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Taver Johnson brings plenty of recruiting ability to Columbus

How much will the addition of Johnson impact Ohio State on the recruiting trail?

Taver Johnson
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes have, once again, a full coaching staff. After losing Kerry Coombs unexpectedly to the Tennessee Titans a few weeks ago, the search for a new defensive backs coach was on, and after a pretty extensive search, the Buckeyes have found their man, as they officially announced the hiring of former Temple defensive coordinator Taver Johnson.

Johnson is a familiar face to Buckeye fans from his time in Columbus under Jim Tressel, as he coached defensive backs from 2007-11. Johnson had a hand in coaching players like Malcolm Jenkins, Chimdi Chekwa, Kurt Coleman, Anderson Russell, Donald Washington, C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, and Bradley Roby, among others.

While we know what he’s capable of on the field, his recruiting ability is a bit more of a question mark. After stints at schools like Arkansas, Purdue and Temple, it’s hard to say what Johnson would be capable of on the recruiting path under Urban Meyer.

However, during his time in Columbus, Johnson was the primary recruiter of four-star prospects like Doran Grant, Armani Reeves, Marcus Hall, and underrated future starters like Jeff Heuerman and Tyvis Powell. Coombs efforts in recruiting will be hard to match, but Taver’s ties in Ohio will certainly help in—specifically in Cincinnati—a place where Ohio State sometimes struggles.

New 2019 Quarterback Option?

The Buckeyes threw their hat into the ring for yet another 2019 quarterback earlier today, as they extended an offer to St Pius X (Houston, TX) prospect Grant Gunnell. Gunnell, who committed to Texas A&M last June, is yet another pro-style quarterback, and fits the prototype that Ohio State has shifted their focus to under Ryan Day, along with Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz, Sam Howell, and 2018 signee Matthew Baldwin.

The 6-foot-6 Gunnell is the No. 50 player in the country nationally, and the No. 2 pro-style quarterback, according to 247Sports. I don’t imagine Ohio State has much of a shot in this one, and the 2019 quarterback search will likely come down to Michael Johnson Jr, Grant Tisdale, and the aforementioned Mertz.

West Coast Wishing?

Ohio State is prioritizing offensive linemen in 2019, as was evidenced by their visitors list this past weekend, but that focus on the big guys in 2019 doesn’t mean that the Buckeyes aren’t already getting a look at the 2020 linemen as well. Late Monday night, the Buckeyes offered Ferndale, Wa., guard Geirean Hatchett.

The Buckeyes are the sixth team to offer Hatchett, and at this point, the home state Washington Huskies seem to be a pretty heavy favorite. But if the Buckeyes are truly interested, this could be a very interesting battle. Hatchett is very interested in Ohio State, and would be willing to give the school serious consideration.