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Which Ohio State assistants recruit where? It’s not always simple

Al Washington-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Al Washington is handling a couple of key areas for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Which Ohio State assistants recruit where? It’s not always simple

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. Friday’s column breaks down where the Ohio State assistant coaches call their “home” recruiting area.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

Ryan Day’s first full coaching staff has been on the road for a few weeks now since the end of spring camp in Columbus, and each coach’s recruiting area has started to come into view.

But there are always exceptions. So as we break this down, keep that in mind. Each assistant coach has a region or city that is his primarily, but when there’s a big-time prospect at a certain position in say, Catawissa (Pa.), then the position coach for that player usually will take over that region/high school in order to forge the best of the relationship. At the heart of the matter, especially for the top prospects on the Ohio State recruiting board, the assistants don’t really have a true area at all — but instead are sent to recruit their position specifically.

In an effort to answer this question as well as possible, here’s what I’ve gleaned from the last few months of Ohio State recruiting and which assistant coaches are handling what talent-rich areas.

Quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich (Arizona, Dallas)

Mike Yurcich-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Mike Yurcich has already landed his 2021 quarterback. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Mike Yurcich is in his first year with the Buckeyes but has already done a good job opening doors in Arizona and also in the Dallas area, taking advantage of the relationships that he grew in that part of the country in his time at Oklahoma State.

He’s also been instrumental in quarterback recruiting, no matter where the prospect is located. He landed his first quarterback commitment for the Buckeyes this week, in case you missed it.

Running backs coach Tony Alford (NE Ohio, Colorado, Central/Eastern Florida)

Tony Alford handles the Cleveland area and Northeast Ohio for the Buckeyes. But he has become a real asset for Ohio State in Colorado thanks to his history on the field at Colorado State. Alford has also recruited Tampa and Orlando for Ohio State in his time in Columbus and is obviously involved in recruiting top-of-the-line guys like Bijan Robinson and Kendall Milton in 2020.

Receivers coach Brian Hartline (South Florida, Akron/Canton, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Philadelphia)

Hartline has emerged as one of the program’s top recruiters in short order after joining the staff full-time last August. He’s gone to Seattle and Dallas to find receivers in the Class of 2020 and to Philadelphia and back to Washington in order to make the Buckeyes a top contender for players like sophomore stars Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbuka already. Hartline has taken over the key areas of Fort Lauderdale/Miami for Ohio State and has spent a lot of time in Los Angeles as well.

Tight ends coach Kevin Wilson (Dallas, North Carolina, Indianapolis)

In this third year at Ohio State, Kevin Wilson helps recruit the Columbus area for the Buckeyes and also extends over to Indianapolis. He’s the primary recruiter for the Buckeyes in North Carolina and splits the Dallas region with Mike Yurcich.

Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa (Southwest/Northwest Ohio)

Greg Studrawa recruits the Cincinnati area and Toledo area of Ohio for the Buckeyes and also recruits individual offensive line targets around the country.

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison (Chicago, Indiana, Michigan)

The first-year Buckeyes assistant covers Chicago for Ohio State and Michigan.

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson (Maryland/Virginia/Washington D.C.)

Johnson usually just recruits the defensive line targets he chooses and focuses on them individually, but his longstanding reputation in the Baltimore area makes him the guy that leads the way for Ohio State in that area. Johnson goes where the defensive linemen are.

Linebackers coach Al Washington (New York, Virginia Beach, Atlanta)

Another first-year Ohio State coach, Washington recruits New York and the talent-loaded regions of Virginia Beach and Atlanta for the Buckeyes. Washington is also working with Ohio State linebackers targets around the country.

Co-Defensive Coordinator Jeff Hafley (California, New Jersey, Michigan)

Yet another first-year Buckeyes assistant, Hafley is working in two areas he’s very familiar with: California and New Jersey. He’s also working in Michigan for Ohio State, helping recruit key targets like Clark Phillips, Cameron Martinez and Makari Paige.

Secondary Coach and Special Teams coordinator Matt Barnes (Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Baltimore)

Barnes is handling Pittsburgh and working to establish relationships in the state of Kentucky for the Buckeyes. He also works some in Maryland, his home state.

The best way to stay on top of all that recruiting #stuff? Subscribe to Lettermen Row’s Recruiting with Birm newsletter. 


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 and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.