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Scarlet Sunrise: National Signing Day caps off wild month for Ohio State

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Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and the rest of the class of 2019 early enrollees met with the media for the first time Wednesday on National Signing Day. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: National Signing Day caps off wild month for Ohio State

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 land two offensive linemen to close out 2019 class

Ohio State knew it needed help along the offensive line and the February signing period delivered a double dose of help along the offensive line.

Hawaii-native Enokk Vimahi was the first to announce his plans to sign with the Buckeyes Wednesday morning to kick off National Signing Day in Columbus. The program was relatively late into the game as a real factor for the 4-star offensive lineman. But the position was an enormous priority, and coach Ryan Day and his first coaching staff at Ohio State won Vimahi over down the stretch to convince him to leave the islands and head for the Midwest.

Day needed to bolster a unit that is lacking the depth the Buckeyes would ideally like, and the Kahuku High School product was just about the perfect fit to address the issue. Playing right away is difficult at any spot up front, but Vimahi might find himself in the mix for playing time quickly depending on how quickly the projected guard can transition to the college ranks with his 6-foot-4, 265-pound frame.

Next, Indianapolis 3-star offensive tackle Dawand Jones picked the Buckeyes over Penn State, USC, Indiana, Auburn and others.

Indiana’s 13th-ranked 2019 prospect, Jones was discovered late in the recruiting process by the Buckeyes, but that didn’t stop them from making a major push for his signature in November. That came thanks to a double-pronged attack led by Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day.

“It was the best fit for me,” Jones told Lettermen Row on Tuesday night. “The academics and the coaching staff, the best fit for me that way. When I visited there I really felt the love there, the brotherhood.”

What did we learn from Ryan Day on National Signing Day?

If the transition into the top job with the program has been like drinking from a fire hose, the water pressure still hasn’t let up yet for Ryan Day as he now shifts to the offseason conditioning program after a jam-packed first month, and is working with a revamped coaching staff while preparing for a spring camp that is already less than a month away.

“It’s been a sprint to this point, really haven’t stopped,” Day said. “It’s been a lot on the recruiting trail. But putting the staff together was a big part, too.

“I think I said this before, maybe even in the preseason [last year]. When you’re walking in these shoes, you notice things you didn’t notice before.”

What all has he accomplished and what other key updates did he provide about the Buckeyes on Wednesday? Austin Ward recaps what we learned from Day after he closed out his first class as head coach. Additionally, watch the videos to hear from all five of the new members of the Ohio State coaching staff, as they met with the media for the first time Wednesday.

Grading Ryan Day’s first Buckeyes recruiting class

The 2019 recruiting class is complete for Ohio State.

The Buckeyes signed just 17 players in this cycle, the smallest class since 2010, but they signed a handful of high-impact recruits that rank among the nation’s best at their respective positions. Overall, there’s a lot to like about this small Buckeyes group, even if there were a few key misses along the way. But that’s bound to happen to a program embroiled in controversy for much of the last few months, especially when it then loses a Hall of Fame head coach.

So how’d the Buckeyes do overall? Birm graded the Ohio State 2019 recruiting class after all the signatures were collected at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Justin Fields ‘hoping soon’ to get eligibility answer from NCAA

Justin Fields has a playbook to learn, teammates to get to know and some rougher weather to get used to at Ohio State.

So, the transfer quarterback doesn’t have a lot of time to spend stressing about an NCAA decision about his pending waiver for instant eligibility with the Buckeyes.

Certainly Fields and the program would both like an answer soon, and everybody involved is eventually expecting to receive good news for the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with Ohio State. But in the meantime, Fields isn’t giving it as much thought as the rest of the college football world seems to be given his potential importance to a College Football Playoff contender.

“I mean, I don’t really know much about this process,” Fields said in his first public comments with the Buckeyes on Wednesday morning. “All that lawyer stuff, my job is strictly football. All this NCAA stuff, I really don’t have a great understanding of it. I’m just here to make this team better. I’d rather not have to deal with it, and I’m doing what I have to do to get eligible, but my main focus is the season.”

Lettermen Live: Recapping busy month for Ohio State on National Signing Day

On this week’s Lettermen Live presented by Byers Auto, Austin and Birm are inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center after National Signing Day to break down an extremely busy month for Ryan Day and Ohio State. The guys discuss meeting and hearing from the new assistant coaches, what we learned from Ryan Day and what Wednesday’s signees — Enokk Vimahi and Dawand Jones — bring to the program.

Check it out for a full recap from a loaded day!

Counting down

  • Ohio State hoops vs. Penn State: Today

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Nick is the producer at Lettermen Row. Born in Dayton, Nick recently graduated from Ohio State where he worked for The Lantern and the College of Veterinary Medicine. He also knows the city of Columbus and its love of sports well after interning with Columbus Crew SC and WBNS-10TV during his undergraduate education.

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