Everything you need to know and what actually matters about the 2019 Ohio State Buckeye recruiting class.
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It’s a small first class under Ryan Day, but it’s really the last work of the Urban Meyer era that Day just so happened to take over. With just 17 signings, there wasn’t a lot of room for error. But after last season’s whopper class that was among the three best, this was a year off.
The early signing period wasn’t bad, and there wasn’t much happening on National Signing Day. It’s a good group of players, but it’s missing the overall pop. There’s more than enough talent coming in to not be a problem, but there isn’t one areas that got appreciably better. But …
The offensive line is the spot that might have improved a bit. There’s no one at the level of Nick Petit-Frere from last year’s class, but there’s enough talent to push for starting jobs in the near future. Guard Harry Miller from Georgia got away from the Dawgs and all of the other big boys, and Enokk Vimahi from Hawaii is an interesting signing with big upside at tackle once he packs on a little weight.
DE Zach Harrison is the one guy who’s around the same high level as the top seven or so recruits from last year. Opinions varied on him a bit, but in the end, all the big boys made a push. In this class, though, he needs to grow into an unstoppable all-star pass rusher as the signature standout.
Okay, okay, okay … so the recruiting class is graded on a curve. As is, this is a decent class. Now throw in one of the top two national prospects from last year’s class, and this all changes in a big way. It’s a new world now, and you have to put the transfers into the mix when analyzing the classes. Adding Justin Fields from Georgia – and with him being eligible right away – takes the Ohio State offseason haul of talent from whatever to fantastic. However …
Losing Tate Martell to Miami leaves a hole. The Buckeyes would’ve been hosed if the NCAA ruled the other way on Fields, and they need to land the next great quarterback in next year’s class. Jack Miller out of Arizona might be just that, but it’s Ohio State – it has to shoot bigger and find a way to pry DJ Uiagalelei away from Clemson and Oklahoma.
Here’s the strange thing about Ohio State’s classes lately – the Buckeyes aren’t dominating Ohio. Just six in-state recruits were signed in 2017, and six more came in last year. They got some of the state’s superstars, but they recruit nationally – which is what the power programs do. This year, the five Ohio players stand out a wee bit considering the smallish class.
Here’s the big positive from such a mediocre class – at least for Ohio State. The rest of the Big Ten didn’t exactly crush it on the recruiting trail. Michigan’s class was excellent, and Penn State did its job, but that’s about it. Nebraska’s class was great, but it wasn’t any better than OSU’s. Even in a down, transition offseason for the program, everything is is more than fine. But 2020’s class had better be a whopper when it comes to the five-star types.