
Well there you have it, my newest updated projection on the class of 2018. Again some of these names will not end up in Columbus and other names will pop up between now and December and February. Buckle up and enjoy the wild ride that is college football recruiting.