It’s not uncommon for the top overall recruit in the state of Pennsylvania to move elsewhere for his college career. Now, for the first time since the Class of 2012, the Keystone State’s best is headed to Ohio State.
Five-star wide receiver Julian Fleming, ranked as the top wide receiver recruit in the country by 247Sports, announced his commitment to the Buckeyes Friday from Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa. Fleming is also ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the country and the top overall recruit from the state of Pennsylvania.
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Fleming officially picked the Buckeyes ahead of his four other finalists — Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Penn State — though it was clear that the Buckeyes were his chosen program with a bullet. Fleming is currently the highest-rated recruit in Ohio State’s Class of 2020, coming in just in front of fellow five-star, offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
“Just the at home feelings really and the bond between the players was one of a kind,” Fleming gave as reasons for his pick of Ohio State to 247Sports.
Ohio State has traditionally recruited well from Pennsylvania, though landing the state’s top commit is a higher bar to clear. That’s not to say the Buckeyes haven’t done this before; in 2012, defensive end Noah Spence picked the Buckeyes over a handful of national powers. In 2009, linebacker Dorian Bell was the state’s top prospect and picked Ohio State, marking the second-straight year in which Pennsylvania’s top recruit committed to the Buckeyes, following top dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor in 2008.
With Fleming now in the fold, that makes four top Pennsylvania recruits in the span of 12 years, a fairly remarkable return for a school that counts itself as a key conference rival in a different state.
For now, Fleming’s commitment ensures he can focus on the field and in the classroom during his senior season, and it provides new Ohio State coach Ryan Day with a signature five-star offensive skill player in his first solo recruiting class.