May 13, 2016
Head coach Urban Meyer has Ohio State at the top of the college football recruiting world with 2017’s No. 1-ranked class, and when looking at the Buckeyes’ top remaining targets, there are three players who would not only strengthen their hold on the top spot, but they would also be perfect fits for Meyer’s spread-power offense.
Ohio State already has the cornerstone of its future offense in the fold with a verbal pledge from Josh Myers, a 5-star left tackle who’s rated the No. 3 overall player for 2017.
Adding this trio of 5-stars would lay a foundation for an offense that could dominate the Big Ten and pave the way to more playoff berths down the road for the Buckeyes.
Tate Martell, 5-Star Quarterback
Ohio State doesn’t have a particularly big need at quarterback—in fact, some could argue the position room is getting quite full with J.T. Barrett, Joe Burrow, Stephen Collier, Dwayne Haskins and 2017 pledge Danny Clark on board.
But when a school has the chance to land a talent as special as Tate Martell, it can’t afford to pass on it.
The 5’10”, 203-pound signal-caller is rated the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback nationally and the No. 33 prospect overall. His offer list includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Michigan and USC, and for a long stretch, Martell was committed to play out his collegiate career at Texas A&M.
Following a bizarre series of events, Martell decommitted from the Aggies and reopened his recruitment. And after a late March visit and constant contact with the Ohio State staff, Meyer and the Buckeyes are now in the driver’s seat and the favorites to land his pledge, according to 247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions.
Martell would be a great addition to Ohio State’s roster not just because of his talent, but because the recent quarterbacks added in the last two recruiting cycles—Burrow, Haskins and Clark—are more pocket passers in the mold of Cardale Jones. Martell‘s addition would give Ohio State a running option at quarterback down the road, which has been imperative to the success of Meyer’s offense.
Tyjon Lindsey, 5-Star Wide Receiver
Ohio State had one of the country’s most impressive wide receiver hauls in 2016 with high 4-stars Austin Mack (the nation’s No. 10 receiver) and Binjimen Victor (No. 12), but the 2017 haul could be even more impressive.
The Buckeyes are hot on the trail for a number of 5-star pass-catchers this year, highlighted by Donovan Peoples-Jones and Trevon Grimes. And while either of those wideouts would be an absolute boon for Ohio State, 5-star wideout Tyjon Lindsey may be the crown jewel of the group.
The 5’8″, 180-pound blazer out of Corona, California, has offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Oregon and USC, but the Buckeyes are a serious contender for Lindsey’s commitment. He visited Ohio State the same weekend Martell was on campus, and he had a great time in Columbus.
“It was perfect,” Lindsey said, according to Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors. “My relationship with the coaches, how they’re nothing but real to me, that has really stood out.”
Lindsey and Martell actually have a long friendship together, which could help Ohio State land their commitments in a package deal.
But Lindsey’s commitment, in particular, would be beneficial because he would bring something new to Ohio State’s wide receiver corps. With Mack and Victor in the fold, who are both long and rangy receivers who use their height and route-running ability to get open on the outside, Lindsey would be the perfect complement in the slot as a shifty, playmaking nightmare in the middle of the field.
Cam Akers, 5-Star Running Back
Before Meyer took over at Ohio State, one of the bizarre negatives on his resume was that he had never coached a running back who eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a single season.
It didn’t take long for the Buckeyes to put that to the bed. Over the last three seasons, starting running backs Carlos Hyde (2013) and Ezekiel Elliott (2014-15) have averaged 1,740 rushing yards to complement 56 total rushing touchdowns.
That success is helping Ohio State recruit Cam Akers, a 5’11”, 211-pound bulldozer from Clinton, Mississippi.
The one-time Alabama commit has offers from SEC heavyweights Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee, along with southern powerhouses Florida State and Miami, among others. His blend of power and speed makes him a unique fit for almost any offense, but he would be perfect in Ohio State’s spread system that’s anchored by a power-running game.
And fortunately for Meyer and the Buckeyes, Akers is a fan of the program.
“I definitely love Ohio State,” Akers said, according to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts. “My family and myself love Ohio State and what the [football] program is doing. They always produce good running backs. They are always in the running for the national championship and the academics are great also.”
The Buckeyes have a long, uphill battle for his commitment, though, as Ole Miss is the heavy favorite, according to 247Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions. But judging from Akers’ comments, Ohio State will be a factor in his recruitment.
All recruiting information via 247 Sports.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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