If you’ve ever gone to the doctor, you may have been asked to rate your pain on a scale from 1-10. Your favorite team missing on a recruit may bring those same types of feelings, which is why we’re here to help with ‘The Pain Scale’.
When Ohio State misses on a key recruiting target, we’ll help you diagnose the level of pain that should be felt and what the Buckeyes need to do to provide some relief.
Hours after landing a big-time commitment from four-star wide receiver Kyion Grayes, the Buckeyes lost the battle for five-star cornerback Will Johnson to rival Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Though not a surprising outcome, Ohio State was on the short list for the Michigan star and had put a lot of time and effort into recruiting the talented defender. Johnson, a Michigan legacy, chose the Wolverines over the Buckeyes and USC.
Pain Scale Rating: 5.5 (moderately painful)
Why the rating isn’t higher
Johnson is an outstanding prospect and was one of a few cornerbacks that were right at the top of the wish list for Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes have already landed two outstanding cornerback prospects in the 2022 class including perhaps the top corner in Florida star Jaheim Singletary. With a need for three corners in this class and having two already locked up 10 months before the Early Signing Period opens up, it’s hard to put *too* high of a rating on losing any cornerback target.
Additionally, while there was some optimism at various points, this should not have been a surprising outcome to anyone following this recruitment on BuckeyeScoop.com. Johnson is a Michigan legacy and it was always going to be a tough hurdle to go from talking up Ohio State and considering the Buckeyes to actually committing to them.
Why the rating isn’t lower
Ultimately, no matter how well the Buckeyes are recruiting the position right now, when you are in the top two or three for a five-star prospect at one of the more important positions, it’s going to sting a bit when he goes somewhere else.
Furthermore, Johnson isn’t committing to USC or Texas or Georgia, or some other school that the Buckeyes may or may not face during his college career. No, this was a direct battle with rival Michigan and so the Buckeyes should be seeing Will Johnson 3-4 times over the next few years. Both of those factors increase the pain rating here a little bit.
Where the Buckeyes go now to relieve the pain
With 10 months to go and a need for just one more corner, the Buckeyes have plenty of time to regroup here and continue their evaluation process. Two players that have a little bit of momentum with Ohio State are Austin Jordan out of Denton (TX) Ryan and Ryan Turner out of Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna.
These two four-star prospects have offers from the Buckeyes and Jordan recently included Ohio State in his top 10. It will be very much worth watching how things pick up with Jordan and Turner and if visits can be worked out either via the prospects coming up to check things out on their own in the spring or if they make it up once the never-ending Dead Period finally goes away.
The Buckeyes will also continue to recruit St. Louis area star Toriano Pride and there is no indication that they won’t keep a close eye on the strength of the commitments of Johnson to Michigan and Domani Jackson to USC. Five-star cornerback Denver Harris is also likely to continue to listen to schools outside of the Top Four that he recently released.
Long story short, Ohio State has a lot of lines in the water and a long time to get one to bite.