Over the last month, Ohio State has landed a commitment from Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic five-star defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau and seen Southlake (Texas) Carroll five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers reclassify to the class of 2021.
So, it should come as no surprise that the Buckeyes, who previously held the No. 2 class in SI All-American’s team recruiting rankings for the 2021 recruiting cycle, have now passed Alabama for the top spot.
“It was always a close race between Alabama and Ohio State for the top 2021 recruiting class, until the very end of the normal signing period, when Alabama pulled away with several SI99 prospect additions,” SI All-American director of recruiting John Garcia told BuckeyesNow. “The Buckeyes have since added two of the very best in Tuimoloau and Ewers, who would have been a member of the SI99 rankings for the class had he reclassified sooner. It would have made 13 SI99 pledges for Ohio State in the 23-man haul, overtaking the Alabama total (12) in the process.”
The rankings place emphasis on the quality of players, the positions they play and how the programs addressed their specific needs as opposed to being measured by the number of commitments in any given class or the players’ star ratings. Then, again, there was simply no way a class headlined by two five-star quarterbacks in Ewers and Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep’s Kyle McCord, as well as Tuimoloau and another five-star defensive end in Pickerington (Ohio) North’s Jack Sawyer, would be anywhere but the top spot.
“Beyond the SI99 portion of the class evaluation, the Buckeyes edge the Crimson Tide in the quest to fulfill team needs and matches the collection of premium positional prospects,” Garcia said. “The two-quarterback haul adds immediate depth and competition to the quarterback room in the replacement of Justin Fields, and the defensive line haul will help Ryan Day pressure the passer right out of the gates.”
When breaking the groups down on a positional basis, Garcia gave the edge to Alabama’s 27-man class at wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker and defensive back and the Buckeyes the edge at quarterback, running back and defensive line.
The difference, was that Ohio State finished with more prospects at the top of their positional rankings in Ewers; Tuimoloau; Hopewell, Va., five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson; Steilacoom, Wash., five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka; and Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett four-star nickel cornerback Jordan Hancock compared to Alabama’s one in Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal five-star offensive tackle Tommy Brockermeyer.
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