The Ohio State coaching staff is working hard this month to finish its 2020 recruiting class with a bang, or maybe more accurately, a couple of booms.
Defensive back prospect Cam Martinez from Muskegon, Michigan is committed to the Buckeyes, but has not yet signed his Letter Of Intent to officially join the program. He’s waiting on word about who will replace Jeff Hafley on the OSU staff, and considering offers from other schools.
The Bucks are also working to flip running back Jahmyr Gibbs, a talented player who is currently committed to Georgia Tech. Gibbs will visit Columbus later this month.
But between new recruits and potential transfers, how many players can the Buckeyes realistically hope to add either on National Signing Day in February or before the 2020 season?
The first thing you have to know is that the NCAA requires all 130 FBS programs to be at or below 85 scholarship players before the start of fall camp. At the moment the Buckeyes, and many other programs, are above that number.
With last year’s senior class and NFL Draft early departures removed from the roster, and all of the 2020 freshmen (except one) added in, OSU currently stands at 88 scholarship players.
Kicker Jake Seibert, who signed a Letter of Intent to be a member of the 2020 class, is expected to take a grayshirt season and officially go on scholarship for 2021. Thus, he is not included in the tally below.
So how can Ohio State be over the limit of 85 players, and still have room to take a couple more?
Remember, that limit of 85 only kicks in at the start of camp in August. That means there are still almost seven months for players to transfer, take a medical retirement, or leave the program in another way.
It’s always hard to estimate exactly how many guys will leave during an offseason, but the 2019 Buckeyes lost WR L’Christian Smith, RB Brian Snead, QBs Matthew Baldwin and Tate Martell, and LB Keandre Jones to transfer. That’s about normal for a typical year, as guys who are buried on the depth chart look for a new home where they’ll have a better chance to play.
Others may depart for disciplinary reasons, a better cultural fit in other areas, or simply because they’re homesick. It’s typical for a handful of players to leave during an offseason.
With 88 players on the list right now, and four to six likely to depart at some point during the offseason, it’s certainly reasonable for the Buckeyes to add at least two or three more players before the start of camp, whether as recruits or transfers.
Players with an asterisk next to their names below have used their redshirt season. Those are unofficial at the moment, and included as a guide. They will be modified once the program officially updates their status.
|Justin Fields||Gunnar Hoak *||4|
|RB||Steele Chambers *|
|Marcus Crowley |
Master Teague *
|Demario McCall *|
|Kamryn Babb *|
|Elijah Gardiner *|
Jaylen Harris *
|C.J. Saunders *||11|
Cade Stover *
|Jeremy Ruckert||Luke Farrell * |
Jake Hausmann *
Ryan Jacoby *
Enokk Vimahi *
Matthew Jones *
Nick Petit-Frere *
Max Wray *
|Wyatt Davis * |
Josh Myers *
|Gavin Cupp * |
Noah Potter *
|Zach Harrison |
J. Jean-Baptiste *
|Tyler Friday |
|Jonathon Cooper *||8|
Cormontae Hamilton *
Jaden McKenzie *
|Taron Vincent *||Jerron Cage * |
|Haskell Garrett |
Antwuan Jackson *
Tommy Eichenberg *
|Craig Young||Dallas Gant |
|Justin Hilliard * |
Tuf Borland *
|Tyreke Johnson *||Sevyn Banks |
Shaun Wade *
|SAF||Ronnie Hickman *|
Bryson Shaw *
|Marcus Hooker *||Josh Proctor||6|