Master Teague-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Ohio State Buckeyes
Master Teague is running hard and allowing Ohio State to change its focus in 2020 recruiting. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Buckeyes current running backs have changed recruiting priorities

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. Tuesday’s question circles back on the running back position following the official visit of Texas standout Tre Bradford to Ohio State.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

Going back through the pages of Lettermen Row over the last year, there is a common thread when it came to discussions about the Class of 2020 and the running back situation.

The plan has been to take a pair of running backs, period. In fact, the Buckeyes thought they had their pair in June and July but wound up on the short side of the stick for Bijan Robinson and Jaylan Knighton, who had each privately committed to Ohio State before changing their minds.

Since then, it’s been Ohio State that has changed its mind, it appears. The Buckeyes have continued to evaluate and court new running backs, but they’ve not done so with the fervor that they had previously. Instead, Tony Alford and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff have slowed down the process and been able to focus on finding the right fit for the program.

The plan has changed — and the focus has been able to change — because after months of uncertainty around the current crop of running backs, the Buckeyes have found a solid, talented young group capable of carrying the load in 2020 and beyond.

Marcus Crowley-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State running back Marcus Crowley scored a touchdown against Miami. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Master Teague has emerged as a budding star for Ohio State. Marcus Crowley and Steele Chambers, both true freshmen, have bought in and proven to the coaches that not only are they physical, aggressive ballcarriers but also team-first guys who are building blocks for the future.

So what does that mean for running back recruiting in 2020?

Like the quarterback position, there’s always a need to sign at least one running back per recruiting cycle. That’s not going to change this time around. There will be a tailback in the Buckeyes class, but it seems unlikely now that there will be two. However, the push now can be much more calculated. If there’s any concern that a player isn’t going to be a fit culture-wise, then the Buckeyes will move on until they find the 2020 prospect that fits on the field and off.

Ohio State has a redshirt freshman and two true freshman tailbacks on its current roster. The Buckeyes will likely add just one more before next season, and there are still a number of talented options out there for them to evaluate.

But because of the work done by Teague, Crowley and Chambers, there’s no need for Ohio State to panic about a running back on the recruiting trail.

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