Today’s Topic: What To Make Of Ryan Day’s Offensive Line Recruiting Strategy?
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said back in December that he was aware of the misses the Buckeyes have had in-state on the offensive line of late and that it was time for those days to be over.
Just in the last four classes, Ohio State has lost in-state offensive linemen Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg to Notre Dame in 2016, Matt Bockhorst to Clemson and Mike Miranda to Penn State in 2017, Jackson Carman to Clemson and John Dirksen to Notre Dame in 2018, Zeke Correll to Notre Dame, and Nolan Rumler and Zach Carpenter to Michigan in 2019.
The Buckeyes didn’t offer all of those players, but as Ryan Day looks at the current state of the Ohio State offensive line, he is realizing that they probably should have.
As the head coach now, Day appears to be working hard to avoid this kind of situation ever happening again.
“It’s always a priority, so we want to make sure that in the next class that’s a huge emphasis, as well,” he said on signing day. “But we’re recruiting the kids from Ohio harder than anybody in the country, and it’s going to continue to be a priority.
“When I was here for the first signing day, I think the question was asked about Ohio offensive linemen. I said that was going to be an emphasis, and it is. We’re all over that. I mean, that’s from when we wake up in the morning till we go to bed at night. That’s not going to change.”
Day is practicing what he preached. The Buckeyes currently have three in-state offensive linemen committed.
Paris Johnson was a no-brainer. He is a 5-star prospect and the No. 4 player in the nation. He has been committed since June.
But it is Ohio State’s last two commitments which have put Day’s promise on display.
Three-star Cincinnati Elder lineman Jakob James committed in January and is the No. 30 player in the state and the No. 75 offensive tackle in the class. James does hold some high-quality offers, including LSU, Michigan, and Penn State.
On Monday, three-star Norwalk lineman Trey Leroux committed just days after receiving an offer. He is the No. 95 offensive tackle and the No. 42 player in the state. Leroux also has offers from Indiana, Kentucky, and Purdue.
Under Urban Meyer, it is highly unlikely that either player would have received an offer prior to camping in the summer before their respective senior seasons. Based on recruiting rankings, some may even label these last two commitments as “reaches” based on how early they were offered. But Day has repeatedly said they would be aggressive in offering Ohioans and he has shown that so far.
Is it dangerous? Probably not.
The offensive line is a difficult position to project, but one consistent aspect that can be tracked is that if you sign the three best offensive linemen in the state of Ohio every year, you’ll do pretty well.
And certainly better than chasing players in Colorado or South Dakota who get homesick quickly.
Ryan Day needs a big offensive line class in 2020 and so far, of the Buckeyes’ seven commitments, four are on the offensive line. New Jersey center (No. 1 at his position) Luke Wypler has been committed since July.
Obviously, we won’t know how this offensive line class pans out until about four years from now, but based on history — and geography — it’s hard to argue with Day’s in-state plan of attack.
Here’s the 247Sports Composite of each Ohio class since Urban Meyer took over in 2012. Take a look and see if you would have been okay with landing the three best Ohio linemen each year.