This is a loaded class for Ohio State. I mean, loaded.

The Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class could be the best in the country, and if they add a player or 2 more, it will be ranked as such. Still, even if they don’t add 1 more athlete, this could easily be called the best haul the program has ever brought in.

So when I sat down to pick 5 players to be excited about, it became very difficult. Sure, some are easy — when you have the top-ranked wide receiver, defensive end and running back, for instance, it seems like those players need to be on the list. But you can legitimately come up with 10 players and argue they could be in this top 5.


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And for the 2nd year in a row, the Buckeyes reeled in ESPN’s top-ranked overall player, becoming the 1st program to do so.

See — loaded.

Still, I edited down and came up with the 5 players you need to be excited about after Day 1 of the Early Signing Period:

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5. Donovan Jackson

Did I forget to mention above that Ohio State also got the best offensive guard in the country? Well, they did. Donovan Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 308-pound mountain from Texas, is the best at his position in the nation and will be the next in the line of great offensive linemen in Columbus.

Many recruiters found it hard to believe that a young man so big could have feet so nimble. Yet Jackson has just that, and he impresses with his overall athletic ability.

To see him come in last on the list of 5 is a bit sobering, but it’s true. And it just goes to show how powerful the Buckeyes have become in the state of Texas. Yes, they’ve been pulling wide receivers from the Lone Star State in the past few years, but now they’re recruiting big guys up front, too. It spells trouble for some of the programs in Texas — and around the country.

It did help that Jackson’s parents are from Ohio, but that didn’t stop Texas A&M and Texas from trying to convince him to stay home. It didn’t work.

4. Emeka Egbuka

The No. 1 wideout in the country comes in 4th on the list? Am I crazy? Maybe.

But it’s true. Emeka Egbuka committed just last week and made it official on Wednesday, and the best wide receiver in America will come into an extraordinarily crowded position group. It’s part of the reason why I didn’t rank him higher — Ohio State really doesn’t need him. But the rich got richer, and if he’s good enough, he will play.

I think he’s good enough. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound speedster from Washington state is a top-10 national player and is the Buckeyes’ 2nd consecutive No. 1-ranked wide receiver pledge. Egbuka chose Ohio State over Washington and Oklahoma.

But his next decision could be his toughest, as he will weigh whether to enroll early at Ohio State or stay at his high school and play his senior year, which was pushed back to the spring.

3. TreVeyon Henderson

Could TreVeyon Henderson be the starting running back next year for Ohio State? It’s possible.

Henderson, a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder from Virginia, is the No. 1-ranked running back in America and chose Ohio State over Alabama and Oklahoma. Henderson became the highest-ranked back to choose the Buckeyes since Beanie Wells almost 15 years ago, and there is real speculation in Columbus that Henderson could step in and start from Day 1.

That could mean using him in the backfield, or possibly even putting him in the slot as a receiver, which he says he’s excited about. It should also make fans happy when they hear whom Henderson wants to model his game after: He says he has been watching tons of tape on J.K. Dobbins.

2. Kyle McCord

If it seems like Ohio State has an embarrassment of riches, it’s because they do.

So much so that the 3rd-ranked pro-style quarterback in America comes in 2nd on the list of incoming players I’m most excited about. Still, Kyle McCord is the real deal, and worth discussing. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Philadelphia native is planning on enrolling early and challenging for the starting quarterback spot next season.

Who knows if it will work, but it will be fun to watch. McCord chose the Buckeyes over pretty much every other school, and his favorite target is fellow Ohio State signee Marvin Harrison Jr.

In interviews, McCord says he’s ready to help bring multiple national championships to Columbus.

I repeat: Multiple.

1. Jack Sawyer

This kid’s a stud.

Jack Sawyer, a 6-foot-5, 248-pound strongside defensive end, will be the latest in the line of great Ohio State defensive players. At least, that’s what he has been told throughout his high school career.

From Pickerington, Ohio, Sawyer felt a strong pull to go to the home state school. And now Sawyer, who is the 4th-best prospect in the country (and top in the state), has signed, officially becoming the highest-rated recruit in Ohio State’s 2021 class.

He has the frame of an NFL player and the elite athleticism of a pass-rusher — skills that already have NFL scouts drooling. Plus, playing for the Buckeyes has been a lifelong dream.

Sawyer also wants to earn a spot as a starter from Day 1. And by committing early, he was able to help recruit many of the other athletes in this class. After opting out of his senior year of high school, Sawyer will also enroll early.

And if this Tweet reveals anything about the kid, it shows he’s ready to roll: