ANALYSIS: Why James Peoples is a big recruiting pickup for Buckeyes

James Peoples is the first running back commit to Ohio State for this class, but the four-star prospect from Texas is not likely to be the last. reports three-star prospects Jordan Lyle of Florida and Dejuan Williams of Maryland are high on the Ohio State radar along with Sam Williams-Dixon of Pickerington North High School, a powerhouse Division I program in Central Ohio.

Williams-Dixon, who previously attended Division IV Millersburg West Holmes, is a three-star prospect who could do more than just play running back at the next level.

Ohio State has signed two running backs in the same class three times since 2013, but running backs coach Tony Alford did not bring in any last year.

The latter fact and the possibility of TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams both going pro if they post successful, injury-free seasons this fall has ramped up the need to add multiple backs in this class.

The cupboard should not be bare next spring even if they do as Dallan Hayden, Chip Trayanum and Evan Pryor all will have eligibility remaining, but last season showed the importance of depth at the position as the Buckeyes were down to their fourth- and fifth-string running backs for the Michigan game because of injuries to Henderson, Williams and Pryor.

Aside from another step in constructing his future roster, head coach Ryan Day and Alford getting Peoples on board now counts as a public relations win in the recruiting world because it comes less than two weeks after Jordan Marshall committed to Michigan.

Marshall, a four-star prospect from Cincinnati Moeller, is the No. 3 prospect in 247Sports Composite rankings for Ohio in the class of 2024 and the No. 7 running back in the country.

He is just behind Peoples (No. 5 RB/No. 69 overall) in the rankings, but Marshall’s choosing the Wolverines over the Buckeyes came as a surprise to many recruiting analysts and set off some alarm bells for Ohio State fans still feeling the sting of a second straight Michigan win on the field last November.

Recruiting battles between Ohio State and Michigan have not been as common lately as they used to be, but the Wolverines are involved in many high-profile recruitments for Buckeye State prospects in the class of 2024, including Aaron Scott Jr. of Springfield.

Scott and fellow four-star cornerback prospect Bryce West of Cleveland Glenville both were among visitors to Ohio State on Tuesday according to 247Sports.

They are ranked No. 1 and 2 in Ohio while Marshall is third.

Scott has no shortage of options, having recently reached the 30-offer threshold when Florida State threw its hat in the ring in February.

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