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Ohio State recruiting: How bright is future for Buckeyes wide receivers?

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Julian Fleming is a major piece of the puzzle for Brian Hartline and Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State recruiting: How bright is future for Buckeyes wide receivers?

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. Thursday’s question is all about the receivers and just how good the Ohio State position group could be in the future.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

I posted this initial tweet in passing the other day after one of the country’s top 2021 receivers, Pickerington Central’s Lorenzo Styles, added an offer just moments after Texas star Latrell Neville did.

That pair, two of the big-name wideouts in the class of 2021 who Ohio State and Brian Hartline have already made serious inroads with, got me thinking about the potential ceiling in that group for the Buckeyes. Then I started to think about why Ohio State could have a leg up in that class — and the primary reason was because of its current standing with the Class of 2020.

With two of their top targets already committed in 2020 thanks to Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Gee Scott, the Buckeyes are able to focus on a very elite group to round out the class rather than evaluating and getting to know players all over the country. That’s been a major bonus for Hartline and Ohio State as players like Julian Fleming, Rakim Jarrett and Marcus Rosemy become the priority. Not only have Hartline and the rest of the coaches been recruiting them, but also Smith-Njigba and Scott as well.

To put it plainly, Ohio State is in a very good spot with each of those players. There’s an above-average chance to land two of them as things stand now. If you couple Rakim Jarrett and Marcus Rosemy with the two current commits, that’s obviously solid. Or substitute in Julian Fleming for one of them and it’s as good or potentially better. Many people believe Fleming is Penn State-bound, but the Buckeyes are in the game and clearly a factor with almost any top-flight wideout.

So what about 2021? The Buckeyes are already in a very good spot with three of Ohio’s best receivers regardless of class in Massillon Washington’s Jayden Ballard, the aforementioned Styles and Orrville’s Marquael Parks, who could be the most electric of the group but doesn’t yet have an offer.

That’s just the in-state kids, too. Ohio State has made a major push for some of the country’s best 2021 receivers and stand out with Washington’s Emeka Egbuka, who will visit the Buckeyes in March. Future 5-star Marvin Harrison, Jr. is set to make his first trip to Columbus this weekend and has quickly become a top target for Ohio State as well. Beaux Collins, a star at St. John Bosco in California, the school that produced Wyatt Davis, was at Ohio State last weekend.

And there will no doubt be many, many other receivers that pop up as the Buckeyes get around the country. There’s no doubt that Ohio State has become a hot location for quarterbacks and receivers in the last two years.

So, while we’re just speculating, let’s take a look at the classes of 2019, 2020 and 2021?

  • 2019 • Garrett Wilson • ★★★★★
  • 2019 • Jameson Williams • ★★★★
  • 2020 • Rakim Jarrett • ★★★★★
  • 2020 • Marcus Rosemy • ★★★★★
  • 2020 • Gee Scott • ★★★★
  • 2020 • Jaxon Smith-Njigba • ★★★★
  • 2021 • Marvin Harrison, Jr. • ★★★★★
  • 2021 • Latrell Neville • ★★★★★
  • 2021 • Emeka Egbuka • ★★★★★
  • 2021 • Jayden Ballard • ★★★★
  • 2021 • Lorenzo Styles • ★★★★

That is obviously a dream scenario for Ohio State, but it’s not an unrealistic outcome by any measure. There will be major roster turnover by February of 2021, of course. If you want to be elite for years to come, elite players must be replaced with elite players — and that’s what the Buckeyes are in a position to do.

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

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.