On Sunday, the Ohio State football program received a verbal commitment from Ohio defensive end Jack Sawyer, who is one of the top players in the entire 2021 recruiting class.
Sawyer is ranked the No. 3 player overall and the No. 1 strongside defensive end. He is incredibly talented and looks the part of a game changer like the 5-star defensive ends at Ohio State before him. But just as importantly as all of that, he could be the spark that gets the 2021 class started.
The 2019 recruiting class wraps up on Wednesday and the 2020 class is running full steam, but recruiting timelines wait for no man, and so Ohio State and the rest of the college football world have to keep up.
The Buckeyes currently have seven 2020 commits, and with spring football right around the corner, that number should hit double digits by May.
Jack Sawyer is the first of the 2021 commits, which means that he is now the one who lights the way, particularly in Ohio.
The rankings are still quite early for the 2021 cycle, but there are currently four Ohioans in the Top 100, which would tie for the most in Ohio since there were six members in the 2012 cycle.
And remember, the 2021 class has just completed their sophomore seasons and there are still plenty of camps and combines to get to where even more Ohioans can impress coaches and scouts.
Of those four Top 100 players, the Buckeyes have offered two — Jack Sawyer, and Massillon receiver Jayden Ballard. They have also offered two players outside of the first hundred as well, in Pickerington Central receiver Lorenzo Styles, Jr. and Solon defensive end Najee Story.
There are two Buckeyes in the 2021 Top 100 who don’t yet hold offers, and they are Perry running back Jaylen Anderson and Pickerington Central safety AJ Kirk.
Anderson also made the visit this past weekend, so the Buckeyes are very much interested. He is 247Sports’ No. 6 running back and No. 78 player overall. He does not yet hold a Power 5 offer.
Kirk, who is the younger brother of former Buckeye great and three-time All-American Michael Doss, plays at nearby Dublin Coffman and is a 5-star prospect. The No. 28 player overall and No. 2 safety, Kirk holds offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, and Notre Dame.
If Ryan Day is as serious as he says he is about Ohio, an offer for Kirk would seem to just be a matter of time.
Urban Meyer has talked in the past about being careful offering Ohio players early because they could accept on the spot and commit before you’re sure you’re ready to take them.
Well, there are a handful of Ohio’s best in the 2021 class that Ryan Day and his coaching staff are sold on, so maybe Sawyer becomes the first of a few during the early stages of the 2021 cycle.
Regardless, the commitment of Jack Sawyer will at least provide a tent pole for the rest of the 2021 class. Not only have the Buckeyes landed a commitment from the top player in the state, but one of the top players in the nation as well.
Talent wants to play with talent, and Jack Sawyer has become the first piece in what should be a very impressive puzzle in a couple of years.