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 try to answer an important question in the Class of 2020: is there a real chance to land 5-star running back Kendall Milton?
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
What recruit that seems like a longshot right now is most likely to commit?
— Wong Fan Account (@Gay4Baker) May 12, 2019
There are a handful of defensive players that I could turn to here, guys like Arizona safety Lathan Ransom or Michigan defensive end Braiden McGregor. But I think the guy that makes the most sense is a running back, and that’s either Kendall Milton or Bijan Robinson. Because he’s already visited Ohio State and has begun setting up a return trip for an official visit to the school, I’m riding with the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Milton slightly ahead of Robinson as a long shot/real shot-type of prospect in 2020.
Taking a position-by-position look at the needs for the Buckeyes right now, running back stands out more than most. And lining that up with the program’s tradition of production at that spot, I think it’s easy to see why a player like Milton or Robinson is so vital for Ohio State — and also why those players and a host of other top tailbacks are so seriously considering the program.
Milton is not just looking for a football factory. He’s a young man with a plan that includes a future after football of business. Of the programs he’s looking at, Ohio State’s focus on family, academics and life after football isn’t surpassed anywhere else. Yes, Georgia, LSU, USC, Alabama and Oregon all have successful football programs, all are heavily involved and none of them can be taken lightly.
Ohio State is almost certainly going to have only more year of J.K. Dobbins and then a wide-open running back competition for starting reps in 2020. Milton is planning to enroll early and is a player capable of starting at any school in the country regardless of the depth chart, but he’s not going to find one that has less experience in front of him than he would in Columbus. No matter how it’s packaged and sold by other program, facts are facts.
Ultimately, recruiting comes down to comfort, relationships and, of course, fit. Ohio State’s offense is extremely running back friendly. Ryan Day and Tony Alford have been recruiting Milton hard. So, too, have Buckeyes recruits and their families. Now, it’s about the Ohio State program providing the assurance to Milton and his family that Urban Meyer’s departure didn’t take away the things that make the program special.
As class leaders emerge, as more names get on board and show no reluctance to commit to the Ohio State program, more guys like Kendall Milton will do the same.
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