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How historic is Ohio State’s Devin Sanchez, Na’eem Offord cornerback duo? Unprecedented

Ohio State's class of 2025 cornerback duo is special

It's early in the 2025 recruiting cycle, but the Ohio State Buckeyes already have verbal commitments from an historic cornerback duo.

North Shore (Texas) star Devin Sanchez and Parker (Alabama) playmaker Na'eem Offord are not only rated as the nation's top-two cornerbacks, they are the nation’s No. 4 and No. 6 overall prospects, respectively.

Rarely does a recruiting cycle have two cornerbacks ranked among the nation's top-10 prospects - and it's even more rare that they choose the same school.

When was the last time a program secured two cornerbacks among the nation’s top-six prospects?

It has never happened in the 15-year history of 247Sports' rankings (dates back to 2010). 

The closest comparison among modern recruiting classes dates back to 2013 when Wharton (Florida) star Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida Gators) and Green Oaks (Louisiana) star Tre’Davious White (LSU Tigers) were rated No. 4 and No. 9, respectively.

But they chose different schools.

While there have been a few instances in which the nation's top two cornerbacks (or defensive backs) have signed with the same college program, they've never been collectively rated as highly as Sanchez and Offord.

In the class of 2024, Georgia secured the nation’s No. 1 cornerback and No. 1 safety - cornerback IMG Academy (Florida) corner Ellis Robinson IV and and Buford (Georgia) safety KJ Bolden — with Robinson at No. 2 overall and Bolden at No. 15 overall.

On paper, that falls just short of Sanchez (4) and Offord (6).

In 2023, no cornerback was ranked among the nation’s top 10 prospects - Lakeland (Florida) Cormani McClain, No. 14, Colorado. 

One year prior, Deion Sanders again snagged the top cornerback, Collins Hill (Georgia) star Travis Hunter, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect.

However, this time it was (initially) for Jackson State, and the program didn’t land another elite cornerback.

Here’s a look at notable cornerback classes over the past decade*:

  • - denotes year in which top two cornerbacks chose the same school

2021Pinson Valley (Alabama) Kool-Aid McKinstry, No. 13 overall, Alabama Crimson Tide; John Paul II Catholic (Florida) Terrion Arnold, No. 26 overall, Alabama Crimson Tide

Arnold, listed as the nation’s No. 2 safety, quickly transitioned to cornerback, making this an all-time cornerback back.

Both players project as NFL first-round draft picks in April

2020 Saguaro (Arizona) Kelee Ringo, No. 7 overall, Georgia Bulldogs; Mansfield Timberview (Texas) Jalen Kimber, No. 71 overall, Georgia Bulldogs

2019 Dunham School (Louisiana) Derek Stingley, No. 2 overall, LSU Tigers; Memphis University School (Tennessee) Maurice Hampton, No. 90 overall, LSU Tigers

* 2018 American Heritage (Florida) Patrick Surtain II, No. 11 overall, Alabama Crimson Tide; American Heritage (Florida) Tyson Campbell, No. 12 overall, Georgia Bulldogs

* 2017South Grand Prairie (Texas) Jeff Okudah, No. 12, Ohio State; Trinity Christian Academy (Florida) Shaun Wade, No. 16, Ohio State Buckeyes

* 2014 Hoover (Alabama) Marlon Humphrey, No. 10 overall, Alabama Crimson Tide; Ozen (Texas) Tony Brown, No. 16 overall, Alabama Crimson Tide

2013Wharton (Florida) Vernon Hargreaves III, No. 4 overall, Florida Gators; Green Oaks (Louisiana) Tre’Davious White, LSU Tigers.

Those historic reference points provide an encouraging future projection for Ohio State's program, and its fans.

In terms of a one-team haul, Ohio State's class most closely resembles that of Alabama in 2021. 

That year the Crimson Tide signed what amounted to two elite cornerbacks - McKinstry and Arnold - even though Arnold was originally listed as the nation's No. 2 safety.

Those two project as NFL first-round draft picks in April.

Similarly, Alabama signed the nation's top-two cornerbacks in the class of 2018.

Both Surtain II (9th overall; 2021) and Campbell (33rd overall; 2021) went on to be selected highly in a future NFL draft. 

In terms of player rankings in one class, Sanchez-Offord looks a lot like Hargreaves and White in the class of 2013.

Hargreaves was drafted 11th overall in the 2016 NFL draft, while White went 27th overall in the 2017 NFL draft.

So, the three closest comparisons to Sanchez-Offord, historically, have each generated a pair of top-33 NFL draft picks (or project to be) - with only Campbell (33rd overall) missing out on first-round NFL draft selection status. 

And the Buckeyes may not be done.

Ohio State is considered a potential landing spot for Conroe (Texas) five-star cornerback Dorian Brew, the nation's No. 4 player at his position.

In other words, an unprecedented defensive back haul may soon get even better.

The future looks bright in Columbus - unless you're an opposing quarterback or wide receiver, that is.