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tBBC Class of 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes Defensive Recruiting Overview

Discussion in 'News' started by Ben van Ooyen, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Class of 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes Defensive Recruiting Overview
    Ben van Ooyen
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    The Buckeyes currently sit atop the rankings with the #1 class in America for 2017. With the remaining targets on the defensive side of the ball, this class seems to be closing in as the best class in the internet age of recruiting. Unfortunately (fortunately) an abundance of riches on the roster has left Ohio State with a limited number of scholarships available for 2017. If you read last week’s offensive overview, then you know I projected the Buckeyes will take 10 on that side of the ball. On defense, I’d wager they take between 10-12 guys. Here’s where I think the Buckeyes finish on the defensive side for 2017.

    Defensive End:

    Right now, the Buckeyes lack a true defensive end commitment for 2017. However, they’re pursuing Chase Young, the #1 prospect in the state of Maryland. He would be a home run recruit on the defensive line which would add an immediate impact rusher. Unsurprisingly, the Terrapins seem to be the Buckeyes’ biggest competitors for Young’s services. He’s made several unofficial visits to College Park, so he’s quite familiar with the coaching staff and campus. Young visited the Buckeyes back in April, while he looks to make a return trip for Friday Night Lights on July 22nd. I expect the Buckeye coaching staff plus current commitments in attendance to give Young a lot of attention to try to woo him to Ohio State.

    If the Buckeyes get Young, they’ll be one and done at defensive end, but if he decides to go elsewhere, keep an eye on Donovan Jeter and Joshua Paschal – two four-star recruits with offers from the Buckeyes. Jeter will probably stay in state with either Pitt or Penn State, while Paschal is split pretty evenly among Maryland, Kentucky, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.

    Final Say: Young

    Defensive Tackle:

    The Buckeyes currently have Jerron Cage and Haskell Garrett as commitments at defensive tackle. Both seem like solid commitments, but there have been worries about Cage going to play with his brother at Notre Dame and the possibility of Garrett staying closer to home in California. I don’t see either of those things happening, I believe both will sign on the dotted line for Ohio State next February.

    Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are in the mix for quite a few of the nation’s top prospects at the defensive tackle position, including Marvin Wilson and Jay Tufele. Landing Wilson is a long shot since he currently holds crystal ball predictions to LSU, Texas, FSU, Baylor, and Alabama. He did visit Ohio State including them in his recently-released top 10. Utah’s top player Tufele has listed Ohio State at or near the top of his list for a while now, he’ll participate in The Opening this week alongside fellow Buckeye commits. I’m sure his fellow recruits will be in his ear about joining the best class in the country at Ohio State. Tufele also holds offers from Oregon, Michigan, and a plethora of other programs, so I don’t expect his recruitment to end any time soon.

    Final Say: Cage, Garrett

    Linebacker:

    Ohio State already has two commitments from Brendon White and Antjuan Simmons, but linebacker is one position where I can see the Buckeyes adding one or two commitments if the right names want in. Baron Browning out of Kennedale, Texas, for instance, is a consensus five-star recruit that heavily favors the Buckeyes. He’s expected to be on campus for Friday Night Lights and will undoubtedly get the red carpet treatment from the coaching staff. While the crystal balls predict him staying at an in-state school – Texas, TCU, Baylor, or A&M – I think this is one the Buckeyes can steal from the state of Texas.

    The Buckeyes probably wouldn’t refuse Dylan Moses, who recently listed Ohio State as one of his five official visits, or Anthony Hines, another top linebacker from the state of Texas. Hines visited Ohio State in June, but with over 90 offers, he can go pretty much anywhere in the country. He announced his top 10 at The Opening yesterday and the Buckeyes made the cut.

    Final Say: White, Simmons, Browning

    Cornerback:

    Shaun Wade’s recruitment has been interesting to say the least. He claims he’s 100% committed to Ohio State, but he continues to flirt with other schools. Recently he announced he planned to visit arch-rival Michigan, which cannot make the coaching staff happy. He’s also been to Florida, Notre Dame, and USC since committing to Ohio State. At this point, it looks like we won’t know where his loyalties lie until signing day. Marcus Williamson is the other current commit in the class. He attends the IMG Academy down in Florida with a few other Buckeye commitments, and I expect that entire contingent to make its way north next year.

    As for uncommitted prospects who may don the scarlet and gray next season, check out Darnay Holmes, Lamont Wade, and Amir Riep. Holmes is a teammate of another Buckeye recruit Tyjon Lindsey. Both players have taken multiple trips to Nebraska and seem to be very interested in what the Huskers are saying. Holmes is also crystal-balled to UCLA plus Stanford, both of which are close to home and viable options. He’s visiting for Friday Night Lights, the Buckeye coaching staff and recruits will try to work their magic, but I don’t see Holmes at OSU next season.

    Lamont Wade will also be at Friday Night Lights, he was once thought to be a slam dunk to Ohio State. The Buckeyes still appear to be the team on top, but his home state schools of Penn State and Pittsburgh are becoming increasingly competitive for his services. If the Buckeyes have enough room and allow Wade to enroll early at his request, then I think he ends up a Buckeye. If not, then I think he is off to Happy Valley.

    Amir Riep is yet another Friday Night Lights attendee but, he’ll make his college decision the day after – July 23rd. Rumor has it the decision is down to Michigan State and Ohio State, but lately it seems like this one has been trending away from the scarlet and gray. I still think Riep picks the Buckeyes in the end.

    Final Say: S. Wade, Williamson, A. Riep

    Safety:

    The Buckeyes have Isaiah Pryor – another IMG Academy product – committed at safety for 2017. They’re also fighting hard for five-star and consensus #1 safety prospect Jeffrey Okudah out of Grand Prairie, Texas. Okudah has long named Ohio State as his top school, and he recently made a visit to the Buckeye state. Ohio State has an impressive 59% of the crystal balls for Okudah – when he makes his decision, the Buckeyes should be it.

    Should Okudah decide to go elsewhere, consider Jaylen Kelly-Powell from Cass Tech in Michigan. If things fall through with Okudah, I think the Buckeyes will put all their eggs in Kelly-Powell’s basket, but the Wolverines will be tough to beat for him.

    Final Say: Pryor, Okudah

    Specialists:

    Right now the Buckeyes have Blake Haubeil committed as the only specialist for the 2017 class. He’ll likely grey shirt so his eligibility begins after Sean Nuernberger’s ends next season.

    Final Say: Haubeil

    Taking into account Haubeil’s grey shirt, the Buckeyes have 11 commitments on the defensive side of the ball. That gives them 21 for the class of 2017. There could be another grey shirt or two in that bunch, but we’ll have to wait and see if those players stick around or go elsewhere a la Todd Sibley. Right now, the Buckeyes are 10 scholarships over the limit for 2017, with the potential to add another seven commitments. That means the Buckeyes need to find a way to get from 102 scholarship athletes down to the NCAA-mandated 85 between now and the start of fall camp in 2017. There should be a few early entrants to the NFL and some transfers, but that only gives us a little wiggle room. Getting down the rest of the way is a puzzle I’ll let Urban Meyer and company piece together.

    The post Class of 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes Defensive Recruiting Overview appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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