Emeka Egbuka commits to Ohio State Buckeyes football team

Ohio State on Friday added its 17th ESPN 300 commitment when wide receiver Emeka Egbuka chose the Buckeyes over Oklahoma and Washington.

Egbuka is the No. 28 recruit overall and the third-highest-ranked commit in the class for Ohio State. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder from Steilacoom, Washington, joins a high-powered Buckeyes offense.

"I just felt at the end of the day it was the school that fit me best," Egbuka said. "They have really good connections for after football, obviously they have great football, great coaches and you have a high chance of going first round [in the NFL draft], and I feel like I'll be developed really well there."

The recruiting dead period and restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic didn't prevent him from building a relationship with the Buckeyes coaches, and he had visited Columbus, Ohio, prior to this year. Egbuka and his mother have been to campus twice and got to take in a game day last season, an experience that aided his decision.

The dead period restricted prospects only from taking unofficial or official visits; they still were allowed to visit campuses as long as the coaching staffs weren't involved. Egbuka took advantage of that and visited Oklahoma for the first time within the past week to get a feel for what its campus was like. He was joined on the visit by Sooners quarterback commit Caleb Williams.

"It was really close across the board between Ohio State, Washington and Oklahoma," he said. "I wanted to get down to Oklahoma to leave no stone unturned, so to speak, before I made my decision because I hadn't been down there before. Once I got back from Oklahoma, that's when I really started crunching numbers and looking at it from a subjective standpoint and figuring it out without any bias. I loved Oklahoma when I visited and I was high on it when I got back home, but without any bias I wanted to sit back down and see what the best place would be for me."

Ohio State already had the No. 2-ranked class prior to this commitment, behind Alabama. This commitment gives the Buckeyes 17 ESPN 300 commitments and 10 ranked inside the top 100. Egbuka joins an excellent offensive haul in the class that includes the No. 1-ranked running back, TreVeyon Henderson, the No. 4 pocket-passing quarterback, Kyle McCord, and ESPN 300 receivers Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr.

Egbuka, Ballard and Harrison gives the Buckeyes nine ESPN 300 wide receivers in the past three recruiting classes. However, Egbuka said that competition doesn't scare him away, and if anything, it has helped him in making the decision. Seeing some of the younger players on the Ohio State roster, including receiver Garrett Wilson, get early playing time made him comfortable knowing he will get a shot to play if his skills merit it.

"It was pretty reassuring knowing Coach [Ryan] Day doesn't play the seniority card and he'll get you in the game if you're the best talent out there," Egbuka said. "That was definitely reassuring."

Now committed, Egbuka said he will start recruiting for Ohio State, and being from Washington, he has his sights set on five-star defensive tackle J.T. Tuimoloau, of Bellevue.

"I've known J.T. since fifth or sixth grade, and he's been my boy forever," Egbuka said. "I need him there with me, package deal."