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Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes add another piece to loaded recruiting class

Ryan Day-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State added another commitment over the weekend. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes add another piece to loaded recruiting class

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.

Denzel Burke commits to Ohio State

For the second time in the last two months, one of the country’s top-ranked 2021 prospects has committed to Ohio State without visiting. Denzel Burke, a 4-star athlete from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro High School, has chosen the Buckeyes over over Texas, LSU, Oregon, Colorado, USC, Washington, Arizona State and more than a dozen other schools that had offered Arizona’s No. 4-ranked prospect.

Burke, offered by Ohio State in January, included the Buckeyes in his top-five schools just two weeks ago despite never making an in-person visit to the school. The versatile athlete felt the time was right to lock in his spot as a future fixture in the Ohio State secondary.

For Ohio State, the addition of Burke is commitment No. 19 in the class of 2021 — and he’s the sixth presumptive defensive back in the class and third prospect likely to be a cornerback for the Buckeyes. Burke, the nation’s No. 7-ranked athlete, will complement Jakailin Johnson and Devonta Smith at the corner spot while Jaylen Johnson, Andre Turrentine and Jantzen Dunn are more likely to line up at safety for as Kerry Coombs rebuilds the Buckeyes secondary.

What are the Buckeyes getting from Burke? Lettermen Row recruiting expert Birm has more here.

Early enrollees have chance to realize Buckeyes brotherhood

Most early enrollees arrived at Ohio State during the first week of January. They had two months with Mickey Marotti and the strength staff, along with some time in meeting rooms with their respective position coaches. So when the pandemic hit, spring practice got canceled and the players were forced to resort back home with their families, all 14 of them already had their feet wet in the Ohio State program. And that meant they already had a taste of the culture in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and the brotherhood.

Lettermen Row has more:

Ohio State preaches a brotherhood, an unbreakable bond between Buckeyes past, present and future, that encompasses every aspect of football — and college life for everyone involved within the football program. It’s how some Buckeyes get jobs after graduating and moving on from football. It’s the reason the team is so close as a collective unit.

It’s even why recruits choose Ohio State.

For the full story, click here.

Buckeyes juggling safety, desire to play

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is facing a dilemma. He has to balance the want to get back into the football facility with how to handle player safety during the uncertain climate the country is in. Lettermen Row contributor Tim May wrote about Smith’s balancing act and how it’s coming along. Part of that is here:

Folks such as Smith are caught in the squeeze. On one side is the pandemic and all that it entails. On the other side are sports fans and perhaps even coaches and players who can’t fathom a fall without major college football. On top of that are the pressures that could come with losing a year’s worth of the primary revenue source for all major college athletic programs.

So while he has been dealing with the day-to-day challenges of the past two months, he and his staff have been wrestling with the contingency plans that must be considered once a clearer view of the fall comes into focus by, say, early July. Who knows, by then, new social distancing guidelines might allow upwards of 50,000 to attend Ohio State home games — instead of the 22,000 or so projected at the moment for the 100,000-plus-seat Horseshoe.

For Tim’s full story, check out the link here.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.