Recruiting Update: Who Might be Next for Ohio State Football?
June was a tough month for Ohio State and its 2021 recruiting class, as the Buckeyes narrowly missed out on a handful of top national prospects that opted for other schools.
See down below in this story for a list of who committed elsewhere throughout June.
While unfortunate, plenty of massive names still exist on the board for Ohio State to continue strengthening its top-rated class. Here are our top-five most important (and realistic) targets still remaining for the Buckeyes, with 247Sports composite national ranking listed at the end inside parentheses.
1. J.T. Tuimoloau (DL/Bellevue, Wash./2) … Highest-ranked player still available for Ohio State so he tops our list. Has been listed at both defensive end and tackle, but pairing him with Jack Sawyer and others would be lethal regardless. Appears down to Ohio State and Washington so, anytime you’re seemingly that close to the No. 2 player overall, he’s the leading man.
2. Emeka Egbuka (WR/Steilacoom, Wash./8) … Yes, OSU already secured a slew of top receivers lately in Julian Fleming, Jackson Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr., Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr. But Egbuka is the top wideout in the class and a future star somewhere. No matter how much money you have, how do you turn your back on more? Don’t want him at Clemson or Oklahoma.
3. Derrick Davis Jr. (S/Monroeville, Pa./52) … Being the No. 2 safety is enough to warrant priority but, after missing out on Tony Grimes, Jaylin Davies and Devonta Smith, he becomes even more critical. Seemingly down to Ohio State and Penn State. Could become an essential hybrid option to the back-seven sooner than later.
4. Tywone Malone (DT/Oradell, N.J./53) … Huge interior option that brings trouble into the middle. Should probably be higher on this list but with Tuimoloau being versatile, Mike Hall committed and other young tackles showing promise, he sits here. Buckeyes likely high on the list but not a lot of insight from Malone himself.
5. Jager Burton (OG/Lexington, Ky./119) … Fast riser that even flew up to No. 61 in the separate “Fresh Top247” rankings. Buckeyes did just bring in six offensive linemen in the 2020 class and have commitments from five-star guard Donovan Jackson and four-star tackle Ben Christman in 2021. Burton would still be a fantastic get regardless and, again, another to keep away from the likes of Clemson, Bama, etc.
Other prime prospects, albeit maybe not quite as realistic at the moment, include cornerback Jordan Hancock, offensive lineman Rocco Spindler and defensive tackle Damon Payne.
Hancock, a rumored flip candidate, is still committed to Clemson despite a lot of interaction with OSU commits on social media. Spindler has the Buckeyes in his top five but seems to be leaning elsewhere, and the quiet Payne hasn’t really tipped his hand or allowed the relationship with Ohio State to gain much momentum.
ESPN TOP 300 (overall):
4. J.T. Tuimoloau
25. Damon Payne
28. Derrick Davis Jr.
29. Emeka Egbuka
44. Tywone Malone
66. Rocco Spindler
101. Jordan Hancock
231. Jager Burton
Sure... cornerback Tony Grimes chose North Carolina, offensive lineman JC Latham went Alabama, wide receiver Troy Stellato picked Clemson, cornerback Jaylin Davies decided on Oregon, offensive lineman Garrett Dellinger is going south to LSU, tight end Hudson Wolfe stayed home with Tennessee and corner Devonta Smith flipped to Alabama.
However, Ohio State has four coaches impressively listed among the Top-10 recruiter rankings by 247Sports; Tony Alford (2), Kerry Coombs (4), Brian Hartline (8) and Larry Johnson (10). We think these men, and many others on staff, will have the Buckeyes looking just fine moving forward.