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It’s no secret that the Ohio State football program recruits some of the top prospects in the country on an almost yearly basis. Top five ranked recruiting classes have become the norm. Many of those go on to have stellar careers in Columbus, and some even get a chance to make an impact right away as freshmen.
And you’d be hard-pressed to find another team in the Big Ten that gets so many freshmen contributing right away because a lot of the kids Ohio State recruits come right out of the box ready to insert into the big-time college football game.
And that’s where we look with one of the latest articles from 247Sports. Chris Hummer took a look at some of the freshmen players that could have an immediate impact across the country, guys you need to know, and when he wandered into the Big Ten, Hummer highlighted five players wearing scarlet and gray that you may want to take notice of.
Here they are.
NEXT … The next superstar at running back?
TreyVeon Henderson, Running Back
Credit: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics
Henderson was considered by many recruiting services to be the best running back in the entire 2021 class. He is enrolled early now and already impressing both coaches and players with his burst, athleticism, and the way he handles himself. He is probably going to be too talented to keep off the field in some capacity, but whether or not he can take enough carries away from returning, power and speed back Master Teague remains to be seen.
NEXT … A national revelation at defensive end?
Jack Sawyer, Defensive End
COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 17: Jack Sawyer #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets ready for the start of the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Sawyer was an absolute monster in the annual LiFESports Spring Game. And when pressed by media members on if that’s a normal occurrence in practice, both players and coaches agreed that it was the template of what they’ve seen from the talented freshman.
Ohio State has churned out All-American widgets at the defensive end position under Larry Johnson, and Sawyer might be the next one. But again here, there are two pretty good ones already in front of him with Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith poised for breakout campaigns. We’ll see how he fits in the rotation.
NEXT … An underrated pass catcher
Marvin Harrison, Jr., Wide Receiver
Team Brutus wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the Ohio State football Spring Game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Credit: USA TODAY Sports
When Ohio State landed a commitment from Harrison, it was thought of as a good move for depth on a unit that is already one of the best in the country. Since then, we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews, and it’s clear the coaching staff thought of it as more than that.
Harrison obviously has the genes being the son of a Hall of Famer, is rangy, high points the ball, and has great hands. In other words, he’s well beyond his years in maturity as a freshman receiver. He isn’t going to break into the offense as a starter, but it sure looks like he’ll be in the two-deep.
NEXT … Who takes over in the secondary
Jordan Hancock/Jakailin Johnson, Cornerback
Ah, the secondary for Ohio State. It was the Achilles heel of the team last season and head coach Ryan Day stressed changes and improvement on that side of the ball. Veterans Cameron Brown and Sevyn Banks were banged up in the spring, some depth with Tyreke Johnson finding the transfer portal, and the unit just wasn’t that good last season. That means opportunity is there for these two four-star freshmen recruits.
Unfortunately, neither made it to campus as an early enrollee, so the development and impression will have to be immediate and impressive. Our guess is that it takes these two a little longer, but there is definitely a path to playing time. The coaching staff really liked both and thought of it as a home run to lure Hancock away from his commitment to Clemson.