When Ohio State signed 21 players on December 20, they secured one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Despite the amount of talent, however, there was still something missing, namely an offensive tackle to pair with Max Wray.
Offensive tackle is not the deepest position for the Buckeyes right now, which made landing another player on the February signing day so important. Ohio State was working hard on both Nicholas Petit-Frere and Rasheed Walker. Ultimately, Walker signed with Penn State and Petit-Frere ended up in Columbus.
It didn’t really matter which player the Buckeyes signed, it only mattered that they ended up with somebody.
“Yeah, we had to,” Meyer said. “Max Wray and then obviously Thayer Munford is going to be very good player. But everybody in the country is looking for the tall, athletic elongated guys that can bend and they’re hard to find. That’s why they’re paid so well in the NFL because those body types are hard, hard to find. And you throw a 3.8 GPA on top of that, a very intelligent guy, a very mature guy, and he’s a great finish to that class.”
Rankings Matter…Sort Of
Every year, Ohio State’s recruiting classes are right at the top of the heap under Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes have finished second in the rankings three times, including each of the last two years. Only once — the 2015 class — has OSU finished outside of the top five in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Meyer has said in the past that if people are going to keep score, then he’d like to win. The Buckeyes were in the lead for much of the year, but they couldn’t fend off Georgia’s late run.
“I have fun with the number one class,” Meyer said. “I don’t want people to think that’s what we recruit for, it’s not at all. It’s something we keep an eye on. At Ohio State you should. The coaches here have always recruited very well. If you can’t recruit at Ohio State, you’re not a very good recruiter.
“What we have to offer people and, once again, I gave credit to our athletic director. What he allows me to do and us to do, it’s about the student athlete welfare. It’s awesome to go walk into school and say, ‘Hey, by the way, here’s what we can do for you.’ And I just, I push it very hard. These days, if you can’t recruit, this isn’t a place for you.”
Central Ohio was hit with the worst storm of the winter last week, dumping ice and a half-a-foot of snow on the ground.
One of the annual traditions at Ohio State now is that when the early enrollee football players are made available to the media, the Florida players get asked about the snow.
Last Wednesday, with the worst of it on the ground, it was a popular subject when talking with cornerback Sevyn Banks.
“The first time I got here I didn’t know what that was,” he said. “I was like, ‘Is that rain?’ And everyone was like, ‘No, that’s snow.’ You’ve got to get used to it.”
So how did he go about getting used to it?
“I’ve got like four jackets on every day,” he said.
For some, the weather can keep them from leaving the South. For others, they realize that they’d just be delaying the inevitable, especially if they have NFL aspirations.
“It really doesn’t matter to me,” Banks said. “You’re going to have to play in it someday.”
Defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson comes to Ohio State from Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas. Buckeye cornerback Kendall Sheffield also played at Blinn in 2016.
Brenham is about 45 minutes from La Grange, Texas, which is where running back J.K. Dobbins played high school football.
While Jackson wasn’t familiar with Dobbins, a few of his teammates at Blinn certainly were.
“When I first got here, he beat me in 2K a couple times,” he said. “But that was my first time meeting him up here, so a couple guys there actually knew about him or played against him from Blinn. They were always talking about J.K. and Kendall Sheffield every time they played on TV.”