Football Recruiting

Buckeyes, Bulldogs Battling For Recruiting National Title

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One of the most remarkable streaks in college football is about to come to an end. Barring something totally unforeseen, for the first time since 2010 someone other than Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide is going to have the best recruiting class in college football.

Back in 2010, the Florida Gators ended up with the nation’s #1 class in the 247 Composite. Their coach that year was named Urban Meyer. Now, Meyer has a chance to end the streak with his 2018 Ohio State class.

With just three days to go until National Signing Day, the Buckeyes sit atop the rankings with a slim lead over #2 Georgia.

OSU’s class consists of 24 commits, including two 5-star recruits, and 19 players rated as 4-stars. The Bulldogs have only 22 members of their class at the moment, but are tops in the nation with six 5-star players.

Several of those UGA 5-stars visited Ohio State during the season, including offensive linemen Jamaree Salyer and Cade Mays. The Bulldogs also flipped 5-star DE Brenton Cox, who had previously been committed to the Buckeyes.

The recruiting title will ultimately come down to how Meyer and Bulldog coach Kirby Smart can close their classes this week. The Buckeyes had 5-star OT Nicholas Petit-Frere on campus for an official visit over the weekend. Adding him or 4-star OT Rasheed Walker to the class could help keep OSU on top, but neither is currently favored to end up in Columbus.

Meanwhile, Georgia is also hoping to add a few key pieces this week. Atop that list is 5-star CB Tyson Campbell, who still hasn’t announced where he will play his college ball. The Bulldogs are also reportedly working hard to flip 4-star linebacker Otis Reese, the only top-100 player currently committed to Michigan.

The last time any program outside the SEC finished atop the recruiting rankings was Miami in 2008, and no Big Ten team has won the recruiting title going back to the start of the 247 Composite database in 2000.

You can play with the class calculator on 247’s site to figure out how things will shake out with various combinations of players committing, but at the moment, it looks like adding Campbell will likely be enough to push UGA into the top spot in the final rankings.

While the Buckeyes would certainly like to add one of the tackles on Wednesday, it’s hard to consider the 2018 class anything other than another home run for Meyer, Director Player Personnel Mark Pantoni, and the rest of the OSU coaching staff. It already stacks up well next to the Buckeyes’ 2017 haul, which was the best in school history. It will mark the program’s third straight top-5 finish, and the sixth in seven seasons.

It also illustrates the growing talent gap between the Buckeyes and the rest of the Big Ten. Michigan has the third-best class in the conference with a rating of 240.00. That puts them closer to last-place Northwestern (177.44) than they are to Ohio State (311.17).

So whether or not the Buckeyes finish first in the nation on Wednesday, they will have positioned themselves well to finish atop the rankings that really matter next January.

3 Responses

  1. Good point Fan, but player development is key. Take Michigan State for example. Dantonio takes most;y 3 star recruits and has developed a winning program.

    1. Hi Buckeye in Michigan- absolutely, absolutely. Recruiting “rankings”, which are hypothetical at best, pale in comparison to wins and losses, bowl appearances, players drafted, on and on. I think its funny that- if you believe their own hype anyway- the “best” high school football players come from Florida.
      Despite that claim to fame- generated by Floridians and hype idiots like Kirk Herbstreit- the University of Florida Gators can’t find a) one guy who can throw a ball and b) one guy who can run it!

  2. The last comment in the article is the most important- its whether the recruits are developed for actual game results that matters. I checked on the University of Florida’s cumulative won-loss record from that “stellar” 2010 recruiting class of 2010. The next 4 years the Gators were a tremendous 29-21 under Will Muschamp, a level of mediocrity that was “helped” by an 11-2 record in his second year- otherwise, a complete train wreck (even in a lame division like SEC East). Other schools are noteworthy for their “great” recruiting hauls, and then fans are forced to watch as those same players fail to develop (UM anyone?) Hopefully the Bucks close well and continue developing really good football players!

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