COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer typically assembles stellar recruiting classes, and analysts say 2017 is one of his finest ever.
With minimal drama, the Buckeyes signed 20 players on Wednesday, including five rated 5 stars by recruiting analysts. Nine recruits have already enrolled. Analysts say Ohio State’s recruiting haul is second only to Alabama.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: Yes
Best in class: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, South Grand Prairie, Texas. With the loss of starters Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore, the 6-1½, 190-pound Okudah could start immediately. He could also get a look at safety to fill the hole left by All-American Malik Hooker, who declared for the draft.
Best of the rest: Chase Young, DE, Hyattsville, Maryland. The 6-5, 251-pounder enters crowded field of Ohio State defensive linemen, including veteran starters Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis. He’s been rated the second-best defensive end prospect in the nation.
Late addition: Elijah Gardiner, a 6-foot-5 wide receiver from Kemp, Texas, had committed to Missouri but switched to Ohio State on Monday.
One that got away: Four-star wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey from Las Vegas committed to the Buckeyes last summer, then backed off and chose Nebraska.
How they’ll fit in: Okudah, 5-star cornerback Shaun Wade from Jacksonville, Florida, and the other DBs will get a chance to contribute immediately. Five-star recruits Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis could provide some depth on an offensive line that struggled at times last season. Running back J.K. Dobbins — rated the best all-purpose back in the country despite sitting his entire senior season with an injury — could be utilized in all sorts of ways in an offense that lost its best playmaker, H-back Curtis Samuel, to the draft. Baron Browning can play all three linebacker spots and could see significant minutes right away. Four-star dual-threat quarterback Tate Martell from Las Vegas also joins a crowded stable of quarterbacks led by J.T. Barrett, and will compete with Joe Burrow and others to be Barrett’s backup.