Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting class is off to a strong start, with a pair of top-50 offensive linemen already committed.
It’s still early in the cycle, but there’s a lot of reason for Ryan Day and his staff to feel optimistic about where the class could end up.
OSU has at least a decent chance to land as many as 14 of the top 50 players available.
They almost certainly won’t get all of them, but even half that number would match the best classes of the Urban Meyer era.
Tuesday, we went through the top-50 overall players on offense who have a decent chance of picking the Buckeyes. Today, it’s the defense, including the No. 1 overall player in the class, an Ohio prospect, a player from a pipeline school in Florida, and another who publicly asked the Buckeyes to recruit him.
Hometown: Damascus, Maryland
Position: Defensive end
Rank: No. 1 overall, No. 1 DE
Crystal Ball: 50% Penn State, 38% Ohio State, 12% Maryland
The Scoop: Bressee has been trending toward Penn State for a while now, but the battle isn’t over. He visited Ohio State in 2018, and will likely do so again this year. Day and Larry Johnson came from behind to land Zach Harrison in 2019, so don’t count them out here. Incidentally, the top DE in the 2021 class, Jack Sawyer, is from Pickerington, Ohio.
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
Rank: No. 10 overall, No. 2 CB
Crystal Ball: 50% Washington, 50% Texas
The Scoop: Ringo has only two Crystal Ball predictions, which means no one really knows what he’s thinking. He made the trip to Columbus for an unofficial visit in October 2018, which is an encouraging sign for the Buckeyes. If you’re paying your own way to fly from Arizona to Ohio, there is at least some interest there. Johnson spent a lot of that afternoon hanging around with Ringo. Since then, Ringo has interacted with Buckeye players and recruits on social media, and by all accounts is still seriously considering OSU. Don’t get your hopes up on him just yet. But if he makes a return trip for an official visit in the fall, the Buckeyes have a chance to land him.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Position: Outside Linebacker
Rank: No. 15 overall, No. 2 OLB
Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State
The Scoop: The Buckeyes have long been viewed as the favorites to land Sherman, but Clemson is looming as a serious threat. His 100% Crystal Ball includes only three votes, so he’s certainly not a lock to be a Buckeye. The Tigers just landed a verbal from Sherman’s high school teammate, DT Tre Williams, and would love to add the Sherman to their class as well. It will be up to new LB coach Al Washington to build a strong relationship with Sherman quickly.
Fred Davis II
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
Rank: No. 29 overall, No. 3 CB
Crystal Ball: 50% Ohio State, 50% Miami
The Scoop: Davis is just the latest in a deep and talented pool of Trinity Catholic players who could be Buckeyes. Current CBs Shaun Wade and Tyreke Johnson already made that move, along with RB Marcus Crowley. Another 2020 CB from the school, Miles Brooks, is also strongly considering the Buckeyes. Davis visited Columbus for the 2018 Michigan game, which was a game that worked out okay for the Buckeyes, as you may recall. His recruitment is still pretty wide open, but given the ties to OSU, the Buckeyes have as good a chance as anyone to land him.
Hometown: Cedar Hill, Texas
Rank: No. 33 overall, No. 4 CB
Crystal Ball: 89% Texas A&M, 11% LSU
The Scoop: McGlothern famously called out the OSU coaching staff this month for not recruiting him hard enough, and got an immediate response. Now the question is whether he did it because he really wanted to be a Buckeye, or just wanted some attention. He hasn’t yet made a trip to Columbus, and this could be an “actions speak louder than tweets” situation. If McGlothern ends up visiting Ohio State this year, then you can start thinking more seriously about the Buckeyes landing him.
Hometown: Southlake, Texas
Rank: No. 36 overall, No. 1 S
Crystal Ball: 75% Ohio State, 25% Texas A&M
The Scoop: Mickens made the trip up to Columbus for Friday Night Lights in June 2018, and said at the time that the Buckeyes were “at the top” of his list. He knows current OSU CB Jeff Okudah and former Buckeye CB Kendall Sheffield well. With Jordan Fuller off to the NFL after the 2019 season, and Brendon White gone after 2020, there will be open jobs at safety soon. Mickens would be a monster addition if the Buckeyes can secure him.
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Position: Defensive end
Rank: No. 45 overall, No. 4 DE
Crystal Ball: 100% Ohio State
The Scoop: Henry visited Tennessee with Paris Johnson last weekend, but still seems like a decent bet to end up a Buckeye when all is said and done. Jonathon Cooper and Jashon Cornell are gone after 2019, and Chase Young is a good bet to leave early for the NFL. It will be crucial for Larry Johnson to add at least a couple new young ends to his room to keep things rolling.
Hometown: Hollywood, Florida
Rank: No. 47 overall, No. 5 CB
Crystal Ball: 40% Ohio State, 40% Miami, 20% Clemson
The Scoop: Things are going to be a little unpredictable with south Florida prospects for a while until everyone gets a better sense how well new Miami coach Manny Diaz can sell his program. Gray was a Miami commit, but opened up his recruitment again in December, when the Mark Richt era was imploding. Gray has never visited Columbus, but was at Clemson last weekend. Being in a recruiting battle with the Tigers isn’t a great thing right now, either. If he makes a trip to Ohio, you can start thinking about Gray a little more seriously.