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Analyzing impact of Sam Hart committing to Ohio State

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Sam Hart comes from a football family and brings an underappreciated athleticism to Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Analyzing impact of Sam Hart committing to Ohio State

COLUMBUS — Ohio State has its seventh commitment in the Class of 2021 as Aurora (Colo.) tight end Sam Hart announced his pledge to the Buckeyes on Monday afternoon.

Lettermen Row broke the news on Hart’s decision, and now it’s breaking down what Hart provides for the Ohio State program on and off the field.

What Sam Hart gives Ohio State on the field

The first thing talent evaluators notice about Sam Hart is that the Cherokee Trails athlete just looks like a Buckeyes tight end.

Hart plays at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, he’s big, runs very well for his size and is a versatile tight end in the Jeremy Ruckert mold. One source who has watched him closely told Lettermen Row Hart is like “Poor man’s Jeremy Ruckert” at this point, meaning he’s maybe more comfortable right now lined up in the wide receiver/split end role than inline as a tight end. But his size/speed/athleticism combination makes him an ideal tight end as his football future comes into focus. He caught 31 passes for 562 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

Excellent after the catch, Hart will need to work on some tight end-specific skills before arriving on campus at Ohio State. Like Ruckert, there has been little opportunity for him to run block in high school, and that becomes a major priority in his development between now and the summer of 2021 when he will enroll with the Buckeyes.

What pickup means for Ohio State 2021 recruiting class

Ohio State wanted two tight ends in the Class of 2020, but it chose to recruit and sign just one. That will not be the case in 2021. Sam Hart knows that, and now so will any other tight end that chooses the Buckeyes.

With the addition of Hart, Ohio State is up to seven commitments in the Class of 2021. And in a similar way to what happened in the 2020 group, the Buckeyes are off to a great start on the offensive side of the football. Hart joins quarterback Kyle McCord, receivers Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison and offensive tackle Ben Christman as the foundation for what could be a special group of offensive talent by the time these young prospects are able to sign with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State beat LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon and a host of other big-name programs for Hart — and did it with consistency in communication and message. Tony Alf0rd led the way for the Buckeyes and was aided by Kevin Wilson as the commitment came closer to happening.

The addition of Hart pushes Ohio State past Notre Dame as the country’s top-ranked 2021 recruiting class at this time.

What makes Sam Hart stand out

Sam Hart comes from a football family. His father played at Minnesota, as did his brother Nick. His brother Alex plays linebacker for New Mexico State.

Hart is a special athlete who credits his passion for wrestling as a key piece of his competitive drive, and that’s one of the things that caught the attention of the Ohio State coaches. He’s a Midwest guy with a fierce competitive streak on the field and a calm, unassuming demeanor off of it. It’s that combination of fire and ice that has made him a perfect fit for the Buckeyes.


Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Join the conversation below in the comments and sign up for Scarlet Sunrise, Lettermen Row’s morning newsletter that will get your day started with all the important Ohio State news you need to know. Prefer video? Follow Buckeyes football on YouTube with Lettermen Row. You can also get your recruiting fix by subscribing to Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

Birm

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.