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’re trying to make sense of the Buckeyes recruiting efforts with a handful of the country’s best prospects, a number of which were at one time thought to be favoring Ohio State.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
Seems like OSU is losing momentum on a lot of the top recruits (Sherman, Jarrett & Rogers) once considered OSU leans. What do you think their chances of gaining it back are?
— Roger Seibert (@seibs28) April 22, 2019
If it feels like things have moved at a snail’s pace for Ohio State in the last few months on the recruiting trail, it’s because things are actually moving kind of slow right now for the program.
And that’s perfectly all right. No one inside of the program is panicking yet despite the desire to see things pick up in the very near future.
So, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, let’s try to get to the bottom of this lull and understand why it isn’t going to last forever. The most important thing to remember is this: It’s been four months since of the all-time great coaches in college football history walked away from the Buckeyes and handed over the reins of the program to a guy that’s never been a head coach before.
It doesn’t matter one iota how talented, intelligent, humble, genuine and next-level ready Ryan Day is. What matters is that right now Ohio State is trying to convince young men and their families that there will be a minimal drop-off in what it brings to the table for recruits and their families on and off the field despite Urban Meyer no longer being in Columbus.
When Meyer retired, Ohio State was in a great position with Mekhail Sherman, Rakim Jarrett and Justin Rogers, a trio of 5-star prospects. They were also in real contention for other standouts like Bryan Bresee, Elias Ricks, Fred Davis and others. But when recruiting the cream of the crop around the country and losing a national championship-winning coach, that’s going to sting.
That’s not going out on too far of a limb, I don’t think. It was not until January that Day really took over the program, and in doing so he replaced five assistant coaches. That means not only did these top recruits need to get used to the idea of a new guy in charge, in a number of cases they had to be introduced to a new position coach and primary recruiter, further pushing Ohio State behind in the relationship game.
When recruiting against the likes of Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia on a daily basis, there’s not much room for error. When considering the deficit Day and his coaches have been working from, it’s actually quite remarkable that the Buckeyes are still in the conversation for some of these big names at all. All the transition inside of the program from January and into the start of spring ball meant a lack of the big recruiting weekends that most schools are selling as Day and his staff focused on getting to know kids and their families in more intimate and personal settings. And, oh yeah, not a lot of kids are traveling to Ohio in February anyway.
The kids who have made visits to Ohio State this spring, key targets like Henry Gray, Lathan Ransom, Clark Phillips and Kendall Milton, have all come away extremely impressed by the new regime and the way they are handling things. This weekend, Mekhail Sherman, the 5-star linebacker from Washington D.C., will make a vital official visit for his first in-person experience with the new staff as they look to remind him why the Buckeyes were once his favorite. Rakim Jarrett remains a mystery, and the fallout from the Dwan Mathis recruitment may have hurt things with Justin Rogers more than anyone has stated publicly. But either way, his recruiting process was always going to be a wild ride.
The sped-up nature of the recruiting process combined with 24-hour-a-day access to news and information about it makes it feel like everything is falling apart, but that’s just not the case. Sure, right now Ohio State doesn’t have the momentum that Georgia, Oklahoma and a few others do, but what happens next December is far more important than what’s happening now in April.
To get back in it for the players mentioned above, the most important thing the Buckeyes need to do is to get them back on campus. These young men and their families need to see in practice what is being preached to them about the new Ohio State program. Those visits are coming.
Sherman is taking an official visit this weekend. The rest will begin to come into view shortly, and the Buckeyes will start to make their customary splashes again.
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