The Early Signing Period came to an official end on Friday – and was essentially over for Ohio State early Thursday after earning the signature of Hillside (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep four-star safety Jayden Bonsu (6-1, 210), the lone holdout of the class – and the focus for many teams now shifts entirely toward preparation for their upcoming bowl game.
For Ohio State, that means getting ready to go against No. 1 Georgia in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, taking on the Bulldogs at Mercedez-Benz Superdome in Atlanta on Dec. 31.
The team has continued working over the past several weeks, able to dedicate ample time to the matchup considering the Buckeyes haven’t played since their loss to Michigan nearly a month ago on Nov. 26, and Ohio State head coach Ryan Day likes what he’s seen from his team with just over a week to go until they take the field against Georgia.
“I see a team that realizes that there aren’t a lot of people who have given us a chance,” Day said Wednesday. “They have played really hard in practice. I think there is a good look in our guys’ eyes.”
The intensity in practice has been a work in progress for Ohio State, spurred in part by people like defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, who helped pull the Buckeyes out of a slump following the loss to the Wolverines.
Day said Ohio State conducted a handful of practices over the past week, but the team will break for a few days over the holidays, and with the Early Signing Period also behind Ohio State now, it will be all hands on deck when the Buckeyes head to Atlanta in a few days and begin the week-long preparation for the Bulldogs.
“We will give them a couple of days off here for Christmas and then get back together down in Atlanta,” Day said. “We know what we’re in for. We know what the challenge is and we have been working really hard toward it.”