Buckeye Defensive Back Recruiting Sees No Limits

There is an extremely long way to go until National Signing Day 2025, but the Buckeyes could be working on something very special.

Yes, every year we look at the start that Ohio State gets out to with its recruiting and think “that this could be the year” that the Buckeyes land the nation’s top class.

Let’s put that idea aside for now and just focus on secondary recruiting, which has been anything but secondary.

Tim Walton woke up this cycle and chose violence, or at least that is what his opponents would say as the Buckeyes have been on a recruiting tear with no signs of slowing up.

Nothing counts until the signatures are in and that first opportunity won’t be until December 2024, but as things stand, Ohio State could be putting together a DB class like no other.

And there will be no better time than now to put that class together as the Buckeyes will lose a lot in the secondary after this season. Names like Jordan Hancock, Denzel Burke, Lathan Ransom and Davison Igbinosun all could or will be gone after the completion of the 2024 season.

With players like Devin Sanchez, Na’eem Offord and Blake Woodby already verbally committed, the Buckeyes have their ‘highest ranked’ class since the 2017 class that saw names like Jeff Okudah, Shaun Wade and Kendall Sheffield (via transfer) all join the Buckeyes.

And even those recruit numbers come up short if you look at the Composite Rankings of the top end of each of those classes.

The Buckeyes had three five-star defensive backs in that ’17 class while Ohio State is sitting with two currently in 2025 with several more spots to fill out.

Actually, Ohio State has only had three five-star defensive backs (composite) since that 2017 class. Aaron Scott (2024), Sonny Styles (2022) and Tyreke Johnson (2018) were the other players to enter Ohio State with that high-ranking.

Ohio State’s class could really take off if just a couple of the names closely associated with the Buckeyes opt-in over the coming days, weeks, and months.

Dorian Brew could be a 4th corner in the class as the Buckeyes would have time to sort things out, especially running a nickel. According to the composite, he is the No. 4 corner in the class along with Offord (No. 1), Sanchez (No. 2) and DJ Pickett (No. 3), a player that the Buckeyes have been involved with but will likely end up staying south.

There are no safeties in Ohio State’s class yet but that will obviously change moving forward. Ohio State got a big piece via the portal this year with Caleb Downs but there will still be a major need at the position.

Faheem Delane is a five-star safety out of Maryland, and many believe he could be the next piece of the puzzle. He is joined on the target list by Ohio State legacy Trey McNutt, son of former Ohio State football player Richard McNutt.

The thought of this six-player class (and we are not even sure what Ohio State’s target number is quite yet) would be unlike anything that the Buckeyes have signed before in the recruiting website-era.

It is surprising that the numbers have not been higher for Ohio State, a program that prides itself on its BIA (Best In America) moniker, but many of the players to carry that banner either came into the program in smaller numbers or were developed from lower rankings.

This class has a chance to be mentioned along with classes like the 2022 Georgia defensive back class (two 5*s, four 4*s) or one of countless Alabama classes that swept through the four and five-stars.

Again, there is a long way to go and landing the commitment is only half the battle. But Ohio State fans have long wondered what it would be like to have a Brian Hartline-like recruiting on the defensive side of the ball. It appears that Walton has fit that bill and may even raise the ante on Hartline.

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