This whole Ryan Day thing might just work out okay.
The 247 Sports network just released its final set of rankings for the 2020 recruiting class, and Ohio State has already signed four different players ranked as 5-star prospects.
In fact, WR Julian Fleming, OT Paris Johnson, WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and QB C.J. Stroud aren’t just signed, they’re already on campus and going through winter workouts.
Fleming ended up being the highest-ranked recruit of any Buckeye in the 2020 class according to 247. He is considered the best wide receiver prospect this year, and the No. 4 player overall.
Johnson is next, ranked No. 8 overall and the top offensive tackle in the class.
After that comes Smith-Njigba, whose meteoric rise left him as the 15th-ranked player in the nation and the No. 5 wide receiver.
Stroud is the fourth 5-star prospect, considered the No. 29 player and 2nd-best pro-style passer in the class.
The Buckeyes’ four 5-stars are more than the rest of the Big Ten combined. The other 13 teams in the league signed a total of only three players ranked as 5-stars. Penn State, Wisconsin, and Northwestern have secured letters intent from the No. 24, 26, and 27 players in the country, respectively.
Ohio State WR Gee Scott narrowly missed 5-star status as well. He finished as the 37th-ranked player in the nation, just five places away from that fifth star. He ended up as the country’s No. 10 wideout.
LB Cody Simon is the only other Buckeye ranked in the top-100 of the class. He checked in at No. 97.
CB Clark Phillips, who finished at No. 50 overall, flipped from OSU to Utah on Early Signing Day.
That gives Ohio State six of the nation’s top-100 players. The rest of the Big Ten combined for six. Penn State (Nos. 24 & 60), Wisconsin, (No. 26), Northwestern (No. 27), and Nebraska (Nos. 67 & 99) are the other schools to sign players ranked among the nation’s top-100 this year.
You might note the absence of a certain team from up north on that list. Michigan’s top recruit this year is ranked as the No. 121 player in the nation.
This year’s 5-star haul is double what the Buckeyes brought in last year during the transition from Urban Meyer to Day. DE Zach Harrison and WR Garrett Wilson were the two players considered 5-star signees for the Bucks in 2019.
They signed two in 2018 as well, OT Nicholas Petit-Frere and TE Jeremy Ruckert. Justin Fields was a 5-star signee with Georgia that year before transferring to OSU following his freshman season.
The last time Ohio State signed four players ranked as 5-star prospects by 247 in a single class was 2017. That was the year that DE Chase Young, LB Baron Browning, and CBs Jeff Okudah and Shaun Wade all became Buckeyes.
You can find the full Top 247 rankings for 2020 here.
And if you’re interested in taking a peek into the future, there are only four players ranked as 5-star prospects for 2021 right now. One of them is DE Jack Sawyer from Pickerington, who is already committed to the Buckeyes.