Ohio State’s 2017 Recruiting Class: Four Burning Questions

Apr 16, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; A general view of an Ohio State football helmet on the sidelines during the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 16, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; A general view of an Ohio State football helmet on the sidelines during the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Questions concerning the Ohio State recruiting class.

The ink is barely dry on the Ohio State’s 2017 recruiting class, but there is already a tremendous amount of pressure resting on this group of players.

Urban Meyer only signed 21 players, but he made it count.  Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN all ranked this the No. 2 class behind Alabama which had the luxury of signing 29 players.

Here are four questions I have about this heralded class:

Will they exceed the accomplishments of the 2013 class?

The 2013 class was ranked No. 2 by Rivals and 247Sports.   Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Darron Lee and Jalin Marshall are already in the NFL, and a couple of them are stars.

Gareon Conley hopes to join them this year.  Chris Worley, J.T. Barrett, Tyquan Lewis, Michael Hill and Marcus Baugh have their eyes set on 2018.

This class won the national championship as sophomores so the bar is set high.  It is also responsible for 50 wins and counting.

Meyer compared these players to the 2013 class and his 2006 Florida class, but there is a lot of work to do to go from best recruiting class ever to winning Big Ten titles and playoff championships.

Who contributes in 2017?

Freshmen rarely make a significant impact outside of Special Teams.  There are times when a young gun is just too good to keep off the field.

Meyer already mentioned that Jeffrey Okuduh will play.  Depth in the secondary might force him into action, but the No. 1 rated cornerback prospect has the speed and playmaking ability to earn a spot outright.

It is possible that Trevon Grimes or Jaylen Harris see some action at receiver.  Grimes is 6-foot-3, 202-pounds and was a top 5 wide receiver. Harris at 6-foot-5, 210-pounds is bigger than any receiver on the team right now.

The 2017 season hinges in part on getting better production at receiver so I expect both to get a little playing time.

Beyond these three, I can’t see any other player becoming a full-time starter.  A few will play, but the rest will spend the year getting stronger and faster.

Which State is Better? 

SB Nation’s Alex Kirschner analyzed the data found by 247Sports Composite Rankings over the last five recruiting cycles finding that the top five states for high school football talent are Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Ohio.

Meyer followed that formula perfectly to build this class landing six from Ohio, five from Texas and four from Florida.

More impressively, he signed the Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 10 rated players in Ohio, the Nos. 3, 4 and 7 players out of Texas and the Nos. 5 and 8 out of Florida.

He also managed to snag Wyatt Davis, the No. 3 rated player out California.

In the end, I think the boys from Texas end up contributing the most from this class.

Which player will make the most impact over the next three seasons?

I am going to go with J.K Dobbins.  The 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back out of La Grange, Texas missed his senior year due to injury and still finished his career with 2429 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns.

Running backs thrive in Meyer’s system and Texas has a history of producing great ones. Dobbins will shine in 2018 and 2019 and become the stud of this class.

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