Football Recruiting

How Good Could Ohio State’s 2020 Recruiting Class Be?

Rakim Jarrett Ohio State Receiver Buckeyes

The 2019 recruiting cycle is about a week away from its grand finale. National Signing Day is next Wednesday, February 6.

The Buckeyes are still pushing to close that class strong, especially on the offensive line. But most of their attention is now starting to shift to 2020.

That will be Ryan Day’s first full class in charge. If things break right, it could also be an absolutely incredible one for the Buckeyes.

They already hold commitments from two of the nation’s top 35 prospects. And they are at least contenders for at least 12 more players ranked in the top 50.

Let’s start with a moment of Real Talk: They’re not going to get all of them. (Probably.) But even the best classes in OSU history barely got halfway to that number.

The Buckeyes’ 2018 class had seven top-50 players. So did the 2017 class. And no other class under Urban Meyer included more than three top-50 guys.

Here’s a brief look at some of the top prospects to know for 2020 on offense, and where they stand with the Buckeyes right now. We’ll go through the defense tomorrow.

Julian Fleming

Hometown: Catawissa, Pennsylvania

Position: Wide receiver

Rank: No. 5 overall, No. 1 WR

Crystal Ball: 82% Penn State, 18% Ohio State

The Scoop: Fleming’s Crystal Balls suggest he’s headed to Happy Valley. But he visited OSU last June, and then twice last November. And he included the Buckeyes in his top group in December. All of those are encouraging signs for Day and his staff. They probably aren’t the favorite just yet, but should get a few more visits to convince Fleming that Columbus is the place to be.

Paris Johnson

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Position: Offensive tackle

Rank: No. 6 overall, No. 1 OT

Committed to Ohio State 

The Scoop: Johnson committed to OSU on June 28, 2018, and was an active recruiter for the Buckeyes throughout the fall. However, after Urban Meyer announced his retirement, Johnson decided to take a little time to look around and make sure OSU was still the right fit. He visited Notre Dame in December and spent last weekend at Tennessee. That’s not great from the Buckeyes’ perspective, but so far, there’s no indication that Johnson is close to flipping. If they can lock him down, that would not only provide a premier player at a position of significant need, it would also keep him active in recruiting other top talent.

Kendall Milton

Hometown: Clovis, California

Position: Running back

Rank: No. 11 overall, No. 2 RB

Crystal Ball: 75% USC, 12% Alabama, 12% Undecided

The Scoop: USC seems like the natural fit for a southern California offensive skill player, but the Trojans are an absolute dumpster fire right now. With Clay Helton’s seat currently smoldering, this is a chance for the Buckeyes to steal a top-level talent out of USC’s backyard. It worked with Texas players during the late stages of the Charlie Strong era, and Georgia players during Mark Richt’s struggles, after all. Milton included the Buckeyes in his top group of teams last summer, but didn’t make it to Columbus for a game in 2018. Milton is unquestionably a top target for OSU, but don’t bother getting too excited until he gets off a plane in Ohio at some point this year.

Justin Rogers

Hometown: Oak Park, Michigan

Position: Offensive Guard

Rank: No. 14 overall, No. 1 OG

Crystal Ball: 53% Ohio State, 47% Georgia

The Scoop: Once viewed as a likely Buckeye, Rogers has seemed to be trending toward Georgia since last fall. It didn’t help OSU’s chances when his high school teammate, quarterback Dwan Mathis flipped from the Bucks to the Dawgs on Early Signing Day in December. OSU is still very much in the battle – they just hosted Rogers on an unofficial visit on January 19, and will keep pushing to land him.

Johnny Wilson

Hometown: Calabasas, California

Position: Wide receiver

Rank: No. 18 overall, No. 2 WR

Crystal Ball: 33% USC, 33% UCLA, 33% Washington

The Scoop: Wilson is a 6-foot-5 stud wideout from just northwest of Los Angeles. He just released a top-5 that included Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ recent Rose Bowl appearance, and the breakout freshman season from another southern California receiver, Chris Olave, are probably working in OSU’s favor here. They only offered him a scholarship in December, so his recruitment is still in the early stages.

Rakim Jarrett

Hometown: Washington, DC

Position: Wide receiver

Rank: No. 26 overall, No. 4 WR

Crystal Ball: 89% Ohio State, 11% Maryland

The Scoop: Jarrett attends St. John’s College High School with two other top OSU targets, DT Tre Williams and LB Mekhail Sherman. Williams just committed to Clemson, and is a threat to land the other two as well. The Buckeyes just added a 5-star WR in the 2019 class, Garrett Wilson. If they can bring in at least one more in 2020 – either Fleming or Jarrett – it would be a huge coup for not only Day, but also WR coach Brian Hartline.

Luke Wypler

Hometown: Montvale, N.J.

Position: Center

Rank: No. 34 overall, No. 1 C

Committed to Ohio State

The Scoop: Offensive line is a massive need for the Buckeyes in 2020, and Wypler is a key piece on the inside of the line. He committed in July 2018, and has seemingly not wavered at all throughout the turbulent fall and then the coaching change from Meyer to Day. He could ultimately slot in at either guard spot or center for the Buckeyes, and while he gets overshadowed by Johnson in many people’s minds, Wypler is a crucial part of the future of the OSU offensive line room.

A.J. Henning

Hometown: Frankfort, Illinois

Position: Wide receiver

Rank: No. 50 overall, No. 8 WR

Crystal Ball: 83% Notre Dame, 17% Ohio State

The Scoop: Henning visited Columbus in June, and just listed the Buckeyes in his top-10. He is also considering a number of other midwestern schools, including Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Put his name on the “wait and see” list until he visits Ohio State again.


2 Responses

  1. Awful lot of wideouts in this list. From what I can tell they only need 1 – 2 out of the wideouts on this list. The OL on the other hand…

  2. How we do in 2019 will go a long way toward establishing the Buckeyes under Day as the destination for many top 2020 recruits. We need a playoff position to give this train some momentum.

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