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 asks about what Buckeyes assistants who have filled up their position in 2020 are doing until signing day.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
With Hartline bringing in so many big time wrs this class and one for the next, does he start going after other positions soon or just stick to wrs?
— Curtis Spracklen (@Sprack24) August 1, 2019
I’m going to include co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley in this discussion, because I believe the success he’s achieved over the last few months puts him in the same conversation as Hartline, at least for the sake of today’s question.
Taking note of the 247Sports.com coaches rankings — and I guess that there’s some value to them despite being obviously flawed because there’s simply no way to know every player recruited by every coach — it’s obvious these young Ohio State assistants have been absolutely tearing it up on the recruiting trail.
How successful have they been? Hartline is currently the country’s top-ranked overall recruiter. Hafley, who spent the previous seven years coaching in the NFL, checks in at a cool No. 3. That’s pretty good, of course, and these two young Ryan Day assistants are a big reason why the Buckeyes are once again knocking on the door of a top-5 recruiting class in 2020 after a year of turmoil and change.
These two guys are good. Hartline is being given credit for all four of the Buckeyes receivers commitments in 2020 and partial credit in the recruitment of Cameron Martinez. Meanwhile, Hafley has seven total commitments attributed to him from a group that includes pair of New Jersey natives to the defensive duo from California, Clark Phillips and Kourt Williams.
It’s a reasonable assumption on the part of an outsider to think that with just four or five spots left to fill in the Class of 2020, perhaps Ohio State should deploy these two recruiting juggernauts to help add the finishing touches to the class. However, while the thought is fair, it’s not what Hartline and Hafley are being tasked with doing.
Rather, with young position groups that need refinement and work heading into this season — and due to the fickle nature of recruiting and the challenges that come with holding on to commitments, especially those from around the country — Hafley and Hartline are focused on relationship maintenance in 2020 and class building for 2021.
Maybe if any of the 11 verbals in the Class of 2020 credited to this pair were Ohioans, they could get involved elsewhere. But the cream of the crop nationally are pledged to Ohio State, and that’s what is most important for each assistant to be focused on until signing day.
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