PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH)–It has been six months since Jack Sawyer played football, or played any sport at all. There is a chance he may not play again for his high school team, if COVID-19 cancellations continue.
“Just think about what’s important in life, and I think it’s going to make people when this is all over really cherish more of those moments,” Sawyer said. “I think it’s gonna make everyone you know a little bit more appreciative of what they’ve got.”
Sawyer is ranked as one of the top five players in the nation for the 2021 recruiting class, and he is the highest rated recruit committed to Ohio State’s star-studded class.
Sawyer, a defensive end at Pickerington North, is recovering from a torn MCL in his knee. He suffered it during a playoff game November 8. He says he is nearing the end of his recovery phase and is already lifting weights, running and preparing for the coming football season for the Panthers.
Jack has been busy with more than training while recovering from surgery. He has been working the phones and social media to try and help attract the best players in America to join him in OSU’s 2021 class. So far, it is working.
“The recruits like me and other guys who committed early, we’re staying on guys that the coaching staff wants and that we want to play with us. And obviously Ohio State sells itself. Great city around it, the school, coach [Ryan] Day has done a phenomenal job his first year as a head coach,” Sawyer said.
OSU currently owns the top ranked class in the nation for 2021, and they lead by a wide margin. Seventeen players have committed to the class, with 14 of them ranked as four or five-star players. Since the COVID-19 shutdowns began, OSU landed seven more commitments like Treveyon Henderson from Virginia. He is the top-ranked running back in the nation for the 2021 class. It has happened while Ohio State coaches are barred from on-campus or off-campus recruiting, per Big Ten policy.
“There’s some guys who can’t go visit other places and it’s a time to start coming down to a decision. Time being restricted has actually helped us in a little bit of a way, but I think it would be the same or even better if it wasn’t like this right now,” he said.
OSU coach Ryan Day said the 2021 class, while incomplete, shows lengthy investment by his staff and the players who have committed.
“We were able to get ahead last fall with a 2021 class, many of them came to games. A great group of guys from Ohio, a local ring there which is huge and that’s our foundation,” Day said. “When you combine all those things and our body of work, I think it’s made for a great start. Now we just have to keep finishing this thing out.”
Sawyer has been joined by fellow Ohio-based commitments Ben Christman of Richfield and Jaylen Johnson from Cincinnati in serving as assistant recruiters.
“I think it’s just helped us lay the foundation. Usually the guys in Ohio should be committed to Ohio State, so that leaves the foundation of the house and then we go outside the state and get other guys from across the country.” Saywer said. “Once it comes all together it’s gonna look pretty great.”