Five-star WR Emeka Egbuka commits to Ohio State

Bill Rabinowitz
Buckeye Xtra
Emeka Egbuka makes a one-handed touchdown catch in the Washington 2A state championship game in December 2019.

Ohio State’s bid to have the top-ranked 2021 recruiting class got a major boost Friday night when five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka committed to the Buckeyes.

Egbuka, from Steilacoom, Washington, is the No. 9 overall prospect in the’s rankings and the top-rated receiver. He ranks below only Pickerington North defensive end Jack Sawyer, who’s No. 4 nationally, in Ohio State’s 21-member class.

Before Egbuka’s commitment, Ohio State’s 2020 class was ranked behind only Alabama’s, with two fewer commitments. The early National Signing Day is Wednesday.

The Buckeyes are also pursuing others who could give them the No. 1 class, led by another Washington state player, defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau from Eastside Catholic. Ohio State is considered the favorite for Tiumoloau, the No. 3 overall prospect, who’s from the same high school as current Ohio State freshman receiver Gee Scott Jr.

Egbuka is the fifth five-star commit in the Buckeyes' recruiting class. In addition to Sawyer, Texas offensive guard Donovan Jackson, Virginia running back TreVeyon Henderson and Philadelphia quarterback Kyle McCord have pledged to sign with Ohio State.

Egbuka will join a receivers unit loaded with blue-chip players under Brian Hartline, who this week was named a semifinalist for the Broyles Award, given to college football’s top assistant coach. Garrett Wilson is living up to his five-star status as a sophomore, and the Buckeyes signed four elite receivers in last year’s class — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Fleming, Scott and Mookie Cooper.

The 2021 class already included four-star receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. from Philadelphia and Jayden Ballard from Massillon Washington.

“Ohio State's prowess recruiting the position under Brian Hartline is as dominant as anyone recruiting a particular position in the country,” said Steve Wiltfong, director of recruiting for 247Sports. “There is a high standard from a talent and character perspective in recruiting receiver at Ohio State, and Egbuka checks both boxes with incredibly high marks.

“As a player he's physical, smooth, can beat you vertically, can make things happen after the catch and he has terrific hands to go with an alpha personality. Off the field, he'll bring the leadership traits and desire coveted.”

Egbuka didn’t play his senior year because Washington canceled fall sports because of the pandemic. In 2019, he caught 65 passes for 1,427 yards and scored 22 touchdowns.

Egbuka’s final three schools also included Oklahoma and Washington. He visited Oklahoma last weekend. Big Ten schools are not permitted to host visits this fall because of the pandemic.