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Buckeyes keep focus on top targets while evaluating other options

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Hudson Wolfe is the top Ohio State target at tight end remaining in the Class of 2021. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Buckeyes keep focus on top targets while evaluating other options

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 the Buckeyes backup plans and how they’re focused on priorities more than the contingencies.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

Perhaps it sounds like a risky play. but elite programs like Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, LSU or Oklahoma don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about backup plans on the trail at this point in the recruiting cycle.

The programs on that level oftentimes put all their proverbial eggs into one basket because it is usually all they need. This isn’t recruiting with a shotgun where shots are fired indiscriminately with the hope of hitting something. Ohio State is recruiting with sniper-precision, and because of that, the list of names that makes its way into the public purview is almost always short and star-studded.

When a close look is applied to the Class of 2021 and the remaining targets in it for Ohio State, it’s easy to pinpoint the top candidates. Almost every position still being recruited in this cycle has one or two marquee names that Lettermen Row has written about dozens of times over the last year.

Ohio State isn’t recruiting players just to fill spots. The Buckeyes are recruiting players they believe are elite, difference-making prospects. If those players say “no thanks” to them, then they’ll have some high-level conversations about whether or not to move on to the next round of available targets.

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Ohio State isn’t looking too deep into available tackles as long as its top prospects remain in play. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

That’s why right now there aren’t backup plans for offensive tackle, wide receiver or tight end. The top targets have been the top targets for a long time, and until those players tell the Buckeyes no, that’s who the coaches are going to recruit.

Emeka Egbuka is the receiver target in 2021 if there’s only one spot left. Sure, Ohio State is also a fan of elite players like Troy Stellato and Christian Leary, but there isn’t going to be another run of offers at the position. J.C. Latham, Tristan Leigh and Garrett Dellinger remain priorities at tackle, and there will not be a bunch of additional tackles picking up offers even if right now it seems each of those recruitments is trending away from Ohio State.

Hudson Wolfe is the top target at tight end, and he will be until he tells the Buckeyes he’s picking another school. Ohio State is going to recruit J.T. Tuimoloau until he’s committed, one way or another.

There are no backup plans at Ohio State. To be elite and stay elite, the Buckeyes are going to recruit the best of the best. If a certain position requires obvious attention because of a numbers shortfall, the list of options may expand a little — but it won’t expand much.

That’s how it has to be. All the chips are on the table for the biggest targets, and they won’t be diverted into other recruitments while the top-tier talents remain in play.

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Nate
Nate

Makes sense. If for some reason they do miss on the top guy though, it also stands to reason they are keeping relationships going with a couple other guys but not pushing. Guys like Benny maybe? Leigh seems not realistic right now. Obviously that might be a late scramble if things fall through with plan A in Latham, but as far as pure numbers, they won’t walk away with two OL in the class. Agreed on the mentality though. Especially the way this class is going, no reason to think things might turn out alright across the board.
I am interested in what they are doing at TE though. They obviously really do want Hudson Wolfe in this class. They seem to like those rotating tight ends, they just don’t really use them much in the passing game.

Buck68
Buck68

Agree, Nate. “Keeping relationships open” is reasonable and prudent; building relationships is a continual fundamental in the competitive arena. “Seems” is also a useful term to characterize a dynamic, ever-changing situation where ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over’ – until the recruit signs. hmmm… and it ain’t over then, either. ;-{)} So…wouldn’t any ‘student of the game’ realize ‘options’ come with the territory for all the common sense reasons… and then some? Gee, even ‘science’ has an option: fight or flight. An ‘elitist’ choosing zero options is blinding himself with his own arrogant judgments in the midst of his claiming and crownings, as if people and values were his possessions. OH please don’t be ‘shocked’… who doesn’t have an ego? Yet the humble man is no better than any other person… his facet of wisdom just recognizes some of his obvious limitations and tries to exercise… some perspective. The person who claims he is humble, reveals his own, self-deceitful arrogance out of his own mouth and behavior. Consider the person who claims he “speaks truth to power”. Who would he… ‘have to be’ …to do that? In charge of THAR? Hmmm… what if THAR… describes what our elites… ban? Anyone… Read more »

Brian yakata
Brian yakata

I would like to get leigh along with latham. Cannot have too many ots.

Buck68
Buck68

Brian: “I would like to get” exactly what i want, too… more than you.

I too would like to possess [‘have’]…whoever and whatever i please.

I too, can never have or get enough. But my desires convict me of my limitations, and that feels so bad i must…blame you for ‘forcing me’ to ‘react to it’ just by seeing your words in print!

Grabbing and having and getting and sneaking and enticing ‘all i can’… always leaves me wanting more and more, which winds up as a continuing illustration of my… limitations.

Just like an addiction. Eventually, you won’t make me mad any more, because my addication will dominate me… into permanent outrage and anger.

I name this condition of ‘I don’t remember, i did nothing wrong, everybody does it, let’s move on: ‘addication’

Buck68
Buck68

QUOTE There are no backup plans at Ohio State. To be elite and stay elite, the Buckeyes are going to recruit the best of the best. If a certain position requires obvious attention because of a numbers shortfall, the list of options may expand a little — but it won’t expand much.

That’s how it has to be. All the chips are on the table for the biggest targets, and they won’t be diverted into other recruitments while the top-tier talents remain in play. UNQ

Agree… proofreading, along with thinking, appears ‘to be’ a ‘lost art’.

But i am glad we ‘have’ backups and options for all the ‘plans’ we “don’t have” after the first one.

For, ‘to be or not to be’… is evidently not thee question. ;-{)}

Meanwhile …thanks to LR staff and posters, for each input has value and takes effort.

Buck68
Buck68

perhaps “status” is more an ‘eye closer’ than an “opener”?

Buck68
Buck68

Davies… more wanting, less likely…be cause i am “not allowed” to ‘have’… ‘options.’

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.

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