Several months ago, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer seemed dead set against the new early signing period for major-college football. But as he stood at a lectern at mid-morning Wednesday with a list of his team’s 20 early signees in his hand, he asked a rhetorical question.

“I am looking at this right here — dead set against what?” he said of the list. “That’s unbelievable.”

>>Video: Meyer changes recruiting philosophy 

According to the 247sports composite of the major recruiting ranking services, the list included Jeremy Ruckert, the No. 1-ranked tight end in the nation; Jaelen Gill, the No. 1 all-purpose back, from Westerville South; Taron Vincent, the No. 1 defensive tackle; Matthew Jones, the No. 1 center; and defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson, the top-ranked junior-college transfer.

What it did not include, though, was the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect Jackson Carman of Fairfield, Ohio. In late morning at a news conference at his school he announced he was signing with Clemson, despite the long courtship from Ohio State and the strong late effort from Southern California, OSU’s opponent in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.

NCAA rules forbid Meyer from speaking about another school’s signee, so he didn’t address whether the Carman news was a major disappointment.

What he did point out, among other things, was the stout interior defensive line haul made by the Buckeyes that included Tommy Togiai of Pocatello, Idaho, the first OSU signee every from that state.

“What I love is they are all great kids, with great families, and they are ready to go,” Meyer said. “I anticipated they will play.”

He also was enthused by the signing of late-blooming quarterback Matthew Baldwin of Lake Travis High School near Austin, Texas. OSU quarterbacks coach Ryan Day pushed for Baldwin in mid-fall after it became apparent longtime commitment Emory Jones of Georgia was wavering.

Meyer and his staff finally moved on from Jones and gained a commitment two weeks ago from Baldwin, who, from the same high school as 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, has led his team into Saturday’s Texas 6A-Division 1 championship game.

“I saw a dominant performance by a senior” who opted to wait his turn finally to be a starter his senior year, Meyer said. “That’s a great high school. That is as good of football as there is in the state of America … and he leads his team to the state-championship game.”

The day started with a defensive bang for Ohio State on Wednesday, with linebacker Teradja Mitchell of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the first to be certified by OSU director of player personnel Mark Pantoni.

Mitchell was followed quickly by Vincent of IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida, and linebackers Dallas Gant of Toledo St. John’s and K’Vaughan Pope of Dinwiddie, Virginia, came in quick succession.

“Let’s get it,” Gill tweeted soon after his letter of intent was accepted, becoming the first offensive player officially in the class. The speedy Gill starred at The Opening in Oregon in July, an invitation only camp for elite prospects from across the nation. He is expected to get an early shot at the hybrid back position in the fall.

He was followed in the class by:

* Running back Brian Snead of Armwood High School in Seffner, Florida. Snead was the first to commit to the 2018 class, back in July 2016.

* Defensive back Marcus Hooker of New Castle, Pennsylvania. He is the younger brother former Malik Hooker, the OSU safety who shot to fame in 2016 before becoming a first-round NFL draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts.

* Safety Tyreke Johnson of Trinity High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He is considered the No. 43 overall prospect nationally by the 247sports composite.

* Receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith of Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio. He is ranked No. 32 among overall prospects nationally by

* Offensive lineman Max Wray of Franklin, Tennessee, ranked No. 9 among tackle prospects nationally by the 247sports composite.

* Baldwin.

* Running back Master Teague III of Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Like Gill, Teague is speedy, but his senior season was abbreviated by an ankle sprain.

* Ruckert, of Lindenhurst, New York.

* Cornerback Sevyn Banks of Jones High School in Orlando, Florida. He was so masterful at press coverage this season hardly any quarterback threw his way.

* Receiver Kamryn Babb of Christian Brothers school in St. Louis. He missed his senior season due to a knee injury but the Buckeyes stayed on him anyway, making him a later member of the class. He is the No. 22 overall prospect nationally according to the 247sports composite.

* Defensive back Josh Proctor of Owasson, Oklahoma. He was wooed heavily by his home state Sooners but in the end stuck with his commitment to OSU.

* Togiai.

* Defensive end/tight end Alex Williams of Pickerington North.

* Jackson, who played last year at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas, after transferring following a redshirt 2016 at Auburn.

* Jones, from Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn, New York.

Still outstanding in terms of a final decision Wednesday is safety Jaiden Woodbey of John Bosco Prep in Bellflower, California. Though he has been committed for a while, he seriously entertained overtures from Southern California and Florida State the past several months. His announcement/signing ceremony is set to start at 8:30 p.m. Columbus time.

Defensive end Tyreke Smith of Cleveland Heights, is still a possibility for the class. He has said he will announce his choice at the Under Armour All-American game on Jan. 4 in Orlando, as will another OSU target Jayson Oweh, a defensive end from Blairstown, New Jersey.

With the Carman decision, the Buckeyes likely will stay in pursuit of offensive lineman Rasheed Walker of Waldorf, Maryland.

Below are the bios on the latest for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

We will update this list as more news comes in. Be sure to follow reporter Tim May on Twitter for the latest.


Tommy Togiai

Position: Defensive tackle

Hometown, high school: Pocatello, Idaho (Highland)

Vitals: 6-3, 290

The skinny: He is first player from Idaho to sign with the Buckeyes. Most analysts expected him to hold out until signing day, but he committed to Ohio State last week over Washington. He is considered the No. 9 defensive tackle prospect nationally by the 247sports composite, which has him No. 126 among overall prospects. He had 93 tackles, including 11 sacks, two fumbles caused and an interception in helping Highland to Class 5A state title. He was a three-time All-Idaho first team selection, and was named the Gatorade player of the year for the state, and will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.


Alex Williams

Position: Defensive end

Hometown, high school: Pickerington (North)

Vitals: 6-6, 250

The skinny: The one-time West Virginia commit flipped to Ohio State in the past few days. Considered a late-bloomer, the lanky Williams added 40 pounds over the past year and came into his own his senior season on a North team that advanced to a Division I regional final, where it lost to crosstown rival and eventual state champion Pickerington Central. An occasional two-way player, he was in on 38 tackles, including four sacks. He also broke up four passes, recovered one fumble and caused one. He is considered the No. 32 weakside defensive prospect nationally by the 247sports composite.


Josh Proctor

Position: Safety

Hometown, high school: Owasso, Okla.

Vitals: 6-2, 190

The skinny: After committing to OSU in April, he was pursued heavily by his home-state school Oklahoma, among others. The 247sports composite ranks him No. 8 nationally among safeties, and the No. 76 overall prospect. A two-way player, he jumped out to a huge start his senior season with a 100-yard interception return in the season opener, and helped his team roll to the 6A-Division 1 state title, its first since 1974, and a 12-1 record. He will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He also played for the Owasso basketball team.


Kamryn Babb

Position: Wide receiver

Hometown, high school: St. Louis (Christian Brothers)

Vitals: 6 feet 1, 189 pounds

The skinny: After posting an outstanding performance at The Opening in July in Oregon, he suffered a knee injury in August that kept him from playing his senior season. He is still considered the No. 5 receiver prospect nationally and No. 22 overall prospect according to the 247sports composite of major recruiting services. In 2016 he caught 45 passes for 784 yards and nine touchdowns, and as a defensive back had three interceptions, returning two for TDs. He was part of his school’s state champion 4 x 100-meter relay team in 2016.


Sevyn Banks

Position: Cornerback

Hometown, high school: Orlando, Fla. (Jones)

Vitals: 6-1, 180

The skinny: He is considered the No. 26 cornerback prospect nationally, according to the 247sports composite, and a consensus four-star. He’s the 96th best overall prospect, according to He missed his junior season because of a knee injury. His senior season he was a shutdown corner who had few chances to make plays. He is expected to play in the Under Armour All-American game Jan. 4. He took part in The Opening in July, an invitation-only event for elite prospects. His 5-years-older brother Marcell Harris was a safety at Florida.


Jeremy Ruckert

Position: Tight end

Hometown, high school: Lindenhurst, N.Y.

Vitals: 6-5, 238

The skinny: He is considered the No.1 tight end prospect in the country according to the 247sports composite, which ranks him No. 29 among overall prospects. He had 61 catches for 1,094 yards and 13 TDs as a senior, giving him 222 catches for 3,133 yards and 37 TDs in his high school career. He also played defense, where he had 13 sacks and two interceptions as a senior. He was a standout performer in The Opening in July. He was the Gatorade state player of the year in New York, was a three-time Newsday all-Long Island first team member, and will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.


Master Teague

Position: Running back

Hometown, high school: Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Blackman)

Vitals: 5-11, 210

The skinny: While ranks him as the No. 50 overall prospect nationally, and No. 3 among running backs, the 247sports composite has him ranked No. 219 and No.11, respectively. One reason for the disparity was he took part in few offseason camps in recent years. But as a junior he rushed for 2,031 yards and 25 TDs on 242 carries for Blackman, which advanced to the state 6A quarterfinals. A speedster, he was off to a similar start his senior year — he had a 97-yard kickoff return in the opener — before an ankle injury blunted it. He still rushed for 709 yards and 10 TDs in six games.


Matthew Baldwin

Position: Quarterback

Hometown, high school: Austin, Texas (Lake Travis)

Vitals: 6-3, 195

The skinny: As a first-year starter he has led Lake Travis to the Texas 6A-Division I state title game Saturday against Allen in the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. He is ranked 18th nationally among pro-style quarterbacks by 247sports, and has passed for 44 touchdowns and 3,842 yards, completing 71.8 percent of his throws. He also has rushed for 425 yards and 9 TDs this season. He is from the same school that has produced six Power 5 conference QBs in the past 12 years, including 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma.


Max Wray

Position: Offensive lineman

Hometown, high school: Franklin, Tenn.

Vitals: 6-6, 289

The skinny: He is ranked No. 9 nationally among offensive tackle prospects according to the 247sports composite, the No. 112 prospect overall. He did not play the last two games of his senior season when his family pulled him and his sophomore brother Jake from the team due to safety and other concerns with the coaching staff. Max has a 4.0 grade-point average. He will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl before starting classes with other early OSU enrollees. He was the No. 1 player in the 2017 Nashville Tennesseean’s Dandy Dozen of that region’s college football prospects.


L’Christian “Blue” Smith

Position: Wide receiver

Hometown, high school: Huber Heights (Wayne)

Vitals: 6-6, 205

The skinny: He was first team all-Ohio as a senior after catching 54 passes for 896 yards and nine touchdowns. On the 247sport composite he is considered to be No. 120 nationally among overall prospects while ranks him No. 32. He is from the same school that produced former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and current defensive tackle Robert Landers. Smith goes by the name Blue, given him by family members as an infant when a heart condition caused his complexion to be bluish. He is playing basketball again this winter after leading the Warriors by averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds last season.


Tyreke Johnson

Position: Defensive back

Hometown, high school: Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity)

Vitals: 6-1, 191

The skinny: A four-star prospect — lists him as a five-star — he is ranked No. 41 among overall prospects nationally by the 247sports composite. He is ranked No. 5 among safety prospects. He is from the same school that produced 2017 OSU signee Shaun Wade. Johnson will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was named the Florida Times Union 2017 defensive player of the year. Over three seasons he made nine interceptions, returning six for touchdowns, and had 113 career tackles and 28 pass breakups.


Marcus Hooker

Position: Defensive back

Hometown, high school: New Castle, Pa.

Vitals: 6-0, 185

The skinny: He is the younger brother of former OSU safety and NFL first-round draft pick Malik Hooker. Marcus rarely left the field for New Castle, at times playing safety, cornerback and linebacker on defense, and receiver, running back and quarterback on offense. A highlight of his senior season was a 40-carry, 262-yard performance in a two-overtime win over Northwest High School. He rushed for 1,100 yards overall, a year after helping his team reach the WPIAL 4A final. He scored 17 TDs as a junior. Like his brother, he also starred in basketball.


Brian Snead

Position: Running back

Hometown, high school: Seffner, Fla. (Armwood)

Vitals: 5-11, 200

The skinny: He was the first commitment to OSU’s 2018 class, back in July 2016 before his junior season. Since then he has enhanced his status, and is considered the No. 82 overall prospect nationally by the 247sports composite, No. 4 among running backs; ranks him No. 59 among overall prospects. He rushed for 3,506 yards and 48 TDs as a starter the past three seasons, including 1,378 yards and 16 TDs as a senior as Armwood advanced to the Class 6A state finals. He also caught 49 passes for 569 yards and five TDs in his career. He will play in the Under Armour All-American game.


Jaelen Gill

Position: Athlete

Hometown, high school: Westerville (South)

Vitals: 6-1, 182

The skinny: He was recruited by Ohio State to be a hybrid back. After rushing for 1,553 yards and 19 TDs as a sophomore, he missed most of his junior season due to a broken leg. But he had such an outstanding performance at The Opening, where he was named to the first-team offense. He is considered the No. 23 overall prospect nationally in the 247sports composite and the No. 1 all-purpose back. He will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and intends to play his senior year in baseball, in which he also is an elite prospect.


Dallas Gant

Position: Linebacker

Hometown, high school: Toledo (St. John’s)

Vitals: 6-3, 225

The skinny: He was a four-year starter in high school, and will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 6. The 247sports composite ranks him No. 157 nationally among overall prospects, No. 5 among linebackers. He was first team All-Ohio as a senior and was the Toledo Blade’s player of the year. A two-way player, he had 96 tackles, including seven sacks, and one interception as a senior, and he caught 27 passes for 456 yards and seven TDs as a tight end. He started the past three seasons in basketball.


K’Vaughan Pope

Position: Linebacker

Hometown, high school: Didwiddie, Va.

Vitals: 6-2, 210

The skinny: He is ranked No. 8 among inside linebacker prospects nationally by the 247sports composite, which has him as the 213th overall prospect; ranks him No. 99. He played both ways for Dinwiddie, and was considered a credible offensive prospect, especially as a slot receiver after catching 33 passes on the 2016 state finalist team while amassing 33 tackles for loss. After taking part in The Opening in July, his senior season was interrupted for almost a month due to an ankle injury, but he still managed to get it on 104 tackles, 16 for loss.


Taron Vincent

Position: Defensive tackle

Hometown, previous school: Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy)

Vitals: 6-2, 285

The skinny: With a consensus five-star rating, he is considered the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the country according to the 247sports composite, the No. 13 prospect overall. He is the son of five-time Pro Bowl selection and former Wisconsin All-America cornerback Troy Vincent, who currently is the NFL head of football operations. As a senior, Taron Vincent was in on 85 tackles, including three sacks and eight quarterback hurries. IMG Academy went unbeaten (9-0) and, playing a national schedule, does not participate in the Florida high school playoffs.


Teradja Mitchell

Position: Linebacker

Hometown, high school: Virginia Beach, Va. (Sullivan)

Vitals: 6-2, 243

The skinny: He was one of five finalists for the high school version of the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker. He is considered to be the No. 2 inside linebacker prospect in the country by the 247sports composite, and the No. 39 overall prospect. He will play in the Under Armour All-American game. Among his 162 tackles his senior season, 41 were for loss. He also had 12 pass breakups and two interceptions, returning one 90 yards for a TD, and he blocked two field goal attempts.