Despite programs being forced to alter the way they recruit amid the shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the good news continues to roll in on the recruiting front for Ohio State.
On Friday evening, the Buckeyes received a commitment from the top-ranked running back in the 2021 class in Hopewell, Virginia native TreVeyon Henderson.
Henderson, a five-star recruit and the 17th overall player in the class according to 247 Sports, is the highest-ranked running back to commit to Ohio State since Chris “Beanie” Wells signed in 2006. Henderson announced his intentions to commit to Ohio State via a video on his Twitter page, and he chose the Buckeyes from a list of 40 scholarship offers that included nearly every top program in the country.
The commitment of Henderson gives Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and running backs coach Tony Alford two backs in their 2021 class, which currently ranks as the best overall haul in the country. Evan Pryor, the country’s sixth-ranked running back, committed to Ohio State on March 16.
Coming into the 2021 cycle, running back ranked among the top priorities for Day and his staff after missing on each of their top targets in the 2020 class. With J.K. Dobbins off to the NFL and Master Teague III suffering an achilles injury on the first day of the spring practice, the immediate future of the position at Ohio State had been in a state of uncertainty as the Buckeyes prepared for the 2020 season.
The addition of Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon last week has brought at least some stability to the running backs room, should there still be a 2020 season. But Sermon has just one year of eligibility remaining, making it imperative that Day restock the room with the 2021 class.
In Henderson, who checks in at 5-foot-11-inches and 195 lbs., Day and the Buckeyes are getting an explosive talent who has all the tools to make an immediate splash upon arrival in Columbus.
Henderson’s highlight reel might rank among the most impressive you’ll ever see from a high school football player, making it very easy to see why he is so coveted on the recruiting trail. Upon taking the handoff, he displays great initial patience and vision to let holes develop, and he has tremendous burst once he finds his crease.
If he gets to the second level, Henderson has both the high-end agility to make defenders miss and elite straight-line speed to outrun anyone to the end zone. Also a highly-touted defensive back recruit, Henderson has shown he can catch the ball as well, making him a more-than-capable weapon in the passing game.
Off the field, Henderson also excels in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.
Recruiting is far from an exact science, and every year there are prospects who are labeled as can’t-miss talents. With Henderson, however, he checks every box coaches are looking for, both in terms of his physical gifts and his intangibles. He would have been a homerun commitment for any program, and given the need at Ohio State, Henderson is undoubtedly one of the biggest jewels in a recruiting class that appears poised to make a run at the title of best ever for the program.
While it may be somewhat rare for two highly-coveted running backs to commit to the same class, Ohio State has made it well known it intends to take two backs in the 2021 class, communicating those intentions to both Henderson and Pryor. Both have said they will not shy away from competition, nor will they be disappointed or discontent with sharing carries, which will save their bodies some wear and tear by the time they, hopefully, reach the NFL.
Ohio State is now up to 15 commitments in the 2021 class, 12 of which rank inside the top 140 players in the country.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.