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Buckeye Bash and BBQ is key recruiting event
Friday morning, hundreds of high school students ranging from rising sophomores through seniors will descend on Ohio Stadium for the first ever Buckeye Bash & BBQ.
This event, it appears, will replace Friday Night Lights for Ohio State this year. But it will not be open to the public or to the media that usually covers that event. So, for anybody expecting a blow-by-blow update from the event on Twitter or immediately following its conclusion on Lettermen Row, unfortunately that is not going to happen.
What is going to happen, though, is that a number of major Buckeyes targets are going to gather, play games, fraternize and get to know each other with the hopes of building relationships that will carry them to a real, solid foundation for the Class of 2021. That’s the group that this event is mostly aimed at, not the 2020 recruiting class — although some of the guys in town for that will certainly drop by as well.
Both Ohio State 2021 commitments, 5-star defensive end Jack Sawyer and 4-star quarterback Kyle McCord, will be on campus Friday. McCord will spend the entire weekend in Columbus and will not leave until Monday morning when he heads to Atlanta for the Rivals.com 5-star Challenge.
That duo will be tasked with playing the role of the Pied Piper for the Buckeyes and will spend their time working on a number of big-time talents from around the country. Here are some of the names expected to be in attendance, understanding that lists change. Some folks we don’t know about will show up and some folks that we expect to be there, won’t be.
- Donovan Edwards, 4-star, Running Back, Michigan
- Ben Christman, 4-star, Offensive Line, Ohio
- Lorenzo Styles, 4-star, Wide Receiver, Ohio
- Jayden Ballard, 4-star, Wide Receiver, Ohio
- Tunmise Adeleye, 4-star, Defensive Line, Texas
- A.J. Kirk, 4-star, Defensive Back, Ohio
- Jakailin Johnson, 4-star, Defensive Back, Missouri
- Hunter Washington, 4-star, Defensive Back, Texas
Again, there will be a number of players who show up we don’t know about yet, so don’t be surprised when they pop up on social media with photos from Ohio Stadium.
Full Buckeye Bash primer
Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm put together a huge guide to the Buckeye Bash. In addition to the above information, it also includes a ton of other details like how this event impacts the Class of 2020 and which recruits from the 2020 and 2021 classes might be on commitment watch. Be sure to check it out here, because it’s must-know information for Buckeye fans.
Zach Boren on Baron Browning
Sometimes even five-star potential requires a bit of patience to be locked, and Ohio State is expecting that Baron Browning will be worth the wait.
The first two years with the program certainly didn’t go quite the way either Browning or the Buckeyes might have envisioned. There have been questions about where he fits best in the linebacker unit, injuries that have slowed his progress and perhaps also some adversity caused by the struggles of the previous defensive coaching staff.
So, what’s in store for Baron Browning this season? Is he best suited to play in the middle, is he more comfortable on the outside or could Ohio State tinker with using him as a pass-rushing threat on the edge? What’s the key to settling into a role for the Buckeyes? Former Ohio State linebacker Zach Boren was in the Lettermen Row film lab for the latest episode of BuckIQ looking at the film to find some answers.
United adds direct flights for Ohio State-Nebraska
United Airlines is adding direct flights geared towards college football fans this fall, and two of the nine games involve Ohio State. The primary one of interest for Buckeye fans should be the trip to Nebraska, where flights from Columbus to Lincoln will be added. However, for any Ohio State fans living a few states away, United will also have flights from Madison to Columbus when the Badgers come to town.
“Our playbook this year will make it easier than ever for fans, alumni and students to cheer on their teams in other college towns across the country,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of Domestic Network Planning. “It’s exciting for football fans and even more exciting for United to be able to operate nonstop flights between these communities for the very first time.”
For those curious, here are the nine games:
- Auburn vs. Oregon (in Dallas)
- LSU at Texas
- Alabama at South Carolina
- Notre Dame at Georgia
- Ohio State at Nebraska
- Alabama at Texas A&M
- USC at Notre Dame
- Wisconsin at Ohio State
- Notre Dame at Duke
Will Bullet position mean fewer LB recruits?
The Thursday recruiting question of the day inquired about Ohio State’s linebacker recruiting and whether the Buckeyes would be taking fewer players at that position now that the Bullet position exists. As Birm explained, it’s really just a matter of how you label it:
If the hybrid Bullet position is considered a linebacker, then no, there will be no numbers adjustment to linebacker recruiting. If it the position is considered a safety/defensive back, then sure, there will be a drop-off in the sheer numbers of linebackers being recruited by Ohio State.
It’s kind of a “six of one, half-dozen of another” scenario. The most important thing to know about this change on the recruiting trail is that it underscores a principle the Buckeyes have adhered to for a few years now when it comes to finding the next man up on their defense: Being versatile is key.
All that’s really happening to the linebacker recruiting is that Ohio State is renaming the positions. That means, at least for now, that traditional positional breakdowns — and the ones used by recruiting services — may not always match up with how Ohio State sees things.
- Big Ten Media Days: 28 days
- Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 72 days
- Ohio State at Michigan: 163 days
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