With Big Ten conference play kicking off tomorrow for the Buckeyes and Rutgers, Ohio State looks to continue their winning ways as well as improve on their weaknesses to this point. In their first away game since opening weekend versus Indiana, this will be the first time the Buckeyes haven’t been playing host to recruits from all over the country. However, being on the road always garners the opportunity for others to see what the Buckeyes have to offer on the field. With the offense looking to establish their passing game and the defense tightening their scheme, the Buckeyes will look to impress on and off the field.
A new name on the block?
The Buckeyes' 2018 recruiting class has zero weaknesses at any position thanks to the incredible efforts being put forward by the coaching staff. One position of strength is on the offensive line. With commits from Matthew Jones and Max Wray, Ohio State is doing everything they can to replenish the trenches in the current recruiting class. The staff doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon either, so it seems.
Yesterday, director of recruiting for 247sports Steve Wiltfong brought it to Buckeye Nation’s attention that there may be a new name in serious play for the Buckeyes when it comes to offensive linemen. Enter Rasheed Walker, a 4-star from Maryland, and you have the latest coveted prospect to be pursued by the top overall class in the country. At 6'6, 300 pounds and holding nearly 30 scholarship offers, Walker is certainly not a new name to the recruiting front, but for the Buckeyes, it’s a relationship that seems to be growing stronger with each day that passes.
Currently, Rasheed is ranked as the twelfth-best offensive tackle in the country and the sixth-best player in Maryland for 2018. As it stands now, Penn State owns the edge on the 247sports crystal ball predictions, but the Buckeyes are the sole threat to the Nittany Lions. While the Buckeyes are actively pursuing other offensive tackles such as in-state star Jackson Carman on the offensive line, the more the merrier, as we all know the battle is truly won in the trenches. With a visit sure to happen in the future for Walker, look for the recruitment to trend toward Ohio State heavily in the upcoming months.
Back in enemy territory
It’s been discussed a few times, but one of the aspects that remains true is the benefits of being able to recruit well in enemy territory. For decades, Michigan and Michigan State (among several more programs) flocked to the Buckeye state to take advantage of the talent in Ohio high schools. Flip the page and see Ohio State recruiting the top talent in Michigan ever since Urban Meyer took the helm of the program, and you have the blueprint for success. Fortunately, the foundation has been laid, and doesn’t seem to be diminishing any time soon.
Yesterday Bucknuts' Bill Kurelic was able to shed some light on Michigan as he talked about a top prospect being seriously interested in what Ohio State has to offer. Justin Rogers (Oak Park, Michigan/Oak Park) is only a high school sophomore, but the 6'4, 265 pound guard is already a 247sports composite 5-star boasting the rank as the top offensive guard in the country and the best player at any position in the state of Michigan for the 2020 class. The good news? Rogers is seriously considering Ohio State as a future destination.
In the piece by Kurelic, Rogers states that he will be attending three Buckeye football games just this fall as he plans to be in attendance for Penn State, Michigan State, and Illinois. With a prospect like Rogers at this size and talent, Ohio State has to love where they are currently sitting with their chances, but national signing day 2020 is still a long way off. If the relationship continues to solidify, look for the Buckeyes to try and scoop up another of Michigan’s top players. It's a win that never gets old.