COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day unveiled a 21-person recruiting class today that will rank among the nation’s best. The newest group of Buckeyes comprise the nation’s No. 2-ranked class according to 247Sports and Rivals and features 18 players who earned either four or five-star rankings.
This year’s class features plenty of talent at the skill positions. At running back, the Buckeyes were able to sign two players – five-star prospect TreVeyon Henderson of Hopewell, Va. and four-star Even Pryor from Cornelius, N.C. – who are both top-100 prospects. Ohio State also signed a five-star player at quarterback (Kyle McCord of Philadelphia, Pa., the nation’s No. 4-ranked QB by 247Sports) and wide receiver (Emeka Egbuka, the No. 1 player at his position and the No. 8 overall player, from Steilacoom, Wa.).
While the Buckeyes’ class includes players from 13 different states, Ohio State stayed home and signed the top four players from the state of Ohio: DE Jack Sawyer (Pickerington), DT Michael Hall Jr. (Streetsboro), WR Jayden Ballard (Massillon) and LB Reid Caricco (Ironton). All four of those players are ranked in the top 100 nationally; Sawyer is No. 5 (No. 3 defensive end), Hall Jr. is No. 49 (No. 4 defensive tackle), Ballard is No. 66 (No. 8 wide receiver) and Caricco is No. 84 (No. 5 linebacker).
On the defensive side of the ball, Ohio State signed 10 players and replenished its talent in the secondary with three cornerbacks and three safeties. Along the defensive line, the Buckeyes added two defensive tackles and one defensive end while also signing one linebacker.
In all, a total of 10 position groups are represented in the class, led by three each at wide receiver, cornerback, safety and defensive line. There are 10 players on offense, 10 on defense and one on special teams. Eleven players are ranked in the top-five at their respective positions, led by the No. 1-ranked wide receiver (Egbuka), offensive guard (Donovan Jackson) and running back (Henderson).
Jayden Ballard // WR // 6-2, 175 // Massillon, Ohio / Massillon Washington
A top-100 prospect who is rated as the nation’s No. 8 receiver and the No. 3 overall player in the state of Ohio … invited to play in the Army All-American Bowl … helped his team with 10 straight games during the 2020 season and advance to the Division II state championship game … a member of the Ohio MaxPreps All-State team … caught 25 touchdown passes over his final two years for head coach Nate Moore at Massillon Washington … caught seven passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns in a regional final win over Perry … finished his senior year with 36 catches for 573 yards and seven touchdowns … as a junior, caught 68 passes for 1,202 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 80.1 yards per game … had career totals of 141 receptions, 2,636 yards and 37 touchdowns … became Massillon’s all-time leader in career receiving yards and touchdown receptions in 2020 … led the Tigers to three consecutive Division II state title games … is the son of Christina March and Jamaal Ballard.
Denzel Burke // CB // 6-0, 189 // Scottsdale, Ariz. / Saguaro
A four-star prospect who is the nation’s No. 8-rated athlete by 247Sports.com … played both defensive back and wide receiver in high school … projects as a defensive back with the Buckeyes … attended Brophy Prep in Phoenix before transferring to Saguaro … The Arizona Republic’s No. 1-ranked game-changing cornerback and athlete … played in one game his senior season before it was cut short due to injury … played seven games as a junior in 2019 and averaged 44.7 receiving yards per game with four touchdowns … added 337 rushing yards on 24 carries and two interceptions … at Brophy Prep, helped the Broncos improve from 1-9 as a freshman to 7-4 as a sophomore when he racked up 50 receptions for 719 yards and averaged 84.2 all-purpose yards per game … is the son of Deya and Zafiro Burke.
Reid Carrico // LB // 6-3, 225 // Ironton, Ohio / Ironton
The No. 4-rated player in Ohio and a consensus four-star prospect … ranked No. 84 nationally regardless of position by 247Sports.com … the nation’s fifth-ranked linebacker prospect … was a two-way player at Ironton who also was his team’s starting running back … the first player ever to be named the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Southeast District Player of the Year on offense and defense in the same season … had 56 tackles and 17 tackles for loss and four sacks in 12 games as a senior in 2020 … rushed for 1,544 yards and 25 touchdowns in helping Ironton reach the Division V state championship game … had 187 yards on 29 carries in a 22-19 win over Roger Bacon in the state semifinals … rushed for over 3,000 yards with 48 career touchdowns … first-team all-conference and all-district … named Ohio’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters … is the son of Shelley and Gary Carrico.
Ben Christman // OL // 6-6, 299 // Richfield, Ohio / Revere
Is the top-rated offensive linemen in the state of Ohio … a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … a four-year starter … named to Cleveland.com’s All-Decade team … the 2020 Suburban League American Conference co-Offensive Player of the Year … was his team’s offensive line MVP and a first-team all-Suburban League selection … first-team all-district … named a Touchdown Club All-Star and Cleveland.com All-Star … a member of Cleveland.com’s 2020 All-Area squad and the 2020 Ohio MaxPreps All-State team … a three-sport athlete at Revere where he also played basketball and participated in track and field … is the son of Karen and Brian Christman.
Jantzen Dunn // SAF // 6-2, 178 // Bowling Green, Ky. / South Warren
The No. 2-ranked player in the state of Kentucky who earned four stars from 247Sports … versatile athlete who played multiple positions in the secondary and also as a wide receiver on offense … ran track at South Warren where he won the Class 3A Regional 2 long jump and high jump … six of his 19 receptions in 2019 went for touchdowns … added 37 tackles and an interceptions on defense … as a sophomore, played in all 15 games for South Warren as it went 15-0 and win the Class 5A state championship … recorded 30 tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, one of which went for a touchdown … is the son of Sonja Breeze and Mitchell Dunn … stepdad is Calvin Breeze and stepmom is Chasity Rodgers.
Emeka Egbuka // WR // 6-1, 180 // Steilacoom, Wash. / Steilacoom
A consensus five-star prospect who is the nation’s top-ranked wide receiver and the No. 8 overall player according to 247Sports … the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year is the state of Washington … caught 83 passes for 1,607 yards and 25 touchdowns in 14 games … also returned three punts for scores and rushed for four TDs … 2,240 all-purpose yards … recorded 28 tackles and eight interceptions from his defensive back position … returned two for touchdowns … helped Steilacoom reach the 2A state championship game where he set a title-game record with 18 receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns to go along with eight tackles and an interceptions … caught 199 passes for nearly 4,000 yards and 61 TDs in his career … Washington moved its high school football season to the spring and thus he has not played a senior season … also a standout baseball player … parents are Rhonda and Eric Ogilvie; Henry Egbuka.
Michael Hall Jr. // DT // 6-3, 290 // Streetsboro, Ohio / Streetsboro
The nation’s No. 54 overall player and No. 4-rated defensive tackle … is the ninth-ranked overall player in Ohio … primarily played defensive tackle for Streetsboro but also doubled as an offensive lineman … regarded as an explosive player who gets off the ball quickly and has good speed for his position … as a junior, led Streetsboro to their first-ever playoff win as the Rockets finished 11-1 … had 72 tackles, 17 TFLs and five sacks … had his senior season cut short due to a broken hand after just three games … still managed to finish with 24 tackles and nine tackles for loss … is one of three northeast Ohio signees in the class along with Ben Christman (Richford / Revere) and Jayden Ballard (Massillon / Massillon Washington) … is the son of Lynda Hall.
Jordan Hancock // CB // 6-1, 170 // Suwanee, Ga. / North Gwinnett
One of the nation’s top-ranked cornerbacks … the No. 67 overall player and No. 4 cornerback in the country according to 247Sports … was a first-team all-region and all-Gwinnett County player in 2019 as a junior … originally opted not to play his senior season due to family health concerns but returned to his team in mid-October … helped North Gwinnett win one state championship and three regional titles in his career … recorded two interceptions and 12 passes defended as a junior in 2019 … also played basketball and ran track during his time at North Gwinnett … is the son of Benita and Kenneth Hancock.
Marvin Harrison Jr. // WR // 6-3, 190 // Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep
A four-star prospect and the No. 91 player in the nation by 247Sports.com … is the top-ranked wide receiver in the state of Pennsylvania … finished his career with 2,625 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns, both of which were Philadelphia Catholic League records … caught 144 career passes … teamed with fellow signee Kyle McCord to help St. Joseph’s win three-straight Pennsylvania 6A state championships … had eight receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns in this year’s state title game win over Central York … is the son of Keara and Marvin Harrison Sr. … Marvin Harrison Sr. was an eight-time NFL All-Pro who spent his entire 13-year career with the Indianapolis Colts.
Sam Hart // TE // 6-5, 225 // Aurora, Colo. / Cherokee Trail
The No. 3-ranked player in the state of Colorado … second-team all-state in 2019 as a junior … had 233 yards receiving in his senior season … two-way player who also lined up at defensive end … an outstanding wrestler who was the 200 lb. Colorado state champion last winter with a 38-0 record … made the state finals as a sophomore in 2019 … is the son of Nancy and Pat Hart.
TreVeyon Henderson // RB // 5-11, 195 // Hopewell, Va. / Hopewell
A five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back according to 247Sports … will enroll at Ohio State in January … did not play a senior season of high school football due to Virginia moving its fall sports season to the spring as a result of COVID-19 … for his career, he compiled over 4,000 yards rushing with 50 touchdowns and helped Hopewell win its second consecutive state championship … scored four touchdowns in the state title game … played wide receiver and defensive back as a freshman and sophomore before becoming the team’s full-time running back as a junior and responded with a stat line of 2,424 yards and 45 touchdowns … had 3,200 all-purpose yards … named the 2019 Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year … USA Today All-USA second team offense … is the son of Lakeesha Hayes and Trenton Henderson.
Donovan Jackson // OL // 6-4, 308 // Bellaire, Texas / Episcopal
The highest-rated offensive linemen in Ohio State’s class … a five-star prospect according to 247Sports and the nation’s No. 1-rank guard … the No. 1 player in the state of Texas and the No. 17 overall player regardless of position … ranked No. 31 in Sports Illustrated’s list of the 100 best players in this year’s class … selected for the Army All-American Bowl … named the 2020 All-USA high school preseason team by USA Today … a SI.com All-American … started as a freshman at left tackle for Houston Christian High School before transferring to Episcopal … took home offensive line MVP honors at The Opening in July of 2019 … helped Episcopal win the Southwest Preparatory Conference 4A title as a junior … is the son of Melanie and Todd Jackson.
Jakailin Johnson // CB // 6-1, 175 // St. Louis, Mo. / De Smet
A four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … at 6-1 and 175 lbs., has the ideal size and range for the cornerback position … the No. 1 player in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Super 30 preseason countdown and the consensus top-ranked player in the state of Missouri … a top 50-ranked overall player nationally … continues the pipeline from the St. Louis area to Columbus that includes WR Kamryn Babb (Christian Brothers), CB Cameron Brown (Christian Brothers), WR Jameson Williams (Cardinal Ritter) and WR Mookie Cooper (Trinity) … in an abbreviated 2020 season, De Smet went 6-1 and played in the Class 6 championship game … had a breakout junior season in which he had 42 tackles and seven interceptions, including two in the Class 6 title game against Joplin … totaled 27 tackles and two INTs as a sophomore .. also ran track at De Smet, competing in the 200 meters, 4×100 relay and 4×200 relay … mother is Zena Mabins, step mother/father are Ashleigh and JD Johnson and guardian is Kenny Moore.
Jaylen Johnson // SAF // 6-1, 200 // Cincinnati, Ohio / La Salle
Named to the 2020 Ohio MaxPreps all-state football team … the GCL co-Defensive Back of the Year and a first-team Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Division II All-Southwest District selection … had 55 tackles for the Lancers and head coach Pat McLaughlin … as a junior in 2019, was a Division II second-team all-state selection and helped La Salle win a state championship, its fourth in the last six years … had 61 tackles (32 solo) and a forced fumble … La Salle’s defense posted three shutouts and allowed an average of just 10.6 points per game … is the son of Jarvis Johnson II.
Kyle McCord // QB // 6-3, 215 // Philadelphia, Pa. / St. Joseph’s Prep
Is the nation’s No. 25-ranked player regardless of position and the No. 3 quarterback … a five-star prospect according to 247Sports … helped St. Joseph’s Prep win its third consecutive state championship last fall … named the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division Most Valuable Player and is the first player in league history to win the award three times … threw six touchdowns in the 6A semifinal and then followed that up with a 21-for-28, 336-yard performance with four TDs in the title game vs. Central York … set city and league records for career passing yards (6,887) and touchdown passes (88) … member of the 2020 Pennsylvania MaxPreps All-State team … passed for 2,399 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior before an injury sidelined him for the final four games of the season … won the starting job at St. Joseph’s as a sophomore and had 2,883 yards with 38 touchdowns while completing 66.5 percent of his passes … is the son of Stacy and Derek McCord … his father played quarterback at Rutgers from 1988-92.
Zen Michalski // OL // 6-6, 288 // Floyds Knobs, Ind. / Floyd Central
The No. 4-ranked player in the state of Indiana by 247Sports … as a senior, helped Floyd Central to a 7-3 overall record for head coach James Bragg … paved the way for an offense that averaged 37.2 points per game … named one of the 50 best players in the state of Indiana by the Indiana Football Coaches Association following the 2020 season … first team All-Hoosier Hills Conference … grew nearly seven inches and gained close to 100 pounds during his high school career … parents are Tamara and Matthew Ware; Lennon Michalski.
Jesse Mirco // P // 6-3, 200 // Fremantle, Australia / Christian Brothers College (HS)
Signed his letter of intent with Ohio State is September because he’s already 23 years old … comes from ProKick Australia, the same program that developed former Buckeye Cameron Johnston, a Ray Guy Award finalist who is currently in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles … rated as the No. 4 punter in the Class of 2021 … committed to the Buckeyes in May of 2020 … is a former Australian-rules football player who learned the art of American punting in just fourth months from ProKick coaches Nathan Chapman and John Smith … is the son of Leanne and Luca Mirco.
Evan Pryor // RB // 5-10, 190 // Cornelius, N.C. / William Amos Hough
Is the nation’s No. 2-ranked all-purpose back … a top-100 player who checks in at No. 84 in 247Sports composite rankings … is the No. 4-ranked player in the state of North Carolina … did not play his senior year at William Amos Hough High School as the state of North Carolina postponed high school football to the spring due to COVID-19 … as a junior in 2019, Pryor had 1,130 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns while adding 646 receiving yards and eight more TDs in 13 games … finished his high school career with 4,233 all-purpose yards and 42 total touchdowns … also ran track and field where he had a personal best time of 10.84 in the 100 meters … is the son of Inid and Erik Pryor.
Jack Sawyer // DE // 6-5, 248 // Pickerington, Ohio / Pickerington North
Is the highest-rated prospect in Ohio State’s class according to 247Sports … a five-star player who is the No. 1 overall player in Ohio, the No. 4 player nationally and the nation’s No. 3-ranked defensive end … did not play his senior season at Pickerington Central … as a junior, was the OCC-Ohio Division Defensive Player of the Year for head coach Nate Hillerich … had 37 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 13.5 quarterback sacks … an exceptional athlete, Sawyer also played quarterback for Pickerington North and led then to the Division I, Region 3 playoffs … completed 79 of 135 passes for 1,056 yards and nine touchdowns before an injury cut his season short … also played basketball at Pickerington North where he made the varsity team as a freshman … his father, Lyle, played football at Findlay College and his mother, Michelle, was a star basketball player at Pickerington … his grandfather played in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.
Andre Turrentine // SAF // 6-0, 175 // Nashville, Tenn. / Ensworth
The No. 6-rated player in the state of Tennessee … consensus four-star prospect … had 73 total tackles in 2019 as a junior while leading Ensworth to the Division II-AAA state semifinals for head coach Roc Batten … a two-way player, he added 248 receiving yards and two touchdowns, averaging nearly 25 yards per catch … is versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary: cornerback, nickel back or safety … is the son of Jajuan and Antonio Turrentine.
Tyleik Williams // DT // 6-3, 330 // Manassas, Va. / Unity Reed
A four-star prospect, Williams is the No. 4-ranked senior in B=Virginia and the No. 10 defensive tackle by 247Sports … has elite speed, athleticism and explosiveness … selected to play in the Army All-America Bowl … as a junior, led then-Stonewall Jackson to an 8- record and a Virginia Class 6 playoff appearance … was a first-team All-State pick while totaling 47 tackles and 3.5 sacks … is the son of Gloria Williams.