There are a lot of great places to get Ohio State recruiting news. Lettermen Row brings the best Buckeyes analysts to one spot for a pressing question on the Buckeyes every Friday at 3:oo p.m. Check in weekly for thoughts from some of the country’s most respected college football recruiting analysts about all kinds of Ohio State-related questions. This week we’ll dive into a big visit from one of Ohio State’s top targets, Kentucky wide receiver Wandale Robinson.
Welcome to this week’s Lettermen Row 3 for 3.
After an incredible win at Penn State a week ago, Ohio State returns home this weekend and welcomes in the Indiana Hoosiers to Ohio Stadium.
There are few people who believe that Indiana can actually beat the Buckeyes, and I am not one of them. So, rather than break down the game and go knee-deep in what to expect on the field, we’re going to talk recruiting and whether or not Ohio State can find a way to win a big battle off the field this weekend.
The fight is on for Wandale Robinson.
Robinson is the country’s fourth-ranked all-purpose back but projects as a wide receiver in college, very similar to Purdue freshman Rondale Moore, who escaped the Bluegrass State a year ago. He’s taken official visits to Purdue, Michigan, Alabama and Nebraska and will finish up his officials in Columbus this weekend. His trip to Kentucky a week ago has some feeling as though the Wildcats have become the team to beat in this recruitment, while the Buckeyes hope to sneak in late and snatch him away.
Can they do it? That’s what we’re looking at this week in the Lettermen Row 3 for 3 question. We’re one once again assisted by Andrew Ellis from Eleven Warriors and Marc Givler from BuckeyeGrove.com, a Rivals.com website.
Does Ohio State seal the deal with Wandale Robinson?
Andrew Ellis, elevenwarriors.com:
Robinson is one of my favorite players in this class. He’s got some Rondale Moore in his game, and I think he could do some things in Columbus similar to what we’ve seen out of Moore thus far at Purdue. As far as Ohio State potentially landing the playmaker, I do think this weekend will put the Buckeyes in the driver’s seat and he’ll ultimately be a fine addition to the class.
Is a commitment going to happen this weekend? I’m leaning toward no, but I do think it’s going to happen shortly after the visit wraps up. A lot of times these kids want to go back home and let things settle a bit before making an announcement, and that may be the path that Robinson takes. I do think Kentucky is a real threat here – and the season they’re putting together in Lexington has to be helping – but he’s a priority for the Ohio State staff and is a different kind of player than what they’ve got in the fold thus far.
Marc Givler, BuckeyeGrove.com:
Ohio State certainly appears to have a great deal of momentum right now with Robinson.
The Buckeyes have really picked up their efforts over the past several weeks and Robinson has been receptive with an unofficial visit and now giving the Buckeyes his last official visit. Meanwhile, Ohio State has survived his visit to Alabama, a program he really likes, and another contender in Nebraska is off to a disastrous start to its season. That leaves Kentucky, which is in the midst of a great season but seems to not have the momentum with Robinson it once did.
The Buckeyes likely losing the top two H-backs on the roster after this season in Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill could also be very helpful here, while freshman Jaylen Waddle is a blossoming star at Alabama in the role that Robinson would likely be asked to play there. All of those things considered I’ll say yes, Ohio State is able to close the deal with Robinson.
Birm, Lettermen Row:
I’ve got this as a two-team race right now between Ohio State and Kentucky, though I know that Alabama still being involved means the Crimson Tide are a threat.
Brian Hartline has completely changed the direction of this recruitment and done so in a short amount of time. Ohio State was essentially out of this race until August and has now become a major contender to land Robinson. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound prospect was very reluctant to schedule an official visit with the Buckeyes until he knew the outcome of the Urban Meyer situation, but Hartline managed to get him on campus for Ohio State’s game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. That trip significantly altered my impression on how this one would end.
I know Kentucky is a real threat here, though. The Wildcats are going to point to a player like Robinson as a difference maker for their program and try to remind him that he’d be just another guy at Ohio State. But with the losses coming for the Ohio State wide receiver room after this season and next, I think its easy for Ohio State to counter that argument. The depth chart is very welcoming at the position, especially for a player like Robinson who fits a mold that’s unlike any other player on the Ohio State roster.
If a big-time basketball prospect from Ohio was down to Ohio State and Kentucky and took his last official to Kentucky, I think most reasonable people would understand why he’d pick the Wildcats. But this is football, and I think yes, the Buckeyes are able to show Robinson exactly what they can do for him on and off the field this weekend. That will ultimately lead to him committing to Ohio State.