DEFENSIVE LINE: (2-3)
They would probably love to take more, but two is a good number to use on the defensive line. Maybe three.
Ohio State could bring in five linebackers, assuming Sam Hubbard stays at the position. If they have five offensive linemen want to commit that they badly want, and that is certainly possible, all five would be welcomed in. That could be half the class.
Add in a quarterback, a running back, and three wide receivers, and they are up to 15 spots without addressing defensive line, the secondary, or the holes in the kicking game.
COMMITTED (1): Dylan Thompson.
1- Da’Shawn Hand, Andrew Brown, Malik McDowell, and Lorenzo Carter.
The first group contains four names that are a cut above the rest and have received heavy attention from Ohio State as proof. Despite Ohio State’s heavy interest in the four, bringing just one of them in the class to play for the Buckeyes would be quite a feat.
Hand and McDowell are leaning elsewhere, and it may even be to Ohio State’s archrival Michigan. Hand has visited but McDowell has not yet.
Carter and Brown have yet to visit but one trip to Columbus could potentially shift the Buckeyes’ chances upward. A home run visit would be necessary for Ohio State to have a chance, but securing a visit is the first step.
2- Dante Sawyer and Kentavius Street.
Two talented prospects from the south compose the second spot on Ohio State’s defensive line targets. Georgia native Dante Sawyer had to cancel a previous visit to check out the Buckeyes and I do not expect him to reschedule. Sawyer and Street are both likely to stay in the south to play their college football.
3- Jalyn Holmes, Andrew Williams, Elisha Shaw, Solomon Thomas, Denzel Ware, and Dewayne Hendrix.
The third sets of names have a couple more likely situations for Ohio State. Jalyn Holmes holds the Buckeyes in high regard and plans to visit Columbus June 19. Dewayne Hendrix is an Illinois native with an Ohio State offer and has family that lives in Columbus. That prior connection to the city should enable the coaching staff to host Hendrix on a visit at some point.
Williams, Shaw, Thomas, and Ware have all yet to visit Ohio State and have no immediate plans to do so. It is very unlikely that any of the four do unless Tom Herman could work some more of his Texas magic on Solomon Thomas.
4- Chris Williams, Thomas Holley, and Derrick Nnadi.
Virginia Beach defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi recently picked up an offer from the Buckeyes but looks to stay in state for college as Virginia and Virginia Tech lead. Thomas Holley hails from New York and told Scout recently that Ohio State is a school he stays in contact with frequently. Holley has yet to visit the Buckeyes’ campus but one over the summer would not surprise me.
Williams, who is a teammate of Demarre Kitt, has already visited Ohio State once. It was a visit that exceeded expectations for the three-star lineman and he now has the Buckeyes near the top of his list. A camp appearance in Columbus in June would be wise on his part.
5- Jesse Aniebonam, Travonte Valentine, and Lawrence Marshall.
Outside of the offer from Ohio State, Aniebonam and Valentine haven’t been targets in the crosshairs for the Buckeyes. Without a trip to Columbus over the summer, the likelihood for each to be in the class will be dead and gone.
Marshall was once committed to Ohio State, but decided to de-commit a week later. I think he is effectively not a candidate the Buckeyes are considering to be included into this year’s haul. The rush end from Michigan also named a top five list of schools that did not have Ohio State named.