COLUMBUS — Ohio State signed 21 recruits, Clemson signed a 5-star player from Ohio many people expected to go to Ohio State and Dabo Swinney might have implied Urban Meyer isn’t getting any younger.
Those were the highlights of the first December early signing day for football for the Buckeyes on Wednesday.
The players OSU signed will make its recruiting class one of the best in the country if not the best when everything is sorted out.
Nine players ranked in the top 100 in 247sports.com’s composite rankings signed with Ohio State.
Only four of the players were from Ohio — Westerville South running back Jaelen Gill, Toledo St. John’s linebacker Dallas Gant, Huber Heights Wayne receiver L’Christian Smith and Pickerington North defensive end Alex Williams.
There are two 5-star players in the class — defensive tackle Taran Vincent, son of former NFL cornerback Troy Vincent, and Gill.
The players in 247sports.com’s top 100 are: tight end Jeremy Ruckert, linebacker Teradja Mitchell, cornerback Tyreke Johnson, offensive lineman Matthew Jones, wide receiver Kamryn Babb, defensive back Josh Proctor and running back Brian Snead.
OSU signed players from 11 states. Florida tied Ohio for the most members in the signing class with four recruits.
Meyer wouldn’t predict which freshmen could have the biggest impact but said it is up to them to determine how soon they get on to the field.
Fourteen freshmen played this season. “If you don’t play here, it’s because you’re not good enough. It’s not because we’re saving you for somewhere down the road. If you come here and you’re good enough, you play,” he said.
Maybe the biggest surprise on Wednesday was 5-star Fairfield offensive lineman Jackson Carman picking Clemson over OSU.
Carman’s recruitment did not always go smoothly for Ohio State but his decision to reject the Buckeyes’ offer was still somewhat of a surprise.
After attending the Ohio State-Oklahoma game, Carman tweeted that J.T. Barrett should be benched and that Dwayne Haskins should be the starting quarterback. Then he got into a Twitter fight with Kirk Herbstreit, who said Ohio State would be better off without a player like Carman on its roster.
Carman told the Dayton Daily News that he made his decision Wednesday morning and said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had “kind of mentioned that Urban was on the back half of his career.”
He said that consideration wasn’t huge in his decision but was “underlying.”
Meyer is 53 years old and Swinney is 48. Meyer got his first head coaching job in 2001 and Swinney didn’t get his until 2008.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau