Dylan Raiola’s uncommitment continues the pattern of year-to-date swings and turns in Ohio State’s employment quadruple
Over the past month, Ohio State has lost commitments from two quarterbacks while landing a commitment from another.
The decision to decommit last is certainly the most impactful because it came from Dylan Raiola, our top pick in the 2024 recruiting class. Raiola was fully expected to be Ohio State’s quarterback of the future, and to be replaced by another quarterback of a similar caliber in Separating him will not be an easy task.
Ohio State was hoping to spend the next year building a class around Raiola knowing that they had secured the best quarterback of the course, but the Buckeyes instead have to restart their quarterback search again.
Such drama is nothing new for Ohio State when it comes to recruiting quarterbacks. Most of the quarterbacks who committed to Ohio State early on as Raiola did in recent years didn’t finish with the Buckeyes, and the late twists and turns of the position leading up to signing day—and sometimes even after signing day—became Ohio State’s nearly annual presence.
With Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields and CJ Stroud all becoming Heisman Trophy candidates and NFL first-round picks (or at least close in Stroud’s case), Ohio State has had as much success at quarterback as any other school over the years. past five. But none of them were starting targets for Ohio State in the years they signed with the Buckeyes, and while their success has helped Ohio State recruit more popular quarterbacks in recent seasons, the Buckeyes still often have to gather late in their recruiting cycles to sign them. on the quarterback (or quarterback) they want.
Recently changed quarterback in the class of 2023 and Raiola sent the Buckeyes back to the drawing board With a year to go before anyone signed in the class of 2024, here’s an update on the roller coaster that Ohio State has been recruiting quarterbacks on a yearly basis for the past decade, starting with of the Class of 2015.
Torrance Gibson was Ohio State’s main quarterback target for most of the 2015 recruiting cycle, but he wasn’t the first quarterback to commit to the Buckeyes in that category. That was Joe Burrow, who committed to the Buckeyes shortly after receiving his offer from Ohio State in May 2014 and got a no-drama recruiting from there eventually signing with the Buckeyes in February (when there wasn’t an early signing period).
Ohio State continued to pursue Gibson even after Boro committed, however, leaving the quarterback recruiting drama all the way to signing day. Even after committing in November, Gibson continued to visit other schools in the weeks leading up to his signing day, but ended up giving his national letter of intent to the Buckeyes — though his ever-changing recruiting might be a sign of things to come, as his time at Ohio State dragged on. less than a year.
The Buckeyes had landed a starting quarterback for the 2016 class the previous April when Tristen Wallace committed to Ohio State, but they once again found themselves in the market for a quarterback with less than two months until National Signing Day when Wallace flipped to Oregon.
That forced Ohio State to chase a late addition to the class at the quarterback position, but it all ended up working for the better for the Buckeyes when they turned around Maryland’s Dwayne Haskins in January. While Wallace never played for Oregon State, Haskins went on to break Ohio State single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns during his only season as the Buckeyes starter in 2018.
While Dwayne Haskins has become one of Ohio State’s all-time best passers, he wasn’t the Buckeyes’ first choice in the 2016 recruiting class.
Ohio State got an incredibly early commitment as a quarterback in the 2017 class when Danny Clark committed to the Buckeyes in 2013 while still just a high school freshman. Clark would remain committed to Ohio State for about three years, but eventually parted ways with the Buckeyes in September 2016, three months after Tate Martell—who Ohio State accepted as a commitment even though it had already secured a commitment from Clark.
Martell’s signing with the Buckeyes went forward from there, but Clark — who famously got a tattoo of Ohio State after his commitment — is still remembered as a warning sign of how much things can change after an early commitment.
As with Raiola in the 2024 cycle, Ohio State thought it had a guaranteed quarterback for the 2018 class early in the process when Emory Jones became the first player to commit to the Buckeyes in that cycle in July 2016. Jones continued to explore his options further in the next year and a half However, the Buckeyes were eventually forced to find another quarterback.
That ended up being quarterback Matthew Baldwin, who initially committed to Colorado but flipped to Ohio State just two weeks before signing a day after receiving an offer from the Buckeyes in November. Baldwin would end up being Ohio State’s only running member of the class as Jones flipped to Florida on signing day.
Ohio State was without a quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class until just six months before signing day, when D’Wan Mathis committed to the Buckeyes in June 2018. They ended up completely without a high school quarterback when Mathis flipped to Georgia on signing day. , leaving them with no viable options to continue into high school classes.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, they got a better end to the trade with Georgia when the Fields moved from Georgia to Ohio State in January, giving them an immediate successor to Haskins and one of Ohio State’s all-time best quarterbacks for the next two seasons. The Buckeyes had already started following Fields before Mathis’ coup, so they likely would have had him even if Mathis had signed, but adding a quarterback became a must for Ohio State when Mathis dropped out of class.
Ohio State initially appeared to be fully assigned a quarterback for the 2020 recruiting class when Jack Miller committed to the Buckeyes in July 2018. When both Martell and Baldwin moved away from Ohio State in 2019, however, the Buckeyes found themselves in need of a player The second quarter in 2020 for more depth.
They wouldn’t land that second quarterback until the early signing period in December, but the wait proved worth it as the Buckeyes landed a future with Stroud committed to signing day, culminating in Ohio State’s late pursuit of Stroud that began when he impressed his teammates. Futures Jackson Smith-Ngegba, Julian Fleming, and J. Scott Jr. during the June 2019 Opening Day, where he was named Elite 11 MVP.
This was the closest Ohio State has come to a drama-free quarterback recruiting cycle since Ryan Day’s arrival in Columbus. Kyle McCord committed to the Buckeyes nearly 20 months prior to signing day (April 30, 2019) and never wavered in that commitment, allowing Ohio State to build a loaded recruiting class around him.
Ohio State ended up with an unexpected addition to the 2021 recruiting class, though, when Quinn Ewers — who was committed to the Buckeyes recruiting class of 2022 — was reclassified and joined the team in August. Although it didn’t affect McCord, who has remained with the Buckeyes and is now in a position to succeed Stroud as a starter next season for Ohio State, it did force the Buckeyes to scramble to sign the quarterback again in 2022.
Kyle McCord has been one of Ohio State’s only drama-free quarterback recruits in recent years.
Much like the situation Ohio State now finds itself in the wake of Raiola’s decommitment, the Buckeyes didn’t have any clear options for replacing Ewers — who would transfer to Texas by the time his original recruiting season signed — after the first prospect’s departure. of the Class of 2022. Ohio State stopped recruiting other quarterbacks in the Class of 2022 after Ewers committed to the Buckeyes in November 2020, which left them plenty of ground to make up when Ewers was reclassified in August.
Domino eventually fell out of favor with Ohio State, though, when Devin Brown — who was committed to USC at the time of Ewers’ reclassification — opted to reopen his recruiting after Clay Hilton was fired. The Buckeyes took the opportunity to pursue Brown and ended up signing the sixth-ranked quarterback in the class of 2022, who will compete with McCord for the starting position next year.
Barring no more unexpected twists, Ohio State will sign Lincoln Kienholz as the starting quarterback in the class of 2023 on Wednesday. But it took until just a week before the early signing period for the Buckeyes to secure him as the starting quarterback for the current rotation.
With Ewers initially committed to the class of 2022 at Ohio State, the Buckeyes haven’t gained much traction with top quarterbacks like Arch Manning, Malachi Nelson, Nico Iamaleava, and Dante Moore. They were unable to replace those players even after Ewers was reclassified and eventually offered to Brock Glenn in June, relegated to a commitment 10 days later. But after decommitting Glenn in November, Ohio State faced the possibility of going without a quarterback in the class of 2023 — which likely sent the Buckeyes to the transfer market for quarterback depth — until Kienholz flipped away from Washington last week.
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