Ohio State’s nearly two-year-long recruitment of Steilacoom, Wash., five-star wide receiver Emeka Egbuka finally paid off when he announced his commitment to the Buckeyes on Friday night.
The 6-1, 190-pound Egbuka is considered the top-rated wide receiver and No. 9 prospect overall in the class of 2021, as he’s caught 199 passes for 3,907 yards and 61 touchdowns in three seasons at the varsity level. He’s also rushed for four touchdowns and returned five punts, three interceptions and one kickoff for a score and hopes to add to that total when the state of Washington begins its postponed fall season in the spring.
Egbuka landed an offer from Ohio State in January 2019 and he made his first trip to campus for a spring practice in March, which coincided with the program’s annual Student Appreciation Day. He then returned for an unofficial visit for the Buckeyes’ 38-7 win over Wisconsin that October.
Ohio State was widely considered the favorite in Egbuka’s recruitment from that point on, and he subsequently included the Buckeyes in his top schools alongside Clemson, Oklahoma and Washington with an eye on a summertime decision. The coronavirus pandemic and ongoing recruiting dead period nixed those plans, however.
Egbuka eventually dropped the Tigers from his list of options, which left the Buckeyes battling the Sooners and home-state Huskies for his pledge. And though he’d been been to Washington numerous times, he didn’t want to make a decision until he made his first trip to Oklahoma.
That finally happened earlier this month when Egbuka and his father attended the Sooner’s win over Baylor on Dec. 5. He wasn’t able to meet with coaches or see the facilities due to the aforementioned dead period, but he did spend a considerable amount of time with five-star quarterback commit Caleb Williams.
In the end, though, Egbuka’s relationship with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and offensive quality control coach Keenan Bailey, as well as freshman wide receiver and fellow Washington native Gee Scott, helped the Buckeyes fend off the Sooners.
Egbuka becomes the 21st member of Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting class, joining Massillon (Ohio) Washington four-star Jayden Ballard and Philadelphia St. Joseph’s Prep four-star Marvin Harrison at the wide receiver position. He plans to sign with the Buckeyes on Dec. 16, the first day of the Early Signing Period, but not enroll in classes until the summer.
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