What would Ohio State football’s 2022 recruiting class look like in a perfect world? Buckeyes Recruiting
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State football program enters the ever significant spring and summer months halfway toward completing its 2022 recruiting class.
It holds a similar spot to where it was a year ago, with the 2021 class sitting as the top group in the country following a run of early commits that locked up Ohio while zeroing in in five-stars are positions of need.
Now the real work begins with a potential end to the dead period around the corner and high-profile names still on the board.
The Buckeyes aren’t going to get every single remaining player at the top of their recruiting board between here and Signing Day. However, they are in a position to land several of them, especially with most having already scheduled official visits or expected to do so.
But their fight for a recruiting championship requires that they get as close as possible to that perfect scenario of a class. That group consists of 23 commitments from players across 13 states, with only five currently ranked outside of the top 200.
Here’s a look at the perfect scenario and what it would mean for the 2022 recruiting class:
|Player, Position||School (State)||Ranking (Pos.)||Stars||Rating||OSU Status|
|Quinn Ewers, Pro-Style||Southlake Carroll (Texas)||No. 1 (No. 1)||5-Star||1.0000||Committed|
|Walter Nolen, Defensive Tackle||St. Benedict at Auburndale (Tenn.)||No. 2 (No. 1)||5-Star||0.9995||Top 8|
|Jaheim Singletary, Cornerback||Robert E. Lee (Fla.)||No. 9 (No. 4)||5-Star||0.9921||Committed|
|Shawn Murphy, Inside Linebacker||Unity Reed (Va.)||No. 17 (No. 1)||5-Star||0.9886||Top 8|
|Zach Rice, Offensive Tackle||Liberty Christian Academy (Va.)||No. 21 (No. 1)||5-Star||0.9880||Top 5|
|Caleb Burton, Wide Receiver||Lake Travis (Texas)||No. 23 (No. 4)||5-Star||0.9874||Committed|
|Enai White, Weakside Defensive End||Imhotep Institute (Pa.)||No. 36
|5-Star||0.9835||June 25 Visit|
|Gabe Powers, Outside Linebacker||Marysville (Ohio)||No. 39 (No. 2)||4-Star||0.9828||Committed|
|C.J. Hicks, Outside Linebacker||Archbishop Alter (Ohio)||No. 41 (No. 3)||4-Star||0.9816||Committed|
|Kiyaunta Goodwin, Offensive Tackle||Charlestown (Ind.)||No. 47 (No. 5)||4-Star||0.9787||Undecided|
|Earnest Greene, Guard||St. John Bosco (Calif.)||No. 52 (No. 2)||4-Star||0.9775||Top 10|
|Dasan McCullough, Athlete (LB)||Bloomington South (Ind.)||No. 60 (No. 7)||4-Star||0.9758||Committed|
|Xavier Nwankpa, Safety||Southeast Polk (Iowa)||No. 72 (No. 5)||4-Star||0.9705||June 4 Visit|
|Caden Curry, Defensive Tackle||Center Grove (Ind.)||No. 80 (No. 7)||4-Star||0.9644||Undecided|
|Jyaire Brown, Cornerback||Lakota West (Ohio)||No. 112 (No. 13)||4-Star||0.9526||Committed|
|Toriano Pride, Cornerback||Lutheran North (Mo.)||No. 124 (No. 14)||4-Star||0.9490||June 4 Visit|
|Kyion Grayes, Wide Receiver||Chandler (Ariz.)||No. 127 (No. 17)||4-Star||0.9472||Committed|
|Aamil Wagner, Offensive Tackle||Wayne (Ohio)||No. 134 (No. 13)||4-Star||0.9444||100% OSU Crystal Ball|
|Tegra Tshabola, Offensive Tackle||Lakota West (Ohio)||No. 142 (No. 16)||4-Star||0.9441||Committed|
|Benji Gosnell, Tight End||East Surry (N.C.)||No. 278 (No. 11)||4-Star||0.9050||Committed|
|Damari Alston, Running Back||Woodward Academy (Ga.)||No. 279 (No. 28)||4-Star||0.9044||Expected June Visit|
|Bennett Christian, Tight End||Allatoona (Ga.)||No. 320 (No. 14)||4-Star||0.8987||Committed|
|Demon Moore, Guard||R Nelson Snider (Ind.)||No. 324 (No. 8)||4-Star||0.8976||Undecided|
|Ryan Turner, Cornerback||Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Fla.)||No. 336 (No. 33)||4-Star||0.8956||March 25 Self-Guided Visit|
What are OSU’s chances at history?
OSU’s 2021 class was once expected to rival some of the best classes in history. Alabama eventually hawked the group down and made its own history with the highest-ranked class of all time. The Crimson Tide’s 27 commits surpassed the 2010 Florida Gators’ score of 324.67 with 327.91 total points and a 95.00 average star rating. That class held seven five-stars and seven other top-100 players.
This perfect class scenario wouldn’t quite reach that mark — 323.38 points — but would surpass the Buckeyes’ 2018 class’ 317.06 points for the highest-rated class in program history. It would also produce an average-star rating of 96.13, higher than any other class.
Just like the 2021 class would’ve once had, the 2022 class would have an argument of quality over quantity in its fight to be looked at as the best class of all time on Signing Day in this perfect scenario. That starts by possibly becoming the only class in the modern era to sign the top two players in the country in Ewers and Nolen.
Momentum is everything as the live period approaches
Ohio State built the No. 2 class in the country last year despite most of the player never getting a chance to see inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center until they came to campus for good in January.
Whoever decides to arrive next January — which has already grown to a large number — potentially won’t be able to say the same. There’s real optimism that the recruiting dead period will end on May 31, which is why there have already been a bevy of official visits scheduled in June across the country.
That’s a good thing for OSU. The program hasn’t had any difficulty in building up the necessary momentum for its top targets over the past year to the point where the exclamation point would’ve been getting them on campus.
A visit is all current commits like tight end Bennett Christian and wide receiver Kyion Grayes needed before pulling the trigger and there are plenty others on the list above that may fall under the same umbrella.
Not being able to do so probably played a role in why five-star 2021 offensive tackle J.C. Latham is in Tuscaloosa right now instead of Columbus. It’s also probably part of the reason Domani Jackson — 2022′s No. 1 cornerback — chose to stay home by committing to USC or why four-star wideout Armani Winfield picked Texas.
The above class is a perfect scenario, but it’s also a reasonable goal. All but three have either narrowed down their options, scheduled a visit or already have strong crystal-balls predicting them to OSU.
A need creating opportunity
Ohio State doesn’t have to spread itself thin to make this perfect scenario happen. There are 12 uncommitted players on that list, and 10 of them play a position that is an apparent need in this cycle, especially when discussing the higher-rated recruits.
The Buckeyes need elite-level offensive tackles: Insert Zach Rice.
They need to replenish the interior of the defensive line: Walter Nolen and Caden Curry give you a nose tackle and a three-technique.
This class is meant to be a reload at linebacker: You’ve already got three Ohio guys, leaving Shawn Murphy as the final piece of the puzzle.
You need a legitimate free safety able to play in OSU’s defensive scheme: come on down, Xavier Nwankpa.
The only highly rated players who don’t play a position of dire need in the class are guard Earnest Greene and defensive end Enai White. But you take top-50 recruits, especially when they play positions where you already have a reputation for developing All-Americans.
Ohio State is probably not going to land every single one of these players. That’s why this is a projection of what the class would look like in a perfect world. But it also isn’t crazy to consider that it’s reasonable for the Buckeyes to pull this off.
The last time they were able to bring a large number of players together for a recruiting event where the coaching staff could be involved led to a run of commitments.
That event could be on the horizon, and most of this list is expected to be there. That’s the first step in making this perfect scenario reality.
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