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 diving once more into a talented and deep receivers pool.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
What’s the wide receiver board looking like with Jarrett committing to LSU? Should we expect two more? Still hearing positive feedback on Hartline as a recruiter?
— John Justice (@JohnJustice1990) May 8, 2019
The wide receiver position is one I’ve enjoyed covering immensely in this 2020 recruiting cycle as Ohio State has searched in earnest for two more top players to join commitments Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Gee Scott. Before I dive into what I’ve gleaned from the recruiting efforts for the Buckeyes, I think it’s important to stress just how good the two current commitments are lest they be taken for granted, which happens semi-regularly when dealing with players who commit without much fuss and do so early in their process.
Brian Hartline and Ohio State are a blistering-hot commodity on the recruiting trail for receivers right now. The fact that the Buckeyes offered and accepted a commitment from these two players as early as they did should not be overlooked. Smith-Njigba (No. 30-ranked wide receiver) and Scott (No. 14) are viewed much higher than that in the eyes of the Buckeyes, who think they’re top 10-type players at the position, period.
Ohio State is likely to add two more prospects alongside that duo. But there’s no doubt that the number of options out there could lead the Buckeyes to trying to go as many as five deep at receiver in 2020. I think that the options are also so plentiful in 2021 that they’re willing to consider sticking at four in this cycle, depending on who those four are. Let’s break down where things are with the top targets as we approach mid-May. I’m going to include only uncommitted prospects here, noting that Washington D.C. 5-star Rakim Jarrett is now off the board after committing to LSU earlier this month.
Julian Fleming, 5-star, Catawissa (Pa.) Southern Columbia
The undisputed top receiver target for Ohio State, Fleming’s recruitment hasn’t seen much change in the last few months other than a recent official visit to Alabama. The Crimson Tide are in Fleming’s top group, but even they weren’t able to dent the lead that Ohio State and Clemson have in this recruitment. An official visit to Georgia is expected to happen at the end of May. If that happens, and when it’s complete, Fleming will likely go into full-fledged decision mode. There’s been no announcement of a decision date or anything like that, but the sense I get is that a choice is likely to come sooner rather than later. Fleming isn’t an attention-seeker, and I believe when he has a final decision made in his mind he’ll make it public. My pick has been on the Buckeyes since November. Despite some ups and downs, I’m sticking with it.
Marcus Rosemy, 4-star, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Another relatively low-key type of person, it’s hard to know what’s what with Marcus Rosemy, who recently released his top-10 schools. There are a lot of people in South Florida who believe his ultimate decision comes down to Ohio State and Georgia, but the Big Three in Florida can’t be dismissed out-of-hand. The challenge for the Buckeyes remains as it has for months: When can Rosemy arrange an unofficial visit to the school to make sure it’s everything he believes it is? There was a plan for that to happen in April, and it didn’t. Now there’s some tentative plans in place for a mid-June trip. If that happens, Ohio State’s odds go way up. If it doesn’t, I think it’s likely this recruitment goes from likely to far-fetched.
Cameron Martinez, 3-star, Muskegon (Mich.)
One of the country’s best pound-for-pound football players in the Class of 2020, Cameron Martinez is on this list — but his spot is a little different than others on it because of his ability to play defense as well. Putting it bluntly, I think Martinez is a guy Ohio State would take even if they add two other receivers ahead of him because he could do multiple things and other guys can not. Michigan is involved along with a growing list of top schools like Notre Dame and Florida State, but I think this recruitment all comes down to the official visits. Martinez will take those in June, and I think he ends up committing to the Buckeyes.
Muhsin Muhammad, 4-star, Charlotte (N.C.) Myers Park
A player who may not have been on this list a month ago but is now firmly back in the sights for Ohio State, Muhsin Muhammad picked up an offer from the Buckeyes recently the old-fashioned way: He earned it. Hartline visited the Michigan State legacy at his school in late April and offered quickly after seeing what the young star was capable of in person. The spring evaluation period may feel like a long wait to a rising-senior, but now that the offer is there it will be interesting to see what Muhammad does with it. He visited last November and his entire family was impressed by Ohio State’s program.
Who else is out there for Ohio State?
Beyond that group of four, there are other names that are definitely worth monitoring and paying attention. Dublin Coffman athlete Mike Drennen II is still very much in the mix despite some questions about his ultimate position. The Buckeyes are the favorite right now to land California 4-star Lavon Bunkley-Shelton and have recently re-entered the fray for Illinois star A.J. Henning, a player with 5-star potential who missed most of his junior year with a nagging injury that slowed down his recruitment.
Louisiana speedster Corey Wren has been in regular contact with Hartline lately but has not been offered yet. And the Buckeyes were expected to see recent North Carolina State commit Nate McCollum this week as well. So much of what happens from this point is based on timing and when these players are ready to make a final decision. The Buckeyes may be forced to make some tough decisions in the months ahead as a number of the country’s best pass-catching prospects remain very interested in joining the Ohio State program.
The best way to stay on top of all that recruiting #stuff? Subscribe to Lettermen Row’s Recruiting with Birm newsletter.