Just because a football recruit was an early signee didn’t mean he also was going to be an early enrollee at Ohio State, as was shown Friday when a team spokesman confirmed eight freshman members of the 2018 recruiting class are enrolled at OSU this spring semester.

The Buckeyes had 21 players sign on Dec. 20 in the first early signing period ever for NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

The eight who opted to graduate from high school early and start classes at OSU on Monday included quarterback Matthew Baldwin, who suffered a knee injury in his last two state playoff games for Lake Travis High School outside Austin, Texas.

The others were cornerback Sevyn Banks of Orlando, Florida; linebacker Dallas Gant of Toledo; cornerback Tyreke Johnson of Jacksonville, Florida; offensive lineman Matthew Jones of Brooklyn, New York; running back Master Teague of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; defensive tackle Tommy Togiai of Pocatello, Idaho; and offensive lineman Max Wray of Franklin, Tennessee.

Junior college transfer defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson could join the group. Originally a part of Auburn’s 2016 class, Jackson left the Tigers and played at Blinn Junior College in Brenham, Texas, in 2017, the same school from which cornerback Kendall Sheffield transferred to OSU last year. Sheffield also was late in arriving last winter as he finished up required work at Blinn.

Sheffield went on to play extensively, and he started the Cotton Bowl win over Southern California when junior Denzel Ward opted to sit out the game to avoid jeopardy after he decided to leave for the 2018 NFL draft.

But for the freshmen enrolling early, it doesn’t guarantee playing time in the fall. For example, of the school-record nine who enrolled early in 2017, six — running back J.K. Dobbins; defensive backs Jeffrey Okudah, Marcus Williamson, Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White; and linebacker Baron Browning — went on to see various levels of action for the Big Ten champion Buckeyes. The other three – quarterback Tate Martell, offensive lineman Josh Myers and defensive back Shaun Wade – were redshirted.

But eight others from the class who moved to OSU in June also saw playing time last fall. They were defensive end Chase Young, offensive lineman Thayer Munford, linebacker Pete Werner, kicker Blake Haubeil, defensive back Amir Riep, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, and receivers Trevon Grimes and Jaylen Harris. Grimes has since transferred to Florida.



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