Although most of Ohio State’s 2019 football recruiting class signed in December, National Signing Day should have some drama for the Buckeyes.
Three recruiting targets — all offensive linemen — have set announcement times for Wednesday, the traditional signing day which has taken a backseat to the new early signing period in late December that began in 2017.
Enokk Vimahi, a four-star prospect from Kahuku, Hawaii, will announce his choice between Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC at 12:30 Eastern Standard Time.
Doug Nester, a four-star prospect from Huntington (W. Va.) Spring Valley will choose between Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech at 5 p.m. EST, and Dawand Jones, a three-star prospect from Indianapolis Ben Davis, will announce his decision at 6:30 p.m. at his high school.
Jones has set a top five of Ohio State, Indiana, Florida, Penn State and USC.
Nester is a long-time Ohio State commit, but he began re-evaluating his options in December after Urban Meyer announced he would retire following the Rose Bowl in January.
(As an aside, Nester’s 247Sports scouting profile compares him to Alter graduate Joe Thuney, who won his second Super Bowl with the New England Patriots on Sunday. Thuney was a two-star prospect when he signed with N.C. State in 2011.)
Vimahi and Jones entered the picture more recently as restocking the offensive line became more urgent.
Michael Jordan somewhat surprisingly opting to enter the NFL draft early left Ohio State with just 11 scholarship offensive linemen for 2019, a group that includes three redshirt freshmen and true freshmen Ryan Jacoby of Mentor and Harry Miller of Buford, Ga.
The troubles up front started a year ago when Fairfield five-star prospect Jackson Carman spurned the Buckeyes for Clemson and continued through December with the uncertainty surrounding Nester and the inability to flip Nick Broeker, a three-star prospect from Illinois who signed with Mississippi.
Zeke Correll, a four-star prospect from Cincinnati Anderson and Ohio’s No. 3 overall prospect in 2019 according to 247Sports Composite rankings, signed with Notre Dame in December while six other Ohioans ended up elsewhere in the Big Ten: Akron Hoban guard Nolan Rumbler and Cincinnati Moeller guard Zach Carpenter signed with Michigan, Mentor guard Nick Samac and J.D. Duplain of Strongsville signed with Michigan State, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney guard Kyle Jornigan is headed to Purdue and Milford tackle Connor Foster will play at Northwestern next season.
Regardless of who signs where, National Signing Day will be busy at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as the six true freshmen already on campus are scheduled to meet with the media in the morning.
That group is headlined by Zach Harrison, a defensive end from Olentangy Orange High School who was the No. 1 recruit in Ohio in 2019, and five-star receiver Garrett Wilson of Austin (Texas) Lake Travis.
It also includes offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby and defensive lineman Noah Potter, both from Mentor, Ohio, running back Marcus Crowely of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy and safety Ronnie Hickman of Wayne (N.J.) DePaul Catholic.
Later reporters will have a chance to chat with members of first-year head coach Ryan Day’s new staff.
>>RELATED: 2019 coaching staff finalized
Day is scheduled to speak publicly for the first time since he officially took the reins of the program from Meyer on Jan. 2.
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