Recent commitments continue trio of Ohio State football recruiting trends

The two newest members of Ohio State’s next recruiting class continued a trio of trends for the Scarlet and Gray.

Donovan Jackson knocked out two of them when he verbally committed Wednesday as an offensive lineman from Texas.

Ohio State has signed at least one player from the Longhorn State four years in a row and a total of 16 since 2008.

That run started with five-star offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts of Klein and also includes record-breaking quarterback J.T. Barrett of Wichita Falls, All-American cornerback Jeffrey Okudah of Grand Prairie and All-Big Ten running back J.K. Dobbins of La Grange.

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In the previous 20 classes (1988-2007), Ohio State signed seven players from the state, the most notable being receiver David Boston of Humble.

Not only has Ohio State recruited Texas heavily, the results have been favorable.

Eleven of the 18 players Ohio State signed from the state from ’88-2017 have become starters, a hit rate of 61%.

That is higher than the average of about 49 percent for all signees in that timeframe, and a couple more members of the 2017 class still have a chance to join the list, most notably five-star prospect Barron Browning, who shared time with Tuf Borland at middle linebacker last season and could replace Malik Harrison at Will ‘backer this fall.

If Okudah and Dobbins are drafted in April as expected, the rate of signees from Texas to be drafted (33%) will be higher than the average signee (28), too.

Meanwhile, Jackson is the second offensive lineman in the class, joining Ben Christman of Richfield (Ohio) Revere.

That is part of an amazing comeback when it comes to offensive line recruiting over the past year or so.

The surprise decision by Michael Jordan to go pro early last January left Ohio State with only 11 scholarship offensive linemen scheduled to be on hand for 2019, a situation that worsened with the loss of long-time commitment Doug Nestor on National Signing Day last February.

That came on the heels of losing five-star Fairfield offensive lineman Jackson Carman from the class of 2018 to Clemson and a half dozen in-state O-line prospects in the 2019 class signing with other Power 5 programs.

However, Ohio State was essentially able to replace Carman with five-star Nicholas Petit-Frere of Tampa, Fla., in February 2018.

A year later, head coach Ryan Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa reeled in Enokk Vimahi of Hawaii and Dawand Jones of Indianapolis on National Signing Day.

>>READ MORE: Vimahi gives Ohio State much-needed OL help

They joined long-time commits Harry Miller of Georgia and Ryan Jacoby of Mentor, Ohio, for the class of 2019, and the addition of Rutgers graduate transfer Jonah Jackson provided immediate help last fall.

Jackson is out of eligibility, but last month Ohio State signed five-star prospect Paris Johnson Jr., four-stars Luke Wypler and Grant Toutant and three-stars Josh Fryar, Jakob James and Trey Leroux to push the number of scholarship offensive linemen on the roster for 2020 to 16.

That includes returning starters Thayer Munford, Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, who are all entering their fourth year in the program.

“It's absolutely awesome, and that’s how it should be,” Studrawa said in August when asked how things looked for the near and more distant future. “That's how it should be.

“You should have athletic young cats that are ready to go take over. We had that lab for a lot of those guys that were here before that. Those guys are gone now. We're building that depth to be exactly where it should be at Ohio State.”

A day before adding Jackson to the 2021 class, Ohio State received a verbal commitment from Cincinnati La Salle defensive back Jaylen Johnson.

>>RELATED: Cincinnati standout commits to Ohio State

Ohio State signed six players from Cincinnati in December for the class of 2020 after not signing more than three in one year since 1990.

Assuming Johnson follows through with his commitment and signs, Day will already have nearly matched the total of eight Cincinnati-area players who signed during Urban Meyer’s seven years as coach.

Day would also be more than halfway to the total of 13 who signed during Jim Tressel’s tenure from 2001-2011.

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