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Ohio State: Coaching question marks line up with Buckeyes recruiting needs

Jeff Hafley-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
New co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley will be vital leading to signing day. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State: Coaching question marks line up with Buckeyes recruiting needs

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 how the Buckeyes finish the 2019 class with question marks on the coaching staff.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

The next, and final, phase of the 2019 recruiting class starts Friday morning when the recruiting dead period comes to an end. For the next three-plus weeks, Ohio State coaches will travel to see as many of the remaining targets as they can while trying to lock in official visits from a handful of the top players on the list.

I’ve written it here a number of times over the last few weeks, but there are a number of key needs remaining for the Buckeyes. One of those needs was at quarterback, but the addition of Justin Fields put that issue to bed — for now.

The two remaining areas of concern are the offensive line and in the secondary, and both of those spots are where the remaining question marks are for Ryan Day’s first coaching staff.

The Buckeyes are still one assistant coach short, and it seems likely that gets filled by another defensive backs coach or a special teams coach. Ohio State has maintained a pair of secondary coaches over the last few years, and while there’s no requirement to do so, it’s a setup that works well, especially since Jeff Hafley will have co-defensive coordinator responsibilities as well. Giving him the entire secondary on top of full defensive responsibilities seems ambitious. He can’t even begin to recruit until after he passes the yearly NCAA recruiting test. It’s not entirely sure when that happens, but it’s expected to be early next week when he finally hits the trail.

Then there’s the offensive line. Rumors early this week began to swirl that Greg Studrawa could be entertaining a move to Maryland but to this point, it’s not happened. Again, as with all coaching rumors, there’s a very fine line between what is real and what is not. Rarely do the conversations happen on the record or does contact happen directly between a coach and a school, but rather through back channels and peripheral representation.

Ohio State needs to have its coaching staff locked up so that there are no more questions for them to answer from the handful of recruits that are real options heading into the second signing period. Doug Nester needs to know, with certainty, who is offensive line coach will be. Indianapolis 3-star Dawand Jones, one of the country’s hottest recruits in the last month, needs to know too. Aliquippa (Pa.) cornerback MJ Devonshire and his family will want to know the same.

Uncertainty is a killer in recruiting, and Ryan Day has done a remarkable job calming the concerns of his commitments and their families since he was appointed as the next coach in early December. There’s no doubt he’s got a plan in place to do the same for the next group of commitments.

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.