Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.
Brian Hartline dominating for Ohio State
It seems like Brian Hartline might know what he’s doing. Monday’s decision from Mookie Cooper, which is discussed more below, is the latest bit of evidence in support of the rising coaching star. Ohio State was almost an afterthought in Cooper’s recruitment as recently as March, but the wide receivers coach continued to plug away at the former Texas verbal. With just one visit to Columbus under his belt, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound receiver committed to Ohio State and put the wraps on Hartline’s receiver haul in the 2020 cycle.
What a haul it is, too. Cooper is the country’s 11th-ranked receiver prospect. So, Hartline has helped secure since November the commitment of Julian Fleming (No. 1), Gee Scott (No. 13) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 18) and has also landed Jayden Ballard in the Class of 2021 in that stretch. Muskegon (Mich.) athlete Cameron Martinez could also play receiver for the Buckeyes and provide another explosive option as Ohio State proves once again that it doesn’t rebuild, it reloads.
After losing Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon after last season, and knowing that K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor and C.J. Saunders will be moving on after this one, it was imperative for Hartline and Ryan Day to replace that talented group of leaders. They did that in spades and have raised the bar on expectations in Columbus.
For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Monday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.
Mookie Cooper picks Ohio State
Ohio State added a big piece to its 2020 recruiting class when 4-star wide receiver Mookie Cooper chose the Buckeyes.
Cooper, the country’s 11th-receiver prospect, picked Ohio State over Illinois, Miami, USC and Texas. The speedy rising senior made his decision just days after returning from The Opening in Frisco, Texas, where Cooper was a top target for fellow Buckeyes commitments — and receivers — Julian Fleming, Gee Scott and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
A true slot receiver, Cooper gives Brian Hartline and company a dynamic athlete capable of impacting a game from the backfield or out wide. The Buckeyes 20th verbal commitment, the addition of Cooper increases Ohio State’s lead over rival Michigan as the Big Ten’s best recruiting class and moves them to within one point of third-place LSU in the national rankings. With a big month of commitments expected, Ohio State should overtake the Tigers with its next verbal, wherever it comes from.
5 questions for Ohio State quarterbacks
A year ago, the quarterback room couldn’t have looked any more different than it does now.
The Buckeyes added three quarterbacks from transfer. They lost three — two to transfer and one to graduation. They also added one from the 2019 recruiting class, but he’s a walk-on. Ohio State enters this season with six quarterbacks on roster, but just three of them are on scholarship.
Justin Fields enters fall camp as the leader for the starting spot at football’s most important position. It’s finally Quarterbacks Week at Lettermen Row, and we have five burning questions for the Buckeyes signal-callers.
Gunnar Hoak helps
Ohio State’s quarterback situation is far from ideal but the good news is that the Buckeyes landed a solid backup when Gunnar Hoak transferred from Kentucky. Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward tackled that issue in the Monday question of the day:
A graduate transfer with SEC experience at Kentucky who grew up in nearby Dublin with direct family ties to Ohio State? The situation could hardly have been scripted any better for either coach Ryan Day or Hoak, who gets to return home with a chance to potentially play a meaningful role for the hometown program.
All parties quickly found what they were looking for in the process, and for the Ohio State coaching staff, that means there is a belief that Hoak could win games if necessary.
- Big Ten Media Days: 10 days
- Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 54 days
- Ohio State at Michigan: 145 days
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