I'm not really sure what I was planning to do with this post. Self-abuse, maybe? Finding a weakness to exploit later? Lack of a girlfriend? Well .... I'll punt that more philosophical question for later.
Digging into the film of Ohio State's 2016 class, it's clear this is a special class. There are nineteen commits, all but four of whom are composite blue-chips. Ohio State is still pursuing another wide receiver (Binjimen Victor?), defensive tackle (Antwuan Jackson?), DB (Damar Hamlin?) and lately a linebacker (USC de-commits Mique Juarez or Daelin Hayes?) as well. Here is who they have so far:
Quarterback: Tristen Wallace
Tristen is exactly who you would've expected if you hadn't watched a second of film. Big arm. Athletic - impressively so for a guy who's 6'3", 220 pounds. Good instincts. Rivals has him listed as a three-star player, which is preposterous. The 247Sports Composite ranks him as the #3 dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
Running Back: Kareem Walker, Antonio Williams, DeMario McCall
The fifth film in the Godzilla franchise, released in 1964, featured Godzilla in "the greatest battle on earth" against a three-headed monster named Ghidorah. It marked the turn of when Godzilla became the "good guy" in Godzilla movies.
Well, these guys are pretty close to Ghidorah. As much as Kareem Walker's recruiting has been the subject of rumors, there's absolutely no need to worry if you're an Ohio State fan. If all three of these guys decommitted on National Signing Day and Zeke departs for the NFL, as many have predicted he will, Urban Meyer would still have Bri'onte Dunn, Curtis Samuel, and gold-chip tailback Mike Weber to tote the rock next season. But with the addition of these three guys, a couple players will have to move to H-Back or wide receiver full-time. Curtis Samuel and DeMario McCall are the candidates right now to do that.
In the end, there are first-world problems, and then there are Ohio State problems - at least until somebody puts a stop to it.
Wide Receiver: Austin Mack
Buckeye fans have been drooling over Mack, and they have good reason; Austin moves as fluidly as a Porsche 918 Spyder. Moving on.
Tight End: Jake Hausmann, Luke Farrell, Kierre Hawkins
I ended up scouting Jake Hausmann a few months ago while writing a piece on Michigan's tight end recruiting, and came away very, very impressed with Ohio State's commit. Hausmann is officially the #3 tight end in the 2016 cycle, just ahead of Naseir Upshur, and he belongs right up there with anybody.
Farrell and Hawkins fit the exact same mold: more athlete than lineman. The problem is, they're also big enough to lay some hits at the line of scrimmage. Chalk this up as another Ohio State problem; moving on.
Offensive Line: Jordan, Gerald, Wohlabaugh, Cupp
Three of these guys are blue-chips on Rivals; Cupp, the fourth, was the subject of a bit of drama between Michigan State and OSU that was covered in a really good article by Cleveland.com.
Michael Jordan, out of Canton, Michigan, and Tyler Gerald, an Ohio native, are both raw but talented. Jack Wohlabaugh is under the radar, but severely underrated. Gavin Cupp, too, is talented for a three-star guy. But this is the first group where I feel a lot better about Michigan's players. Ohio State does have numbers in their favor, though - they signed six more in 2015.
Defensive Line: Malik Barrow, Jonathon Cooper, Nick Bosa
Yeah, these guys are too good. Barrow is everything you'd want in a tackle and then some; Cooper is listed at only 232 pounds but looks like a college linebacker fighting high school kids. And Bosa is exactly what you'd imagine him to be in some weird, Ohio State-based dream, except without the helicopter arms. He wears #97, incidentally.
Linebacker: Tuf Borland
Something tells me Tuf Borland is going to be a problem. He's got long arms to handle pass coverage really well, and some of the athleticism you need to defend slots. He's also a thumper. Currently listed at 6'1", 215, he could reasonably turn into a 230-pound all-around nightmare.
Defensive Backfield: Wayne Davis, Kareem Felder
Kareem Felder is Ohio State's lowest-ranked commit, unless you include Drue Chrisman, a kicker who won't be getting the header treatment here. Felder is undersized at 5'10", 161, and he has a junior highlight video entitled, "Beware of Dog." Felder might be a little smaller than most, but he plays with the heart and intensity you love in a college football player. Meanwhile, Wayne Davis, out of Norfolk, Virginia, has a similar scouting report - undersized, tenacious, and a fluid, natural runner who can cover guys easily.
So, what's the takeaway? This wasn't meant as a position-by-position competition with the Wolverines; luckily, the game of football doesn't work that way. Families don't work that way.
But Urban Meyer is one of the best coaches in the game for a reason, and the work that he does years in advance is a big part of how the Buckeyes handle adversity on game days. If Michigan wants to start beating Ohio State, they need to win more of the long-term battles. That starts here, and in the weight room, and the film room. But here first.
And, no, this class doesn't have any weaknesses.