Forecasting the 2017 Defensive Back Haul

5-Star S, Jeffrey Okudah | Grand Prairie, TX

The number 1 safety in the country in 2017, Jeffrey Okudah holds offers from almost every high profile school in the country. This recruitment will last through official visits in the fall, but Okudah has made it no secret that the Buckeyes currently lead for his services. Okudah has only visited Ohio State one time, last summer, so getting him back on campus for an unofficial visit this summer and an official in the fall will play large in Ohio State’s chances of landing the star from the longhorn state. Okudah is a versatile DB that reminds many of high draft pick Jalen Ramsey from Florida State. Another key factor to watch in this recruitment is what Defensive Coordinator Greg Schiano does after this season, as Okudah has said that Schiano is a key factor on why he is so interested in Ohio State.

Projection : Ohio State

5-Star CB, Darnay Holmes | Calabasas, CA

Holmes, the number 1 corner in the nation, has a lot of interest in the Buckeyes and plans to visit the Buckeyes sometime this summer, most likely at Friday Night Lights in July. The problem for the Buckeyes is they seem to be playing from behind in this recruitment as Holmes has high interest in two schools that are closer to home in Stanford and UCLA. The Buckeyes, who does not have the advantage of being so close to Darnay, will look to combat this and land the high flight corner. Not only does it seem that local schools in Stanford and UCLA may be ahead, but a recent Calibraksa movement led by two of Holmes teammates in Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Tristan Gebbia, has the Huskers also looming large in his recruitment. Again, getting Holmes on campus for an unofficial in the summer and official in the fall can only help the Buckeyes, but distance may be too hard to overcome.

Projection : UCLA

5-Star CB, Shaun Wade | Jacksonville, FL

Wade, a current Ohio State commit, has been committed to the Buckeyes since the 2015 National Championship game. It is always hard to retain a Florida kid who committed to your school over 2 years from when he signs a letter of intent, and this recruitment is no different. Wade, who hasn’t stepped foot on Ohio State’s campus since last summer, has taken several visits to other schools to survey his options. Two schools that have gained a lot of traction in his recruitment are Florida and Alabama and they will be in it till the end. Although Wade is still publicly committed to the Buckeyes, it is hard to see him ultimately staying with that pledge through National Signing Day. Florida is the hometown school and Alabama has the advantage of Wade originally being from Tuscaloosa in their favor.

Projection : Alabama

4-Star S, Isaiah Pryor | Bradenton, FL

Isaiah Pryor, once thought to be leaning towards Notre Dame early in his recruitment, committed to Ohio State last July and this recruitment looks to be one that is over. Although schools continue to try to get Pryor to take a look at them, his relationship with the Buckeyes could not be any better. Some fans were a bit worried when it was reported that Pryor was checking out Tuscaloosa on his way back down from a Ohio State visit, but it appears that that visit meant little if anything in his recruitment. It would be a great surprise to see Pryor sign anywhere but for Ohio State on National Signing Day.

Projection : Ohio State

4-Star CB, Lamont Wade | Clairton, PA

Wade, once thought to be a sure bet to end up in Columbus, has seen his recruitment open up a bit more recently. Lamont has taken numerous visits to home state schools Penn State and Pittsburgh since the New Year and it has recently come out that Lamont and his family are concerned about him having a chance to enroll early if Ohio State were the choice. With Ohio State having such tight numbers as far as recruiting in the 2017 class, it is hard to have a definite answer if that opportunity will be there for Lamont. Ultimately, the concern over enrolling early may end a once perfect fit between Lamont and Ohio State and push him to a school closer to home. One key fact to consider in this recruitment is that Lamont’s parents would prefer that he not go to Pittsburgh.

Projection : Penn State

4-Star CB, Marcus Williamson | Bradenton, FL

Williamson, originally from Westerville South in Ohio, transferred to IMG Academy this year. He has been an Ohio State commitment for a while and it has been widely reported that he has been working on his teammates down at IMG to get them to Columbus as well. The one guy on the list of Defensive Back targets for Ohio State that I am most confident in being in this class come Signing Day is Marcus. This recruitment is about as cut and dry as it can get, nothing to see here.

Projection : Ohio State

4-Star CB, Amir Riep | Cincinnati, OH

A guy who has upward of 50 offers to date and will announce his intentions sometime during the summer is thought to be an Ohio State lean. Ohio State is in a position where if they offer an Ohio kid, there is a close to 100% chance they sign him if he is a take for them. Amir resides from Colerain, which happens to be the same high school that Ohio State Corners Coach Kerry Coombs use to be the Head Coach. This recruitment has just too much going for it not to wind up being Ohio State and Ohio State will gladly take a kid that is widely coveted around the country.
Projection : Ohio State

4-Star CB, Kary Vincent | Port Arthur, TX

This is a guy that is not talked about much with Ohio State and should get more publicity. Kary will be visiting at some point this summer and potentially again in the fall. A guy that has a number of high profile offers and that the coaching staff really likes, Kary could be a surprise addition to the 2017 class. Ultimately, I believe a numbers crunch will leave Kary on the outside looking in on Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class, but if Ohio State were to miss out on a corner projected above or find a last minute scholarship, Kary could very much make his way into the class.

Projection : Texas

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