Ohio State Football: Third year players show strength of recruiting class

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 1: Demario McCall #30 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores on a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 58-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 1: Demario McCall #30 of the Ohio State Buckeyes scores on a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Rutgers 58-0. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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The third year players on the Ohio State football team are an impressive bunch and they may prove the 2016 recruiting class should have been ranked higher.

It’s often said you have to judge a recruiting class by how well the players perform their third year playing at the college level. With that said, expect third-year players on the Ohio State football team to prove the 2016 recruiting class was worthy of the No. 4 ranking, and may have been undervalued.

First, it’s impressive that 20 of the 25 recruits came back for their third season. That’s a high retention rate for a program like Ohio State which continually reloads the program with elite recruits.

However, the talent level of the players themselves is even more impressive.

There are so many talented players on the roster from the 2016 class I’ll just spotlight the offensive players here and get to those on the other side of the ball later.

It looked as though quarterback Dwayne Haskins was going to have to battle for playing time last season with Joe Burrow. When Burrow was injured in fall camp, Haskins certainly made the most of his opportunity didn’t he?

Completing 70 percent of his passes, and leading the Buckeyes to a come from behind win over the Wolverines, earned him the starting job this season. He will be throwing the ball to a terrific group of receivers so expect a big year from the third-year QB.

And two of the wide receivers he will be throwing to were also members of the 2016 Ohio State recruiting class.

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Austin Mack has been impressive since he stepped on campus. His 27 yard catch from Haskins in ‘The Game’ was one of the most important plays for the Buckeyes last season. Expect even more good things from Mack this year.

Tall, lanky Binjimen Victor just keeps getting stronger and better. It’s just hard to tell what kind of impact he will make this season.

H-back Demario McCall is a highlight ready to happen. Enough said.

Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann were both top 10 tight end recruits in the 2016 class. Farrell has come along faster than Hausmann, but it has been said each are playing well and may be ready to be strong contributors this season.

Michael Jordan will again be a starting lineman, but it’s uncertain if it will be at left guard or he will be moved to center. If he will snap the ball this year, 2016 classmate Malcolm Pridgeon will probably play left guard.

Next. From favorites to underdogs. dark

Judging the 2016 Ohio State recruiting class as they enter their third year, I would have to say the group of players on offense have lived up to their billing. Next we will look at the guys from the 2016 recruiting class who play on the other side of the ball.