Football Recruiting

Morning Constitutional: Who is Ohio State’s Most Underrated 2019 Signee?

Ohio State offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby

It is always easy to be enamored with the names at the top of a recruiting class, but what generally makes classes great are the names at the bottom who contribute well beyond their rankings.

For instance, the six highest-ranked players in Urban Meyer’s first class at Ohio State were Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, Se’Von Pittman, Bri’onte Dunn, and Armani Reeves. Those six were a large reason the class was ranked fifth in the nation.

At the bottom of the class, however, were names like Tyvis Powell, Jacoby Boren, Cardale Jones, Michael Thomas, and Pat Elflein.

The top half looked good in the national recruiting rankings, but the bottom half ended up starting for a national champion.

Being at the top of the team recruiting rankings is always important. The data and proof is there.

Individually, however, the rankings aren’t any kind of judge and jury when it comes to players. In fact, they are very far from perfect.

Players are “underrated” every single year in every kind of ranking or draft board. No amount of scouting is infallible, just ask the NFL about their hit rate on first-round quarterbacks.

In terms of the most underrated signee for the Buckeyes this year, for such a small class, Ryan Day is hoping that the bottom of his class will all fit that bill.

And please don’t get upset about the term “bottom of the class,” it’s just a reference to the lowest-ranked players in a class. As we saw with the 2012 class, the bottom of the class is only a reference to the rankings, not the production.

So with that said, three names jump out to me most.

The first is offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby. Jacoby is in the middle of the pack of the class in terms of rankings. He is the No. 23 offensive tackle in the nation, which is also where Kyle Dodson was ranked in 2012. His commitment was celebrated because it happened on signing day. Jacoby’s came nine months before signing day, so the trumpets were unnecessary.

Jacoby is an athletic lineman who has played left tackle since about the seventh grade. He played big-time high school football at Mentor and is better prepared than most.

What struck me in talking to him, however, is that his focus right now isn’t on playing this season, it’s on doing everything he can to be ready when he is called upon. He doesn’t want to let the team down, and that’s an attitude that can drive a player well beyond his rankings.

The next player on my list is running back Marcus Crowley, who is the No. 26 player at his position in the nation. Crowley was a late target by the Buckeyes. He was committed to Miami before Ohio State came calling. He put up massive numbers in a very good league, but didn’t show up on many radars until late in his senior season.

For some, that would put a chip on their shoulder. For Crowley, the lack of attention didn’t bother him because he’s at Ohio State now. “I still did what I did,” he said.

The third player on my list is linebacker Craig Young. At least, he’ll start out at linebacker. He is currently listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, but we’ll see where he is when he arrives in the summer.

Young is one of six 3-star prospects in the class and the No. 34 athlete in the nation.

What is to like? He scored 17 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior and ran a 10.7 100M that year as well. He was also productive on the football field, catching 35 passes for 700 yards as a senior.

I don’t know where he will end up, but when he gets there, he’ll be 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and running a 4.6.

26 Responses

  1. Longtime fan, you are an arrogant ASS. You have no clue what you are talking about. Why don’t you jus go back to reading the comics or are they too deep for you. If you would have read Gerd’s article as it was intended to mean, oops sorry but you evidently can’t interpret good journalism. Go read about that worthless team up north. It’s on your level of understanding. What a dilbert as Billy Ray Vulgar would say. !!!

    1. Hey Jack- you’re running about a 10 watt bulb upstairs, so I thought I’d mention that my comment about you is in my reply to Jim H below. I didn’t spend much time on you, which is NOT an accident.

  2. Longtime Fan, you are the one that missed the point. Underrated recruit is exactly what the individuals Gerd wrote about are. They currently were not rated highly. They may perform well and prove that they were underrated or they may not pan out and prove that they were rated deservedly. But at this moment they are the lowest rated players OSU took this year.
    He did not rate them on their production for OSU. He rated them compared to the rest of the class at this moment.
    Gerd, the best part about stories like this are when players work their butts off and prove the rating services wrong. Good job!

    1. Hi Jim- thanks for replying in a manner without passive aggression, self serving dismissals from wounded egos, or outright stupidity (like our friend Jack Frysinger, captain of everything- including the debate team- during his high school years a century ago). You may be proof that reasonable people can differ! In this specific case, I must disagree on the basic notion behind your argument. If your statement was true, and the article was merely about OSU’s “lowest rated” player, we’d need only to refer to those wondrous recruiting rankings ( ie, “OSU’S lowest rated recruit was…”) That way, the answer would have been one sentence, rather than an entire article…
      Sadly- and I do mean sadly- that’s not the case here. The article is just one more effort to fill space with fluff. As written and explained, the article can’t possibly answer itself and, in fact, makes no sense. I’d love to have a healthy debate about a topic THAT MAKES SENSE; however, those topics are like unicorns this time of year.

      1. It’s not about “lowest rated.” Some players can be low rated and it be entirely accurate. “Under rating” something means applying a rating to it that is UNDER what it should be. And since these ratings are made by humans, it is perfectly fine for other humans to discuss them. It’s fine. This is actually quite common among groups of people who enjoy such things and aren’t completely joyless.

        1. Tony- I’ve gotten under your skin, sunshine…Thanks for the grade school explanation of “low” vs “under” ratings, it was truly illuminating. On to the actual point, however… THERE IS NO DATA FOR THE 2019 PLAYERS FOR ANY OF IT, THEY HAVEN’T PLAYED A SINGLE DOWN FOR OSU…Since your dance card of trivial article ideas must be running low, here are a few for future articles:

          1) If the Rose Bowl could be held on another planet, which one would it be and why?

          2) If OSU was forced to change school colors, what would they be? Could OSU then wear “alt” jerseys with scarlet and gray as a homage? How cool would that be?

          Finally, I merely find no joy in idiocy from people like you (and you’re not alone). OSU football has brought me more joy than you know- and the real kind, not your imaginary nonsense.

          1. Again, the internet has a lot of information available. There is data. Rankings data. This is the data that is being talked about and asked about. It’s actually quite a big business. I’m surprised you don’t know about it when so many others do. Regardless, thanks for loyally reading and commenting. The discussion is always appreciated. Keep clickin’!

  3. Groundhog Day reference, anyone? We won’t know who is most “underrated” until they actually perform. (In other words, you can’t ‘rate” someone who hasn’t played a single down yet).

    1. It was a question submitted by a reader looking for an opinion.

        1. You may be surprised at the amount of people who like to read speculative pieces. And even those who don’t are clearly reading as well.

          1. Nice try, but you swung and missed. I didn’t read the entire article, a couple sentences told me all I needed to know. And YOU might be surprised at the number of people who hope for substance in the articles.

            1. I submitted the question, and yes I enjoyed reading it. Don’t bash a free site with your pompous attitude, please. Just be thankful you have a place read news and opinions.

              1. Jim- your question didn’t merit an “article”, as its basic notion was flawed. Your question would be fine after 3 more years, when the players in question have actually had time TO PLAY THE FREAKING GAMES. Maybe a better question would be, “Who is the class of 2016’s most underrated player?”
                By the way, nice “pompous” reply after calling me pompous. “Just be thankful you have a place to read news”? Noted, I wasn’t thankful until you pointed it out…good heavens.

          2. I love to read speculative articles. It makes you think. I guess some people just dont like to think.

            1. And the trifecta of commenters whose feelings have been hurt by little old logic and accuracy! Directed at passive aggressive Hank: I actually do like to “think”, partner, which is why I raised the initial point. If you can tell me NOW who OSU’s most underrated 2019 signee is, you clearly have the ability to time travel, as you MUST have seen a couple season’s worth of their OSU play …When you return from your next trip to the future, could you slide me the Mega Millions numbers for the March lottery?

      1. Yeah, you’re right. But the awful truth is that some won’t play until much later. So, we may not know the true value of this class until 3-4 years up the line.

        That being said, bring on August 31 and the 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes!

    2. Lifetime, LeBron was rated a great player in high school so dont tell me you cant rate players.

      1. Had to come in for a 4th reply Friday night, the second for Hardware Hank, after the “brilliant” comment regarding Lebron James. This comment actually isn’t for Hank, who won’t understand it. Here it goes…
        You see, Lebron James wasn’t “underrated” coming out of high school. He was, in fact, the exact opposite- a can’t miss pro star. Even so, you couldn’t “rate” his performance in the pros until AFTER he actually played in some games! Sheesh. The proper question for Lebron’s rookie class would be, “Which player drafted in 2003’s NBA draft, turned out to be the most underrated?”
        Are so many readers starved for material, that hopelessly absurd questions like this one are this coveted for your consumption? This is the hill you’re going to die on? Oookay… enjoy the THREE- YEAR early “speculation” piece, it’s fascinating (no, really, it is..)

        1. You dont know how to think, you want everybody to think for you. That is the definition of an imbecile. You must be jealous of Tony because you just disagree with everything he says.By the way I rated LeBron before I saw him play in the pros. I said he would be great. If you had to watch him play first then you know less about basketball than you do about football. which is mind boggling.

          1. Hank- you’re blowing your chance in front of the Parole Board, buddy! The article itself was supposedly about “underrated players” (the mystery of how they can be underrated, having played ZERO downs for OSU notwithstanding). So, your mention of Lebron James was misguided- and that’s the nicest word I can muster at this point. You crapped down your leg on that analysis… On the bright side, I can easily see how your mind would become boggled with little difficulty. Next please…

            1. Every player is ranked and rated by recruiting services. That is what we are talking about when discussing who is underrated.

              1. “He who dares not offend cannot be honest.”
                ― Thomas Paine

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