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Ohio State Football Is The Loser Of The Early Signing Period

An exterior view of the Ohio State football stadium.

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans tailgate in a parking lot outside Ohio Stadium before their game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Ohio State football entered this new early signing period with the No. 1 class in the country. Wednesday's events were largely not good for the Buckeyes, though.

Ohio State football isn't exactly hurting for recruits in this cycle. Urban Meyer's class currently features a pair of five-star players and 16 more four-star recruits.

Still, between a few flips, lost recruiting battles, and a crazy surge by the Georgia Bulldogs, Ohio State's class fell to No. 2 in the country. It's still an incredible group, but the Buckeyes struggled to close in the cycle.

The bad stretch of luck began with the strange circumstances surrounding five-star defensive end Micah Parsons, who ultimately recommitted and signed with Penn State. Ohio State reportedly backed away from Parsons due to concerns about him receiving credentials to College GameDay while the show was filming at Ohio State this season, and taking pictures with former Buckeye quarterback and ESPN star Kirk Herbstreit.

On Wednesday, the Buckeyes were considered the favorite to land five-star Ohio native Jackson Carman, the nation's top offensive tackle. Instead, he chose Clemson.

Carman's decision was aided, at least in part, by some negative recruiting by Dabo Swinney, who reportedly mentioned that Meyer is in the "back-end" of his coaching career. At 53, Meyer is only five years older than Swinney, though Meyer did have some health concerns late in his tenure at Florida. Less than an hour after Carman's decision, Ohio State quarterback commit Emory Jones signed with Florida, and not the Buckeyes. The idea that Jones would ultimately commit elsewhere had been floating around for a while, but yesterday's decision made it official, giving new Gators coach Dan Mullen a nice recruiting win over his former boss Meyer.

Another Ohio State commit, five-star Jaiden Woodbey, was one of the final prominent players to sign yesterday, and like these others, he did not stick with his pledge to the Buckeyes. Instead, the California defensive back flipped and signed with the Florida State Seminoles.

Ohio State did pick up one win, flipping four-star Cameron Brown from Nebraska, but with these big losses, and Georgia's remarkable day, Ohio State fell to No. 2 in 247Sports' composite team rankings. The vast majority of the class is made up of blue-chip players, a solid equation for building a national championship-caliber team, but the Buckeyes would have liked a better close to this early signing period.

There's still time left to bolster the class, but it is unclear how many more players Ohio State football may target.