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
If the Buckeyes lose out on JC Latham, who are the backup plans? We need another tackle in this class
— Mark Smaldino (@MDSmalls23) May 18, 2020
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.
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.
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.