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Anyone around the game knows that the Ohio State football program recruits top five classes nationally, year in and year out. That incredible work on the trail is a blessing and a curse all in one. Replenishing the depth chart with almost nothing outside of the top 300 is remarkable, but that also means that third strings and even second strings will look for starting gigs elsewhere.
Let’s take a look some of my hot takes of the brand new Buckeyes, as well as some players who have already been on campus for a bit:
HOT: QB Jack Miller III Returns to Arizona
As of now the number one quarterback in the class of 2022, Quinn Ewers, is actually thinking of reclassifying to 2021 and arriving on campus in the coming week or two. When he enrolls that’ll leave the Ohio State quarterback room with four players and Miller III being the lowest rated of the group. The “lowest” isn’t even really that bad because many schools in the country would give an arm and a leg to possess his four star caliber talent.
One school in particular would be 20 minutes down the road from where he played high school football. Miller III played at Chaparral in Scottsdale, AZ which is just a 16 mile drive to Sun Devil Stadium. That’s right, he’s going to Arizona State.
Their current quarterback, Jayden Daniels, will likely be gone after this season since scouts are ranting and raving about his tools and athleticism. With the new rules on eligibility possibly arriving soon, it’s not out of the question that he could be walking out of a fourth string role in Columbus, to a QB1 slot in Tempe for the following season.
This is all very dependent on how hard the NCAA comes down on the allegations that are surrounding the Sun Devils. Either way, I think the success of Joe Burrow set a blueprint for quarterbacks to not sit and wait, especially those that don scarlet and gray.
HOTTER: A 2021 Defensive Tackle Becomes First Round Pick
There’s been numerous high schoolers over the years that have went from unranked after thoughts to highly touted recruits. The Buckeye true freshman Mike Hall is a perfect representation of this scenario. After his junior season he found himself barely inside the top 300, and after an incredible senior season his stock soared to #52 nationally.
Hall is an absolute force on the inside and will become an anchor for the Silver Bullets in the future. His name was kind of forgotten about heading into 2021 because he was not an early enrollee and didn’t get that spring game exposure. Also, Ohio State’s pursuit of J.T. Tuimoloau encapsulated all news in and out of Columbus, as Hall slipped undetected onto campus.
The last time a Buckeye defensive tackle was drafted in the first round was over 20 years ago, as Ryan Pickett went 29th to the Rams in 2001. Its possible that current defensive tackle Haskell Garrett could flip that script as well, having been placed on many preseason All-American lists. Garrett could turn Hall into his protégée because in all honesty, I see Aaron Donald potential in him as he can equally use speed and power to obliterate the opposition.
SIZZLING CHILI’S FAJITA HOT: Emeka Egbuka Eventually Becomes Unanimous All-American
Even though it was really Marvin Harrison Jr. who stole the show early in the 2021 spring game, Egbuka still had quite the coming out party. He had seven catches for 123 yards, including one snag where he laid out against the grain for a first down.
He’ll be a nightmare to match up with across the middle, as he can plant and go as good as any wideout in the country. There’s a reason why he was regarded as the top receiver of the 2021 class, and Ohio State is fortunate to have him. He’ll be the beneficiary of stellar quarterbacking and play design from Ryan Day, which will help elevate him to that All-American selection down the road.
MOLTEN LAVA: TreVeyon Henderson Becomes A Starter By Season’s End
Taking nothing away from presumed starter in the backfield, Master Teague III, but Henderson has more upside. Teague III played far from 100% healthy all season in 2020, but his play style has always fit more of a power run style like Stanford. His inability at times to be creative with the ball in his hands results in carries for negative or less than predicted yards.
Henderson has the ability to run through defenders, but also the shimmy and shake to make people miss. That “it” factor is what got J.K. Dobbins onto the field early (as well as a Mike Weber injury) and helped him keep the job from his freshman year and beyond. Henderson has another gear that was prevalent on tape, and due to the limited spring game contact, we haven’t seen it yet in Columbus. When he gets into the clear, we might hear the words of the legendary Keith Jackson “Whoa Nellie!”