Projecting The 2017 Ohio State Offensive Commitments

Today we have the pleasure of a guest post from Ben Van Ooyen (@BuckeyeBVO) a recruiting writer who has written articles for and we are hoping to add to our wonderful list of writers here at Men Of The Scarlet And Gray. So give us some feedback on his first of many articles to come. Thanks

2016 recruiting is in the books, and avid Buckeye fans have already turned their attention to the class of 2017. That might seem like crazy talk considering signing day for 2017 is a year away, but no one ever accused college football fans of being sane. In an effort to appease everyone’s curiosity, I’ll take a peek into my crystal ball and predict what I see coming for Ohio State’s offense in 2017.   

As of today, the Buckeyes have 10 commitments for 2017, putting them well over the current scholarship limit. Six seniors will graduate in 2016, and a few more (e.g. McMillian and Conley) will potentially enter the NFL Draft early. As usual, there is bound to be some attrition due to medical hardships, transfers, or 4th-year juniors walking early. The question is, how many scholarships can Urban and company realistically offer to next year’s class and still come in under the 85 limit? This abundance of riches poses a recruiting challenge the coaching staff haven’t faced yet, even with the reduction in scholarships they encountered upon taking over in 2012.
Let’s break this down position-by-position:

Quarterbacks: 2017 Commitments – Danny Clark

Assuming JT Barrett sticks around for his senior season, and barring a season that seriously ups his draft stock that will happen. The Buckeyes will then have five quarterbacks on the roster, including Clark. Some speculate Ohio State will take a second quarterback in this class, but with the late addition of Dwayne Haskins in the 2016 class and the looming scholarship cap, I think the Buckeyes stay with one QB in 2017.

Running Back: 2017 Commitments – Todd Sibley, Trey Sermon

The Buckeyes will field a young group of running backs in 2017 under the guidance of Curtis Samuel (if he returns to Columbus for his senior year). We added two running backs in 2016. Antonio Williams is a more pure running back like Ezekiel Elliott, and Demario McCall is a more versatile back like Dontre Wilson. Add Todd Sibley to the mix, and the Buckeyes seem to be sitting pretty at the running back position for the future. I’d wager on them adding one more from the 2017 class, and right now my money is on Trey Sermon out of Georgia.  He’s been high on the Buckeyes since the beginning, and with the recent success of players from the Peach State, I can see Urban pulling another one from down south.

Wide Receiver: 2017 Commitments – Trevon Grimes, Jaylan Harris

2017 will be interesting for the wide receiving core unless quite a few receivers get playing time next season. Noah Brown and Paris Campbell are currently the only wideouts on the roster with any meaningful playing time, but the talent on the bench is plentiful. KJ Hill’s and Torrance Gibson’s abilities have drawn rave reviews from the coaching staff, and they should get to see the field this season. I expect to see Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor at some point as well, which should help with some of the depth concerns.  As far as recruiting, the Buckeyes don’t have any commitments for the wide receiver position yet, but there are a few targets who are pretty high on the Ohio State radar.  Trevon Grimes out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida is the top WR is the country and has had Ohio State as his leader for quite a while now. Nick Bosa attended the same high school, and he’s been in Grimes’ ear about joining him in college, so it wouldn’t shock me to see Grimes commit to the Buckeyes. A couple of other names to keep an eye on are Donovan Peoples-Jones from Cass Tech in Michigan and Jaylan Harris from Cleveland Heights in Ohio. When all is said and done, Harris should be a member of Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class, but Peoples-Jones will be a hard pull from his home state of Michigan. He has Ohio State high on his list, but he also has offers from Michigan and Michigan State on the table.

Tight End: 2017 Commitments – Matt Dotson

The last two recruiting cycles have brought in five tight ends although Kierre Hawkins might be more of an H-Back, and Rashod Berry might move to the defensive side of the ball. Marcus Baugh will only be a junior and will probably be Barrett’s main target at tight end. The Buckeyes currently only have an offer out to Matt Dotson of Moeller in Cincinnati. He also has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Tennessee, and is currently high on all these programs. If the Buckeyes decide to take a TE in the class, then I think Dotson will be a part of it; however, with the numbers crunch, the coaches might be willing to wait until 2018 for another TE.

Offensive Line: 2017 Commitments – Josh Myers, Jake Moretti, Micah Clark

The past few years of recruiting have secured a lot of potential on the offensive line, but with the departure of three starters from last year and Pat Elflein next year, those inexperienced guys will have to step in and fill some holes. I expect Elflein to start at center and Billy Price at guard, and then I’d guess Jamarco Jones, Malcom Pridgeon, and Isaiah Prince will fill out the rest of the line. I have a feeling that some of the guys who have been recruited to play offensive line have been recruited over, and that some of the younger kids will end up on the two deep over some 3rd and 4th year guys.  This is one position I can see some attrition happening at the end of 2016 to make more room for 2017 kids. The Buckeyes currently hold two commitments for 2017 in Josh Myers and Jake Moretti, who are both high-profile recruits that were heavily recruited by Ohio State. I can see the Buckeyes taking one more offensive lineman in 2017, and I think they can wait for the right one to fall into their lap. Ohio State has offered spots to quite a few prospects, but I think the coaches are holding out hope they can land Micah Clark out of New Jersey to round out the class. Clark is high on Ohio State though I expect him to schedule some visits before making a decision. Trey Smith, Isaiah Wilson, and Tony Gray are a few other names to keep an eye on.
So my crystal ball predicts Ohio State will have nine commitments on the offensive side of the ball, and, with limited availability in the class, I can see nine or 10 coming from the defensive side as well. I’ll check in later with my thoughts on the defensive side of the ball, where the Buckeyes currently stand, and where I think they’ll end up on signing day in 2017.  

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