Connect with us

Ohio State recruiting: Why Buckeyes aren’t waiting on in-state prospects

Ryan Day ohio State-ryan day buckeyes-ryan day football coach-ryan day coach
Ryan Day is building a class at Ohio State with strong local ties. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State recruiting: Why Buckeyes aren’t waiting on in-state prospects

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 talk about the decision to offer a couple of in-state prospects a touch earlier than in recent years.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

It’s funny, isn’t it? No matter how successful the recruiting efforts were under Urban Meyer, Ohio State was questioned and challenged when it came to how it was recruiting the state of Ohio.

The detractors claimed the Buckeyes weren’t prioritizing the state with Meyer in charge, and the lack of attention paid to the state’s borders in recent years had seemingly played a major part in the program not being able to sway players like offensive linemen J.D. Duplain, Nick Samac, Zeke Correll and others when it came calling later in their recruitment.

Some lamented that Meyer was too focused on the best of the best around the country. Then when those recruiting efforts fell flat, Ohio State wasn’t able to make the ground up.

Now after two months of being the permanent head coach at Ohio State, Ryan Day is being criticized because he’s offered and accepted commitments from two Ohio linemen who may not have received an offer this early from Meyer. Day has been adamant since his hiring that he was going to prioritize in-state recruiting in an effort to prevent the type of misses Meyer suffered in the last two recruiting cycles, and it’s because of the way Meyer’s staff was handling in-state targets that the offensive line has become such a dire recruiting situation at the moment.

Make up your mind: Do fans want Ohio players suiting up for the Buckeyes or not?

Recruiting isn’t what it was 20 years ago. Kids aren’t sitting on their hands waiting to hear from the Buckeyes, and there’s no good reason for them to wait before offering players like Jakob James and Trey Leroux if the coaching staff believes they’d be circling back on them eight months from now. There are too many good schools offering these players early in the recruiting process for the Buckeyes to risk losing out on the relationship-building that has proven critical in recent cycles.

jakob james ohio state-jakob james buckeyes-jakob james recruiting-jakob james

Jakob James (middle) is hoping to help recruit two more big-time offensive linemen to join him at Ohio State. (Jakob James/Twitter)

Ohio State needs six offensive linemen in the Class of 2020. It currently has two top-100 prospects committed at the position and two developmental, in-state prospects that Day and his coaching staff believe will help the program down the road. If the Buckeyes add two more top-100 players along the offensive line, which will now be their aim, does that change the value of James and Leroux? If those players were offered in September and flipped from other schools, does that?

It shouldn’t. Ohio State knew what it was looking for in the state and knows that young men like Jakob James and Trey Leroux aren’t going to play the recruiting game. They’re not going to have to worry about these kids entertaining other offers and making visits elsewhere. They’ve landed two big-bodied, talented kids who will work their butts off to validate themselves in the eyes of their fans.

The Buckeyes have seven 2020 commitments, and five of them are players that any school in the country would love to have committed at this point. The other two are players Day and his staff scoured over repeatedly and believe can help the Buckeyes. Shouldn’t that be good enough?

The decisions that Mark Pantoni and his recruiting staff made under Meyer were largely trusted, and that should still apply now for Pantoni and Meyer’s hand-picked successor. Day knows what he is doing, and he’s just getting started at the helm for Ohio State.

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

10 Comments
avatar
8 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
BirmJonathan BakerVictor HamiltonBrian T. FlahertyJay Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jay
Guest
Jay

OLmen are an exception to the National/In State debate. They take so long to develop. At this point all that can be known is whether they have the frame and the flexibility to project to top tier football. The real question is, do they have the will to put in the work to become great. Wisconsin has put more OL into the league over the last twenty years than any other school. Few if any were national recruits, most all of them were native Wisconsiners. But I am sure they were chosen for their will to work as much as… Read more »

Kid Buckeye
Guest
Kid Buckeye

So what I am getting from this is that Ohio players who committed to the Buckeyes will never decommit.
The staff must have a limit on how many Ohio kids they will take early so to have room for those best of the best from the whole country. Sounds like the same only in reverse.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Day and his staff know what they are looking for in young talent. Many other schools have recruited 3 star Ohio kids and they turn out to be outstanding football players (especially when they play Ohio State). Talent on the field is just one aspect of a great athlete. Star ratings at this point don’t really tell you much at this age. Kids are still growing and developing. It’s all about developing them within the program. Most of those kids will be 4 or 5 year players for OSU. Plus most of them grew up loving Ohio State, and will… Read more »

Jonathan Baker
Guest
Jonathan Baker

Just a reminder that Pat Elflein was a 3-star Ohio kid. Thayer Munford is too. There are many other examples. Trust the staff knows what they are doing.

Brian T. Flaherty
Guest
Brian T. Flaherty

No. Go ahead and get the Ohio kids. There are A lot of them beore we hit # 50 in the state and 900 natl. A lot of fans just want to know in the midst of this plan to land 3 star mid level recruits, why are the 5 * and high 4 star that we were locks for earlier ALL starting to lean elsewhere.

Victor Hamilton
Guest
Victor Hamilton

Every time a Michigan State team beat us, it was loaded with 3 star Ohio kids. Kentucky beat Penn State and finished 2nd in the SEC and they are loaded with over 20 Ohio 3 star recruits. It’s seems we should of hired more of the guys who comment on these sites to be the new coaching staff. They all seem to know more than coach Day and his staff. O-H! And scUM still sucks.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Correction: not hat Meyer wouldn’t have offered this early, that Meyer would never have offered, period.

Chris
Guest
Chris

But we need more blue chippers. We are in fact trending down for a few of the blue chippers outside of Ohio. The reason we were elite, national contenders under Meyer is because we recruited southern (GA, FL, TX etc) kids with a whole lot of speed and athleticism.These guys are simply put better than who Day wants. Look back at the Tressel era. We could not win ANY big games due to lack of speed as a result of emphasizing Ohio and not recruiting southern blue chippers. we beat Michigan like we did because we had more speed, due… Read more »

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.

To Top