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Scarlet Sunrise: How will Ohio State football’s 2020 running back recruiting play out?

Tony Alford-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Tony Alford will have plenty of other options on the recruiting trail. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: How will Ohio State football’s 2020 running back recruiting play out?

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.


Ohio State’s RB recruiting timeline

It’s time for our seemingly weekly check-in on the Ohio State running back recruiting conundrum. After losing two sure-fire commitments right before their announcements, the Buckeyes were no doubt stung by those reversals. But the absolute last thing the Buckeyes need to do is panic and take someone who won’t belong in the program. As Birm explains in the Tuesday recruiting question of the day, this is a total reset and the Buckeyes will ultimately benefit from having a little patience:

There is no reason to hurry for Ryan Day and Tony Alford, and there’s no reason to consider accepting a commitment right now from any player who isn’t going to be a difference-maker inside of the Ohio State program.

I don’t believe that Kendall Milton, Zach Evans, Bijan Robinson or anyone in that tier is going to come back around to the Buckeyes. But there’s no doubt that patience is the best move for Ohio State right now for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that there is no room for marginal talents on the roster if it wants to compete for national titles.

Beyond that, though, there are more tangible and logical reasons to wait things out. Some players don’t develop and burst onto the scene until their senior seasons, like Marcus Crowley a year ago. Some guys will certainly flip late in the process and find themselves intrigued by the very successful, very multiple Ohio State offense. Some guys will see the current crop of running backs in Columbus — depth that was used against the Buckeyes in the Bijan Robinson battle — and maybe they’ll see it’s not as deep as they were led to believe.

New episode of the Tim May Podcast

This week on the Tim May Podcast, Lettermen Row Senior Writer Austin Ward joined the program to break down Justin Fields now that he’s officially been named as the starting quarterback for Ohio State.

May and Ward also talked about transfer quarterbacks and what it could mean for college football and how it applies to Ohio State. They broke down the newly-named captains, Chase Young’s mention of Josh Proctor as a break-out candidate and much more with the Buckeyes as the season opener starts to draw closer for Ryan Day and his program.

2021 Texas OL eager to hear more

When Ohio State offered 2021 offensive tackle Cullen Montgomery in May, he told Lettermen Row that his interest in the program was stoked initially by the reviews of the school given to him by teammate and fellow 2021 offer Donovan Jackson. Jackson, the country’s eighth-ranked offensive tackle, has Ohio roots and has visited Columbus — and his view of it certainly influenced the 6-foot-5, 318-pound Montgomery.

“[The offer] means a lot,” Montgomery told Lettermen Row. “I definitely want to go visit. It’s like a dream offer. They came to Episcopal ([in the spring] and talked with my head coach then they offered. It was [offensive line coach Greg] Studrawa.”

Since that offer, the conversation has been limited. But with Sept. 1 approaching, Montgomery is eager to see that change.

“I can’t wait,” Montgomery said. “I want to get up there for a visit and a game. I like that Coach Stud is a hard, aggressive type of coach. That’s the kind of coach I need.”

For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Tuesday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.

Baker Mayfield talks flag plant

Baker Mayfield unloaded on a lot of issues in a GQ story about the Cleveland Browns quarterback, and one of the topics raised was his celebration after beating Ohio State in Columbus in 2017.

Mayfield begins to recount how he was told that that type of display was not what Oklahoma football was about. As he does, you can see him getting worked up. “Actually we won. That’s what we’re about. I had done so much and worked so hard to play for that school, I was just kinda”—here he pauses to find the words, careful but not too careful—“almost embarrassed for them to tell me to apologize.”

But of course Mayfield did say he was sorry. I begin to ask him how heartfelt that apology actually was, on a scale of 1 to 10, but I can barely get the question out before he answers. “Zero,” he says. He repeats himself forcefully, looking me right in the eye so that I don’t miss the point. “Zero. Absolutely not.”

Then the moment cools and the storm passes. “Which might hurt some Ohio fans’ feelings,” he says. “But I think we’re all good now.”

For the record, I still have a hard time getting worked up about the flag plant. His team won, he was excited. It’s not much different than Ohio State defenders parading around the field after the 2016 win posing for pictures with a “Basic Defense” sign. But such is life.

Counting down

  • Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 10 days
  • Ohio State at Michigan: 101 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.

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