Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today’s question is about 4-star receiver Wandale Robinson.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
This could be the week of Wandale around here at Lettermen Row.
That’s a friendly warning that you may read the name Wandale Robinson quite a bit until — and maybe after — his Thursday afternoon decision. We talked a bit about him last night since Brian Hartline and Urban Meyer were at his high school this past Friday, spending their last in-person time with him ahead of his college choice.
Today’s Recruiting Question of the Day asks about Robinson, the recruiting “pitch” being offered up by the Buckeyes and ultimately, what will this announcement come down to?
Or any easier way to ask it: With a lack of a player like Wandale Robinson on the roster make him or less likely to commit, being that there is no immediate direct proven comparison.
— Jamal Norman (@Ohio2Michigan) October 29, 2018
For those of you that have read my work over the last few years, you’re aware that I lean on the two main tenants of recruiting as the default response when trying to decipher what prompted a recruit to pick one school over another: comfort and relationships.
Ultimately, that is what decisions come down to 90-plus percent of the time.
This is where things get tricky though because in today’s era of recruiting, where relationships can be forged in so many different ways and communication is so easy, so available, everyone has the chance to build relationships thoroughly and quickly. That’s how Ohio State made its way back into the discussion for Robinson to begin with, because as I’ve alluded to a handful of times in the last week, Ohio State was out of this race at the beginning of August. Brian Hartline’s relentless effort in recruiting him, where he actually showed Robinson that he’s a priority, built a good level of trust and comfort between the two sides that wasn’t there previously.
I don’t mean to skirt your actual question, though, rather I want to grow the picture. Ohio State does not, as you’ve mentioned, have a player on their current roster with the skillset of Robinson, so no, there’s no direct comparison for the Buckeyes to point. Nebraska can do that, highlighting the play of J.D. Spielman and the way that Purdue has used Rondale Moore this season and saying “Yes, that is how we’ll use you.”
That is a good place to start for a recruit, of course, but again it’s actually the relationship with Robinson and Scott Frost that is driving the sudden Nebraska surge here, not playing time, playing style or playing for championships. In fact, if you were to create a checklist for Robinson, you’d understand quickly that Ohio State has the runaway lead in every category a recruit could look for, even the depth chart is a push, since the Buckeyes are likely to lose their four top receivers.
But those tangible reasons to pick a school almost never outweigh the undefinable value of being “comfortable.” That’s the challenge right now for Ohio State and Wandale Robinson. Urban Meyer’s history with the position is good enough to eradicate concerns about how he’d be used in Columbus, Ohio State is much closer to home than Nebraska, the Buckeyes will lose their top 7 receivers by his sophomore year and are regularly competing for Big Ten and national titles yet still they may fall short.
We’ll know for sure on Thursday.
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Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.