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Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes gearing up for busy, important January

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes
Ohio State will enter 2020 with a Heisman Trophy finalist under center. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes gearing up for busy, important January

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.

Buckeyes gearing up for busy, important January

As the 2019 season ends and the calendar flips to 2020, Ohio State has a lot of work in sight.

A record 13 members from the class of 2020 will join the Buckeyes in January, signaling a new trend of early-enrollees in Columbus that could become a new normal for Ohio State. Justin Fields will enter the offseason with a year of starting experience behind him. The Buckeyes will have to find two new offensive linemen, new playmakers at wide receiver and running back, and they’ll replace a lot defensively. Plenty of underclassmen have decisions to make regarding their future. The transfer portal will heat up once again in the coming month.

Oh, and there are two openings on the coaching staff that need filled, and Ohio State figures to do that sooner rather than later.

January should be a busy month in Columbus as the Buckeyes begin a new season with the same lofty expectations and a fresh batch of motivation following a heartbreaking loss in the Fiesta Bowl. Lettermen Row will be there every step of the way with the latest news, notes and analysis as it happens in January.

Where does Ohio State stand with Cameron Martinez?

Ohio State needs secondary help. The Buckeyes are set to lose three of their four starters from the back end, Shaun Wade could potentially leave, too. So the commitment and upcoming signing of Cameron Martines will be huge if he chooses to stick with Ohio State.

Where are the Buckeyes with Martinez? Our recruiting expert Birm breaks it down:

Martinez, who committed to Ohio State on July 4, opted not to sign during the December signing period, choosing instead to wait for February because he wants to make sure he knows who his position coach will be.

Michigan’s two-time Player of the Year according to MLive.com and this year’s Mr. Football and Gatorade Player of the Year, Martinez has never been entirely sold on playing defense in college. But he trusted that Hafley could develop him on that side of the ball. He needs to be shown why and how the next guy to coach him at that position can do the same.

As it stands, the battle for Martinez may be between Ohio State and Minnesota. But the longer things carry on without the announcement of Hafley’s replacement, the more other schools can try to get involved.

Chris Olave already looking forward to 2020

Chris Olave didn’t hide from questions following the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson, when he was targeted on Ohio State’s final offensive play that resulted in a game-sealing interception.

Olave was supposed to run a post route to the inside. Instead, he cut outside. Justin Fields threw it inside. Clemson intercepted it. Olave took the blame.

“It was my fault. I was supposed to run a post but I thought he was scrambling, so I just tried to work the second part of the route,” Olave said. “But it ended up he wasn’t scrambling. He trusted me to run that post. I didn’t. So it’s a mistake on me.”

All Olave can do is move on. And moving on is exactly what he’s doing, already eyeing a huge 2020, when he’ll have a second-year starting quarterback throwing to him.

For the full story about how Olave is moving past the mistake in the Fiesta Bowl, click here.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A recent graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his first 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.

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