Morning Conversational: How Big Will Ohio State’s 2020 Recruiting Class Be?
The 2020 Ohio State recruiting class is currently sitting at 16 verbal commits with nearly six months to go until the early signing period, and it might have actually grown by a player or two by the time you finally got around to reading this.
Last year, the Buckeyes signed 17 players total. This year, they are going to fly by that number, but exactly how large is this class going to be?
To know how big a class will be, first we must understand how much room there will be for incoming recruits.
There are currently 86 scholarship players on the roster, but of course that will be down to 85 within the next month. There are 19 scholarship seniors on the roster, so that’s where the number starts. There will be room for at least 19 in the class, but there will also be some players leaving early.
Chase Young and Jeff Okudah are both possibilities, if not probabilities, to turn pro early. More possibilities include JK Dobbins, Thayer Munford, Brendon White, and even Shaun Wade.
If we just halve those four possibilities — and ignore the others that may arise — that gives OSU four early-entry players to replace. So that brings the class number up to 23.
But then come the transfers, including grad transfers. The Buckeyes could have upwards of eight graduates on the roster next May, and sometimes those guys aren’t playing as much as they’d like. Having the ability to leave for immediate playing time elsewhere is now commonplace. Even if just two of those guys go, that puts the class at 25.
Underclassmen transferring also happens every year, and will again next year. We won’t put names to these possibilities, but following the 2019 season, a player or two may leave. Then following spring ball, another player or two may leave. If we go somewhat conservative on the number of transfers, as we have everywhere else, and put it at three departures, that gives OSU room for 28 players.
And that’s assuming there are no disciplinary departures.
The largest Ohio State class in the internet era has been 26, done both in 2018 and 2015 by Urban Meyer.
Will Ryan Day want to sign as many as he can and top that number? That depends on who is wanting to come aboard.
If Day wants to hold at 26, but then 5-star California cornerback Elias Ricks wants to commit, he’ll happily go to 27.
But it will also depend on how things are shaping up in the 2021 class. They may want to bank a few, but there will also be a large number of seniors departing that year as well.
With 16 commitments currently for Ohio State, and another coming possibly today (linebacker Mitchell Melton) and then tomorrow (offensive lineman Josh Fryar), that could put them at 18 on July 4. It should be noted that kicker Jake Seibert is planning to grayshirt, which will put him in the 2021 class.
So if we’re putting the number at 28 and ignoring what hasn’t yet happened, that means the Buckeyes could have another 13 commitments coming in this class.
And it isn’t very difficult to find those 13 names.
But that’s a topic for another day.