Ohio State put the finishing touches on its 2024 recruiting class today as the Late Signing Window opened. While the Buckeyes were not particularly active during the late window, they did pick up a big-time commitment from four-star defensive lineman Dominic Kirks and a massive transfer portal addition in five-star quarterback Julian Sayin.
So now that the dust has settled on the 2024 recruiting cycle, it’s time for our position-by-position grades for this Top 5 ranked class.
It feels like a decade ago that the Buckeyes lost five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola to UGA (and ultimately Nebraska). When that happened, the Buckeyes had two key targets in mind. One was Alabama commit Julian Sayin and the other was the uncommitted Georgia star Air Noland.
The Buckeyes, through a couple of twists and turns, ultimately landed both players. You can’t do it much better than that. Two five-star quarterbacks in the same class is an extremely rare accomplishment.
At one point Ohio State had three running back commitments but Miami (FL) flipped Jordan Lyle not long before the Early Signing Period opened up leaving the Buckeyes with Texas’ James Peoples and Ohio’s Sam Williams-Dixon.
While it’s clear the Buckeyes really coveted Lyle, who is an outstanding prospect, Tony Alford did sign an elite back in Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon should provide some versatility to the room in a Xavier Johnson type of role. With the decommitment of Lyle and early miss on Jordan Marshall, I can’t give this group an A but it’s a strong tandem.
Did Ohio State miss its number here? Yes, maybe even by two. Can I still give this group anything less than the highest possible grade? No.
Jeremiah Smith is a generational talent and the nation’s top prospect, just his presence alone puts this group in ‘A’ territory. But Mylan Graham is also a budding star. I’ve compared Graham to current Buckeye Carnell Tate coming out of high school and I thought Tate was the best receiver in his class nationally.
A really strong haul for Keenan Bailey in his first full recruiting cycle as tight ends coach. He went out-of-state, and out-of-country really, to land a highly touted prospect in Max LeBlanc who should bring many of the same things to the table in the passing game as Cade Stover.
Damarion Witten has a chance to be special if utilized properly, though with his summer enrollment and need to put on some weight, it could a redshirt year to get there. Overall, I really like the outlook of this group.
This was the toughest position for me to grade. On one hand, the Buckeyes missed on that big name national tackle like Brandon Baker or Jordan Seaton. On the other hand, it brought in a Top 100 caliber tackle in Ian Moore, a high upside tackle in Deontae Armstrong, a solid late-bloomer in Gabe VanSickle and a plug and play guard in Devontae Armstrong.
If the end result had been laid out before the cycle really got going, I think most people would have been fine with it, but there’s no question that it was another frustrating cycle on the national level in terms of being able to close on that five-star caliber prospect.
Still, it’s a solid group with at least two, and maybe three potential tackles in it and the Buckeyes hit on the in-state targets that they identified early in a deep year in the state.
If offensive line was the toughest position to grade, this was probably next and not for good reasons. Eddrick Houston is a stud and might be the second best player in this recruiting class and a player who was one of the best handful of prospects I saw in person in this class nationally. But the Buckeyes needed to take three here, even with Sawyer and Tuimoloau returning and they got just one and even that didn’t come without some scary moments.
Another position where the Buckeyes probably didn’t their number and losing on five-star prospect Justin Scott who flipped to Miami was one of the toughest losses of the cycle. I’m a big Dominic Kirks fan and thought he should have been offered earlier, but they were able to add him late to salvage this group and he should pair well with the bigger Eric Mensah who the Buckeyes flipped from Virginia Tech.
Much like the running back position, the Buckeyes probably would have liked to add a third player here and they were close with Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa who opted for Notre Dame.
Still, I really like the two they got in Texas star Payton Pierce and Central Ohio’s own Garrett Stover. Pierce is a pure MIKE prospect with a great nose for the football while Stover gives him a lot of athleticism as an outside linebacker prospect.
The Buckeyes signed a pair here in New Jersey’s Jaylen McLain and Florida’s LeRoy Roker. I like McClain’s physicality and Roker has a high upside profile with his height and basketball athleticism.
But the Buckeyes were not able to cash in on major national battles for K.J. Bolden, Peyton Woodyard, or Zaquan Patterson and were not able to flip Koi Perich late from Minnesota.
Mission accomplished for Tim Walton. Keep the two big Ohio stars home in Aaron Scott and Bryce West. I have Scott as the top prospect in Ohio in this class and both he and West had several options regionally and nationally but Ohio State held off Michigan, Oregon, and others to win both battles.
Throw in Miles Lockhart who is an excellent cover guy in his own right and should fit nicely at nickel, and it’s a really strong and well-rounded group for Walton and Co.
For more analysis of the final version of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class, check out the latest Skull Session Recruiting Podcast below:Listen to “Grading Ohio State's 2024 Recruiting Class” on Spreaker.