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 we attempt to break down the Buckeyes big board at safety in the 2020 class.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
It is easy to attribute early OH OL commits from class of 20 to Day’s philosophy of not waiting to offer OH kids, but do you think it’s also lack of overall depth at the position also impacting their willingness to accept the early commits?
— Kent Fagan (@KentFagan) March 20, 2019
This is a good question, because it really does cut to the heart of the matter here.
In general, fans of Ohio State want the roster to be well-represented with Ohio prep products. There’s a different level of pride knowing that the hometown kids went out of the tunnel at Ohio Stadium and won football games for the school most people in the state grew up dreaming of playing for.
But when competing for national championships and not just Big Ten titles, there’s a need for a national presence in the program. States like Texas, Florida, Georgia, California and others are just too chock-full of talent to ignore on the recruiting trail, so true balance can be a hard note to strike.
When a player from California is offered by Ohio State, it doesn’t always mean the same thing to them as it does a player from Ohio. It’s important to understand that when asking why some kids in Ohio don’t get an early offer but it’s also important to know that when questioning why some kids do. Johnny Doe in California isn’t going to say yes right away, but Jon Dough in Ohio probably will, so if it’s a position of serious need on the recruiting trail, that has to be fully considered. The premise of this question is asking why would Ohio State offer recent commitments Jakob James and Trey Leroux when they probably could have come back to those players months from now.
And the reality is: It is both of those reasons mentioned in the question about why these early offers went out when they wouldn’t have in previous years. Ohio State needs six offensive linemen in the Class of 2020, and they have two really big national studs already pledged with Paris Johnson and Luke Wypler. So, the thought process is pretty simple: Go get two kids in Ohio that the program likes and lock them up early, then go focus on landing two of the best players from around the country to join them over the next ten months. The lack of offensive line bodies inside the Buckeyes locker room forced the hand a bit. There’s just no way that Ohio State could risk what happened in the 2018 and 2019 classes happening again.
Will that approach backfire? Will these early reaches not pan out? I suppose that’s a risk taken with any recruit, but Ryan Day and his coaching staff don’t feel that either James or Leroux are anything but deserving of their opportunity at Ohio State.
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