I hesitate to spike the football for Mike Gundy before he crosses the end zone, but OSU might just mess around this recruiting cycle and reel in its best class since he took over the program in 2005.
Early returns suggest it could be headed that way.
It’s not just that the 2022 class is ranked inside the top 25 nationally, which if it held would be the second-highest national ranking (behind only the 2006 class). And it’s not just that OSU has gotten off to a fast start, either. The quality of the class looks brilliant.
Quality in recruiting is best measured (especially at this juncture) on a per-player commitment average. You can have 25 commitments and build a top-10 class but if it’s full of two-stars, it won’t hold. That is not the case this year. OSU’s per-player average is 87.75 as it stands, led by three four-star commitments, a number of high three-stars and several potentially primed to make the leap. The 87.75 average would best last year’s class of 86.61 and the 2018 class of 86.52 by a healthy margin, if it were to hold. For context: the current gap between OSU’s second-best class and the current best class (this year) is 1.14, roughly the same gap between the 14th-best class (2015) and the fifth-best class (2019).
|Year||National rank||Big 12 rank||Per player avg.|
Whether OSU’s 2022 class holds true and remains as the best class of the Gundy era is TBD; signing day is still months away and a lot can change. Still, Braylin Presley, Garret Rangel. Tabry Shettron are due for rankings bumps, which will help. Most likely, it depends on how the rest of the 10-or-so spots shape up.
OSU is notoriously a fast-starting, slow-finishing team when it comes to recruiting, but at least in this class it feels different. Maybe a fade down the stretch is inevitable. But that an historically great (by recruiting rankings standards) class is even on the table — and a year after a class that set that record — is remarkable in itself and something to monitor as the arms race in the Big 12 continues. OSU might never recruit at the same level as OU or Texas but recruiting at an elevated level for two consecutive years might change the landscape of the conference for Gundy’s benefit as he enters the twilight of his career.
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