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Scarlet Sunrise: What’s next for Ohio State running back recruiting?

Ohio State-Tony Alford-Ohio State football-Buckeyes
Tony Alford will be looking to salvage Ohio State's running back recruiting. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: What’s next for Ohio State running back recruiting?

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What happened with RB recruiting?

With Ohio State running back targets Bijan Robinson and Jaylan Knighton suddenly trending away from the Buckeyes, Sunday was a rough day for Ohio State recruiting.

In the Monday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes, Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm broke down what happened and what’s next for the Buckeyes as they look to figure out the running back spot for the Class of 2020:

There was no indicator that things were heading awry, even as recently as last Friday. Then Knighton decided to visit Florida State because one key member of his family wanted him to, and things got murky. Saturday, Robinson informed Ohio State that his mind had changed for unspecific reasons.

Tony Alford didn’t forget how to recruit. Ohio State didn’t do anything wrong to lose its position in these recruitments. On the recruiting trail, it’s a fight against every school in the country along with a host of variables seen and unseen. The Ohio State program is one of the few big enough and respected enough to combat nearly every threat and win the majority of the time.

But families that are divided aren’t easy to overcome. When asking a young man to leave his family and go to school 1,000 or 2,000 miles away from home, there can be no doubt or division inside the family unit. If there is, no matter what the player himself wants to do, that’s probably a losing battle.

The beat has to go on for the Buckeyes. This is where Urban Meyer excelled and where Ryan Day and his staff will face their next challenge, because when Meyer lost a recruit, he almost always found a way to replace him with someone that fit the program even better.

Jaylan Knighton set to announce

Jaylan Knighton, who until recently appeared to be a lock to go to Ohio State, will be announcing his commitment at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday. As noted above, it will not be good news for the Buckeyes. Knighton is instead expected to choose Florida State, where he made a last-minute visit over the weekend.

5 questions as Ohio State fall camp nears

There may be a bit of uncertainty heading into the first training camp under Ryan Day. It might take some time for Justin Fields to truly get comfortable leading the offense. And the Silver Bullets certainly have plenty of work ahead of them as they try to bounce back from the worst statistical season in school history.

But top to bottom, the Buckeyes are clearly the most talented team in the Big Ten and remain on the short list of legitimate contenders for the College Football Playoff heading into August. And while that’s a lot to ask for new guys in key positions, that’s obviously the standard at Ohio State. Work begins on Friday for the Buckeyes with the first practice of training camp. And Lettermen Row is getting set for the month ahead with five pressing questions for Ohio State.

5-star RB Kendall Milton commits to Georgia

Once sought after by Ohio State, 5-star running back Kendall Milton is headed elsewhere. The California native announced Monday that he is committed to Georgia. That result wasn’t a big shock, as Milton has been trending towards the Bulldogs for a while now. However, it’s still a disappointing reminder for Ohio State, which is on the verge of seeing its own 5-star running back target slip away at the last second, that they’re chasing teams who rarely miss and the margin for error is almost nonexistent.

Counting down

  • First day of fall practice: 3 days
  • Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 33 days
  • Ohio State at Michigan: 124 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and Landof10.com. He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.