Saturday morning, it was first reported that Notre Dame RB coach Tony Alford would join the Buckeyes staff. While the hire has not been made official by an Ohio State spokesperson, Alford has already spoke publicly to Scout.com about making the move to Columbus, as well as updated his Twitter profile page.
As we wrote yesterday, Alford brings an impressive recruiting resume with him to Columbus. Land-Grant Holy Land caught up with a few prospects to get their thoughts on the addition of Alford in Columbus:
Ervin "Woody" Barrett, 2016 QB/ATH, West Orange (FL)
"I think that Coach (Tony) Alford will benefit the coaching staff and the running backs," the 6'2, 213-pounder told LGHL. "From what I've experienced, he's a good coach on and off of the field." Barrett is an Orlando native and despite being listed as an athlete by some recruiting services, he tells us that the Buckeyes are recruiting him as a QB. Ohio State originally offered Barrett back on November 17th and just one week later, Alford and the Fighting Irish followed suit.
Patrick Bethel, 2016 DE, Vero Beach (FL)
I got a chance to talk with Bethel, who just received an offer from Ohio State in late January, about the Alford pickup. It was definitely new information to the four-star pass rusher from the sunshine state but he wasn't sure if it would change much in his recruitment. "I don't think my interests are swayed, but it is a surprise," Bethel stated. Tony Alford recently made the stop to Vero Beach High School prior to Bethel receiving an offer from the Buckeyes, so that he could offer Bethel in person.
Trevon Grimes, 2017 WR, St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
One of the biggest Buckeye targets in the 2017 cycle is this four-star pass catcher, who comes from the same program that produced Damon Arnette and Joey Bosa. Grimes wasted no time applauding the addition to the staff. "It's a great hire for Ohio State. I believe it will help out more in recruiting." So far, Ohio State seems to be in great position for the 6'3, 180-pounder and sure enough, he confirmed those thoughts. "As far as it goes for me, his move is a good move for me. As you know, Ohio State is my leader and I'm glad to continue pursuing my journey with Ohio State and their addition of Tony (Alford)." St. Thomas Aquinas is no stranger to newly hired RB coach either, as he was the primary recruiter for Corey Holmes, a current Notre Dame wide receiver. You can also check out Grimes' tweet reacting to the Alford news.
Tre Nixon, 2016 WR, Viera (FL)
"It was a great hire for Ohio State," the four-star Floridian told Land Grant Holy-Land. Nixon continued by saying "I have a big relationship with (Alford). He's not only a great coach but an even better man." The speedster with a reported 4.38 40 time has built a relationship with Alford during his time at Notre Dame. Nixon spoke highly of the new addition, just like many have and will. "(I) love the hire," Nixon concluded.
Binjimen Victor, 2016 WR, Coconut Creek (FL)
Much like Bethel, this four-star receiver wasn't aware that Alford was heading to Ohio State yet. "That's kind of shocking and good as well because he was my primary recruiter (at Notre Dame)." The nations 29th overall WR in the 2016 class proceeded by saying "(Alford) is a great dude. I was building a connection with him, as well. Knowing he is at Ohio State, we can still build a connection, he just won't be in green anymore." Victor is another pass catching target that sits high on the Buckeyes radar. I also reached out to '16 CB Trayvon Mullen, one of Victor's teammates, who was also unaware of Ohio State's hiring of Alford. Both prospects were being recruited by Alford during his time with the Irish.
Robert Washington, 2016 RB, Southlake Christian Academy (NC)
"Coach (Tony) Alford is one of the coaches that I have the best relationship with," Washington stated. "Coach Alford was a big part of my development going into my junior year. I spent a lot of board and film work with him." Washington, who is ranked as the 15th best running back in the 2016 cycle resumed by praising the addition for Ohio State. "That's a great replacement for Coach (Stan) Drayton." Despite Ohio State already having two running backs in the class, Washington added that the Buckeyes are still recruiting him and that he is still high on the Scarlet and Gray.
Another prospect that took notice of the Buckeyes inking of Alford was '16 RB Kareem Walker, an Ohio State pledge. Walker is a prospect who committed to OSU in part because of his close relationship with Stan Drayton, who is now a member of the Chicago Bears staff. Once Drayton departed from Columbus, many were concerned about the effect it would have on the five-star. However, Walker reacted positively to the reports of Alford stepping in.
Glad Coach Alford at OSU now !— AlⓂ️ightyReem (@_KareemWalker) February 7, 2015
Others that took notice of the hire includes incoming Ohio State freshman Mirko Jurkovic, '16 OT Parker Boudreaux, and '16 WR Dredrick Snelson, a former teammate of Torrance Gibson. It's also worth mentioning that Alford, who hasn't officially been announced as a member of the staff, has already got things rolling on the recruiting side. According to Bill Kurelic, '16 RB Demario McCall got a phone call from Alford yesterday. McCall is a four-star prospect and a huge Buckeye target in the 2016 cycle.
All but one of the six prospects that I spoke to were from the state of Florida. I'm sure many have heard and even seen the success that Alford has had with sunshine state players. This is just another example of the impact that he will bring to the recruiting trail and how much more he will help recruiting in the always talented state of Florida.