The 2017 college football season has yet to begin but teams are already looking towards future recruiting classes. For the Ohio State Buckeyes, their most recent recruiting class finished second in the nation behind the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Looking ahead to 2018, Ohio State currently has five commits and is ranked ninth in the nation. Obviously, a lot can happen from now until they sign their name on pen and paper in just under a year. For example, Kansas, BYU, Duke, and Wake Forest are ahead of Alabama in recruiting rankings. Obviously, that will change. According to 247sports, since Urban Meyer took over in 2012, the Buckeyes have finished 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 4th, and 2nd in recruiting classes. Will next year finally be the first year since 2010 that a team not named Alabama finishes with the number one overall recruiting class? Only time will tell.
The first commit for Ohio State in 2018 was by running back Brian Snead. Snead comes from Seffner, FL out of Armwood High School. He is on the smaller side at 5’11” and 180 pounds. This past year, he ran for 901 yards and four touchdowns with another 262 receiving yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore, he ran for 1,227 yards and six touchdowns. Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones, who attended the University of Florida, is an alumni of Armwood High School. Should Mike Weber elect to leave after this year for the NFL Draft, Snead will be competing with Demario McCall, Antonio Williams, J.K. Dobbins, and fellow recruit Jaelen Gill for the running back position.
Quarterback Emory Jones committed to the Buckeyes just one week after Snead. The four-star quarterback is rated the number two dual-threat QB behind Penn State commit Justin Fields. At 6’3” and 195 pounds, Jones has an absolute cannon of an arm. At Ohio State, Jones will be competing with three other four-star quarterbacks for the starting position including Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins, and a Gatorade National Football Player of the Year in Tate Martell. While he is still taking visits with other schools, he remains committed to Ohio State for now.
All-purpose back Jaelen Gill decided to stay near home by committing to Ohio State. From nearby Westerville, OH, Gill is proving that Urban Meyer is building a wall around the state of Ohio and keeping the best prospects in-state. If Gill and Snead both remain committed, the Bucks will have an interesting number of players in the backfield. Snead and Gill could potentially be a one-two punch in the years to come.
Jaiden Woodbey is a four-star prospect and third best safety for 2018. The USC legacy decided to commit to Ohio State two months ago and could follow the footsteps left behind by Vonn Bell and Malik Hooker. Woodbey attends the same high school as 2017 five-star offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, also an Ohio State commit. With Damon Webb no longer having eligibility next year, it leaves one starting safety position wide open for competition.
Lastly, five-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent committed last week. Vincent comes from powerhouse IMG Academy where current Buckeyes Isaiah Pryor, Marcus Williamson, and Malik Barrow attended. Vincent is the highest rated defensive tackle to ever commit to Ohio State. Larry Johnson Sr. has done a fantastic job of developing defensive linemen including Joey Bosa. Should Vincent remain committed to the Buckeyes come signing day, he will no doubt be an important member of a defensive line with plenty of depth and NFL talent.