Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Monday through Friday on Lettermen Row.
Walter Rouse happy with how Ohio State handled Urban Meyer situation
There is certainly more negative press than positive coming for Ohio State following the decision to suspend coach Urban Meyer on Wednesday night. Meyer, who will miss three games on the sideline for the Buckeyes, has already missed all of training camp, costing him pivotal team-building time as his players prepare for the season. How the suspension impacts Ohio State on the field is yet to be seen, but its certainly going to leave a hole for competing schools to try and exploit on the recruiting front.
To that end, Ohio State coaches that are currently working have been doing extra to try to maintain the momentum Meyer has built on the trail. One of Ohio State’s key targets in 2019 is Washington (D.C.) offensive tackle Walter Rouse. The country’s 47th-ranked tackle has been talking to the Buckeyes very frequently.
“I have talked with them on the phone and over text,” Rouse said. “They are always wishing me a great day and practice, checking up on me and asking about visits.”
The 6-foot-6, 285-pound Rouse made his only visit to Ohio State at the end of July, days before Meyer was placed on administrative leave. That visit was a smashing success for both parties, but because of Meyer’s situation, a handful of coaches have had to show Rouse he’s a priority for the entire staff. Those coaches are working to keep the focus away from the dramatics in Columbus.
“I’ve been talking to [offensive line coach Greg] Studrawa, [defensive line coach Larry] Johnson and recently, [acting coach] Ryan Day,” he said. “They don’t talk about [Urban Meyer’s situation] with me that much at all. I think they are handling it well.”
Devell Washington ready for next trip to Ohio State
One player that has been eager to get back to Ohio State and hasn’t been shy about saying so is Bay City (Mich.) Central 2020 wide receiver Devell Washington. The 3-star prospect has been on campus twice this summer, earning an offer from the Buckeyes following his performance at Friday Night Lights in late June.
He returned in late July to meet with interim Ohio State wide receivers Brian Hartline, who left a real impression on the 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior.
“Brian Hartline was amazing. He broke down my film from Friday Night Lights withe me and he gave me a lot of tips,” Washington told Lettermen Row on Aug. 2. “I would love to play for him and learn about the wide receiver position from a guy that played in the NFL.”
Now, Michigan’s No. 12-ranked player in the Class of 2020 is set to return to Ohio State once more, making a visit on Sept. 1 for the season opener against Oregon State.
“My family is coming with me,” Washington told Lettermen Row. “I can’t wait. It’s a big visit for them.”
Washington was last in contact with Ohio State on Wednesday night as the news of Urban Meyer’s suspension fell.
“Coach Hartline and [defensive back coach Taver] Johnson were very happy to hear from me,” he said. “They also said they can’t wait to see me on campus. I’m excited that Coach Meyer is back. I can’t wait to be able to sit down and talk to him after his suspension.”
Washington is a prime candidate to be the first receiver to commit to Hartline, if you ask me.
Can Ohio State get Wandale Robinson official visit set?
With Meyer’s return, Ohio State should be able to feel confident as they try to lock up an official visit from Frankfort (Ky.) Western Hills 4-star prospect Wandale Robinson.
Robinson told Lettermen Row two weeks ago that he was still considering the Buckeyes, but he added a fairly important asterisk to the conversation.
“If Urban Meyer stays as the head coach, I’ll still consider them heavily,” he said. “Coach Hartline as the receivers coach helped a lot.”
With Meyer back in the mix, at least eventually, it will be important for Hartline and the Ohio State staff to lock in a visit from Robinson within the next two weeks — particularly as he’s emerged as a key target. His official visit schedule is locked and loaded with the exception of one opening on Sept. 8, and he wants to make his college decision at the end of September or beginning of October.
Time is running out for Ohio State in this battle, and if they want to surpass Michigan, Alabama and others for Robinson’s services, they’ll likely need to do it by hosting him on a weekend when Meyer won’t be present.
Need more Ohio State recruiting? Check out the Lettermen Row forums and let us know what’s on your mind. Don’t forget to sign up for the tri-weekly recruiting newsletter, just in case there’s anything you’ve missed during the week.
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.