Ohio State Football: Looking Back at the Buckeyes' 2017 Recruiting Class (Part Two)

Some players look to contribute in 2020 and possibly beyond

In February 2017, Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and his staff were able to sign a class of 21 players. Of those 21, five players left the program due to transfers or other reasons. The other 16 have either emerged as starters or contributed to the team in some way.

 

As you will read below, there are only a few players from the 2017 recruiting class who could be classified as occasional contributors for the Buckeyes. Some of these players will have eligibility remaining after 2020, meaning they could emerge as starters next season.

 

1. Marcus Williamson, DB

Williamson is an Ohio native who played his last year of high school football for IMG Academy in Florida. Williamson enrolled early in 2017 and played in ten games as a true freshman, primarily on special teams. With the departure of several players from the secondary after the 2019 season, Williamson is a viable candidate for one of the open cornerback positions, alongside classmate and projected starter Shaun Wade.

 

2. Jerron Cage, DL

Redshirted as a true freshman in 2017, Cage has two years of eligibility remaining. Several interior defensive linemen have departed from the 2019 roster, so Cage has an opportunity to earn more playing time within the rotation that defensive line coach Larry Johnson prefers to use.

 

3. Haskell Garrett, DL

From the same high school as his ballyhooed teammate Tate Martell (Las Vegas Bishop Gorman), Garrett has played as a contributor along the defensive line from 2017 through and including 2019. Just like Cage, 2020 represents an opportunity for Garrett to emerge along the interior defensive linemen, and he could possibly start at one of the defensive tackle positions.

 

4. Jaylen Harris, WR

Harris has played all three seasons since enrolling in 2017, with 2020 his last year of eligibility. Harris is a strong contender to emerge as a starter, if not a viable contributor within the wide receiver rotation. Listed at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, Harris could become a dependable possession receiver for projected starting quarterback Justin Fields.

 

5. Ellijah Gardiner, WR

A late addition to the 2017 recruiting class, Gardiner has only played sparingly at wide receiver for the Buckeyes. Redshirted in 2017, Gardiner will have two years of eligibility remaining. With several talented wide receivers being added to the roster as true freshmen, the 2020 season represents a major challenge to Gardiner to make a move on the depth chart.

 

— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He also is podcasting for buckeyescoop.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.

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