The group of players who joined the Ohio State football team in 2011 was a terrific one and this year’s bunch is similar. But could they be even better? With National Signing Day tomorrow, here are three reasons why I think the answer is yes.
In 2011, the Ohio State Buckeyes had an outstanding recruiting class. 10 players from that class were either drafted or made an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent. The class also was instrumental in the Buckeyes winning their eighth national championship during their fourth season.
So why am I comparing a recruiting class which is one of the lowest ranked in recent memory to one that performed so well. It’s because this small group of freshmen may turn out to be one of the best in several years, and will be aided by a 5-star who isn’t included in the rankings.
Here are the reasons this incoming group of players have the chance to be special.
1. Balanced Position Talent
The first reason is that the previous classes that succeeded at Ohio State had an even balance of each position on the field, while the ones that fell short seemed to focus on a single position such as in 2012. That year only one of the top 5 prospects (four or which were defensive linemen) ended up on an NFL roster directly from Ohio State (Noah Spence transferred before eventually making the Buccaneers roster).
However, in 2011 the top 9 recruits (according to ESPN’s rankings ) each played different positions equally dispersed throughout the field. But why would it matter if one position is favored over the rest?
While competition is a good thing, when four players from one class are battling for playing time it creates a problem which can result in none of them realizing their full potential. The players in this year’s recruiting class, like the one in 2011, isn’t loaded in one position group but is spread out among several.
Now let’s look at another reason why this year’s group of incoming players may match the success those who joined the Ohio State football team in 2011 enjoyed. That year’s recruiting class had a talented quarterback, and this year an outstanding one transferred to Ohio State from Georgia.