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Scarlet Sunrise: Justin Fields keeps getting more motivation during NFL Draft prep

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes
Justin Fields has plenty of motivation as he goes through the draft process. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Justin Fields keeps getting more motivation during NFL Draft prep

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.

Justin Fields keeps getting more motivation during NFL Draft prep

Justin Fields has never had a shortage of motivation. The record-breaking quarterback has been compared to and put behind Trevor Lawrence since their days as high-school quarterbacks in Georgia.

Now in the NFL draft process, Fields is still being listed behind Lawrence — and one other quarterback. The latest mock drafts, including one by ProFootball Focus, has Fields as the third quarterback taken in April’s NFL draft. The mock draft projects Lawrence to go No. 1 overall to Jacksonville and BYU’s Zach Wilson going No. 2 to the New York Jets.

The mock draft then has the Philadelphia Eagles trading up to land the Ohio State quarterback at No. 3 overall.

Fields doesn’t need any more motivation heading into the next stages of the draft process, but seeing his name third among the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class will certainly add more motivation for the Buckeyes signal-caller.

Luke Farrell breaks down Jeremy Ruckert

Jeremy Ruckert had to develop at Ohio State. Even as the No. 1 tight end in his recruiting class with massive expectations, it still took time for Ruckert to begin breaking through. But since that breakthrough happened, Ruckert has shown what makes him so special and dangerous in the Ohio State offense.

Far more often than not, Ruckert is still being asked to block more than use his dynamic ball skills and athleticism as a threat in the passing game — although he did rack up five touchdowns in just eight games a year ago for the Big Ten champions. But the versatility to do both is what allow him to be one of the most important cogs in the Ohio State machine, and his return might just be one of the most critical roster moves the program made in the offseason.

What makes Jeremy Ruckert such a special prospect at tight end for Ohio State? How can Ruckert continue his development heading into his senior season? When did it become clear to the Buckeyes what he could become? Former teammate and soon-to-be NFL Draft pick Luke Farrell popped in some highlights and answered those questions for the latest episode of BuckIQ.

Roll the tape!

New Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast

Ohio State has waited a long, long time to get the country’s top-ranked 2021 prospect on campus. The Buckeyes are likely to find out sometime this week whether or not that wait has been entirely in vain.

The NCAA is set for a vote this week — though it’s not required to vote yet — that could throw another major wrinkle into the recruitment of 5-star lineman J.T. Tuimoloau. Ohio State was set to receive an official visit from the 6-foot-5, 290-pound lineman last April but, as a result of Covid-19, he’s never made the trip. The belief that the recruiting dead period could get tweaked this coming April had provided a little bit of optimism in Columbus that finally an official visit could take place, maybe as soon as the planned April 17 Ohio State spring football game.

But now Ohio State, and everyone else in the Tuimoloau sweepstakes, has to wait on pins and needles once again to see exactly how tricky it will be to ever host the star Washington defender and his family on it campus. Sources around the Ohio State program have indicated that right now there is no plan for Tuimoloau and his family to make unofficial visits to Columbus or anywhere else, but the dead period vote, whenever it happens, could force that issue.

Lettermen Row recruiting analyst Jeremy Birmingham and co-host Spencer Holbrook talked about the upcoming dead-period decision and more in the latest edition of Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast.

Talking Stuff is presented by the fine folks at Byers Auto.

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