Today’s Topic: Where is Ohio State’s 2019 Class Lacking?
As things stand today, we are just 10 days away from college football’s second — and final — signing period.
On Wednesday, February 6, the Buckeyes will finalize their 2019 recruiting class, but will they have filled in all of their necessary roster slots?
With a class that will only be around 17 or so, the answer is no.
Where will they be lacking?
With the decommitment of quarterback Dwan Mathis, they were in need of a quarterback, but the transfer of rising sophomore quarterback Justin Fields is expected to pick up any slack remaining from Mathis’ departure.
Signing running backs Marcus Crowley and Steele Chambers has satisfied the roster numbers following the departures of Mike Weber and Brian Snead.
At receiver, the Buckeyes will add Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams as outside receivers. In terms of an H-back, OSU redshirted Jaelen Gill this past season, so they’re still okay there. Cormontae Hamilton will bolster the tight end position, where things look pretty good right now.
The offensive line is certainly an area where there is a concern. The Buckeyes signed just two linemen during the early signing period. Harry Miller projects as an interior prospect, while Ryan Jacoby could end up inside or outside.
There aren’t many possibilities to fill out OSU’s 2019 class, but it’s no surprise that the three biggest fish remaining are on the offensive line.
Four-star West Virginia prospect Doug Nester is still committed to Ohio State, but chose not to sign when Urban Meyer retired. He has been looking around and was at Penn State this past weekend. Three-star Indiana lineman Dawand Jones is also scheduled to be at Penn State today per 247Sports.
OSU did host 4-star Hawaii offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi this weekend, and by his own account he has had a good time.
Enjoying the stadium and the snow 🌰🌰🌰 pic.twitter.com/A8w4atk4sM
— Enokk "Inoke" Vimahi (@enokkvimahi) January 26, 2019
The Buckeyes need to land at least one of these three to turn a bad situation into a non-situation. If they can sign more than one, then there will be high fives a’plenty at the WHAC.
On the defensive line, the Buckeyes are losing Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones, and replacing them with a pair of defensive ends in Zach Harrison and Noah Potter and a defensive tackle in Jaden McKenzie, so the numbers are fine there. No freshman should actually be expected to replace Bosa or Jones, of course.
Ohio State lost one linebacker in Dante Booker and are adding at least two in Cade Stover and Tommy Eichenberg. That number could grow depending on where the athletic Craig Young lands. At safety, the Buckeyes add two more prospects in Ronnie Hickman and Bryson Shaw, so that position will have more options than it has had in a while.
Which brings us to the most glaring miss in the 2019 recruiting class — the cornerbacks.
Ohio State wasn’t able to sign a single cornerback in this class despite having one committed — Jordan Battle — for some time. When it came time for Ryan Day to put his staff together, you can’t help but wonder how much the lack of recruiting played into his decision to not retain Taver Johnson.
If there is any silver lining about the cornerback position, it is that the Buckeyes brought in three last year and redshirted two of them.
Still, the lack of numbers at the position in the 2019 class will make cornerback a priority in the 2020 class. Don’t worry, though, Day and his staff are already hard at work on a number of the nation’s top prospects.