Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row. Monday’s notebook talks with recruits who visited Ohio State for the Buckeyes big game against Michigan State.
Beaux Collins at home with Ohio State
On Sunday, we talked a bit about how the Buckeyes are right in the thick of things for 4-star 2021 wideout Beaux Collins.
A 6-foot-3, 185-pound receiver from Bellflower (Calif.) powerhouse St. John Bosco, Collins is 247Sports.com’s country’s second-ranked junior receiver. After his visit to Columbus over the weekend — his third trip to Ohio since March — things continue to look very good between Collins and Ohio State.
“It was great,” Collins told Lettermen Row. “It exceeded my expectations. I love Ohio State’s atmosphere.
“Even though they were winning, the crowd was still cheering like it was a close game.”
Collins was the first recruit to step on the field on Saturday, and he spent time rotating between coaches and recruits, looking very comfortable and at-home with the Buckeyes, a feeling that comes as a result of his relationship with the staff.
“I got a lot of time with the coaches,” he said. “I had a chance to talk to the majority of the offensive staff, and that was the most impressive thing. It’s really about the coaches there, and I really wanted to see what the game-day feeling is like there.”
A California native, Collins has a sister who attends college in Ohio. He’s seriously considering doing the same thing. The Buckeyes and Clemson are the two schools most closely associated with his recruitment, but Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and USC are also in the mix.
When it comes to Ohio State, the biggest hurdle could be the guys he traveled 2,000 miles to meet this weekend.
“[Buckeyes receivers coach Brian] Hartline thought this weekend would be a great time for me to meet the commits and talk a little with them,” Collins said. “If I go there, I’d have to compete on a daily basis, which would make all of us better. They’re serious about developing wide receivers year after year.”
Clemson is next on the docket for Collins, and he’ll head there next weekend. After that, everything is up in the air — including a timeline for a decision.
“[Clemson] is the only other visit I have planned as of right now,” he said. “As of right now, I’m still going to make my decision maybe after my official visits.
“But things can change.”
Lorenzo Styles trying to make big decision about future
Another of the country’s best junior receiver prospects with an offer is Buckeyes legacy and local standout Lorenzo Styles, Jr.
Styles, who plays offense and defense for Pickerington Central, is the highest-ranked player in Ohio who hasn’t already committed to the Buckeyes. The chance to get back on campus at Ohio State was something he wanted to do in order to hang out with his good friend Jack Sawyer and to once again grow the relationship between Brian Hartline and himself.
“It went well,” Styles told Lettermen Row. “I got to see a lot of my guys as well as reconnect with Coach Hartline.”
Despite some conversation about which side of the ball is best for Styles, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete indicated the message from the Buckeyes hasn’t changed over the last year-plus since he received his offer.
“The message has always been the same,” he said. “Ohio State loves me, and they have a spot for me. They want me to just keep getting more familiar with the program and seeing why it would be a good fit.”
That fit is what it’s all about for Styles, who appears to be torn between childhood dreams and some adult decisions that are ahead of him.
“I really like the idea of the dream come true,” Styles said. “Playing college football with Jack, us accomplishing what we talked about as little kids.
“I’m just unsure if I want to stay home or create my college football experiences away somewhere.”
The next step for Styles is another visit to Notre Dame, and that comes this week when the Irish host USC for a night game in South Bend. Notre Dame is the primary opponent here for Ohio State, and though the talented athlete has discussed wanting to make visits to a couple of SEC schools, there’s a feeling that a decision is going to come sooner than later.
Ohio State prioritizing Wisconsin safety Hunter Wohler
When he arrived at a one-day camp in Columbus this past summer, Muskego (Wisc.) 4-star safety Hunter Wohler really had no idea he’d catch the eyes of the Buckeyes coaching staff the way he has.
“I was surprised the first time I was down for a camp over the summer,” Wohler told Lettermen Row on Sunday. “They gave me more attention than I expected.”
That attention hasn’t slowed down one iota. In fact, the country’s eighth-ranked safety prospect in the Class of 2021 has been a top priority for the Buckeyes since the start of the communication period allowed them the chance to prove it. They showed it again this weekend during the 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back’s first game-day visit at Ohio State.
“This weekend I was again shown more attention than expected,” he said. “But it was all very cool to get to talk to the coaches and see the place as a whole. I spent a little time getting to know the players and talking to them throughout the day. I was just taking it all in though and really looking at what it’s like on a game day.
“The weekend went really well. It was good to get out for a game and see the action in person. It actually exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really know what to expect regarding the atmosphere and the hype all around, but it was wild. The town was buzzing, and it was just a fun place to be.”
Wohler has been a target for the entire Ohio State coaching staff to this point, underscoring his value to the program.
“I’ve talked to a lot of the coaching staff over there, from [Jeff] Hafley to [Greg] Mattison and [Matt] Barnes, even Coach Day,” Wohler said. “It’s been pretty cool. Those guys are great people. They are all about family and the team and very unselfish people.”
Wisconsin’s second-ranked player admits to feeling some pressure to stay home and suit up for the Badgers. But the Buckeyes have firmly established themselves as a potential fly in that Badgers-tinted ointment. Whenever he’s ready to decide, he’ll make a choice. There will be no lollygagging in this recruitment.
“There is talk about how Wisconsin is the home team and stuff like that,” Wohler said. “But my family and friends are supportive no matter what. They just want me to pick what’s best for me.
“I want to commit before my senior year for sure. Once I decide which school I’m interested in the most, I’ll pull the trigger right away.”
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