In recruiting, protecting the borders around your home state is key to building a successful program. When you look at the talent within the state lines of Ohio, it’s clear to see why Urban Meyer and his staff want to keep the best at home and suiting up for the Buckeyes. While Ohio State can’t keep every in-state prospect (mainly due to the amount of D1 Ohio prospect each year) it’s still important to make the top homegrown kids your top priority and recruit your own backyard first and foremost.
On the other hand, when you steal a prized recruit from another state, especially a conference foe, that too will please a coaching staff. So many times Ohio has been a hotbed for other states to recruit. With a football tradition rich program in nearly every city of the Buckeye state, coaches from all over the country have taken notice over the years. One program in particular: “the team up north”.
Ever since the start of Urban Meyer’s tenure for the Ohio State Buckeyes, invading Michigan and taking their guys has been a common trend. With talent such as Damon Webb and Mike Weber, Ohio State has struck gold in the Detroit area—and the signs of that continuing are pretty strong.
In the 2020 recruiting cycle, Michigan native Justin Rogers looks to be Ohio State’s top target in their rival state; and all things considering, the Buckeyes look pretty good right now in their pursuit for Rogers. He’s the prototypical offensive guard you want right now, as well as at the next level. With still two full prep seasons to be played for Oak Park, Justin already stands at 6-foot-4, 280 pounds. Thanks to his grueling work ethic, expect his size and strength to increase even more as his high school career carries on.
According to 247sports, Rogers is listed as Michigan’s top in-state kid for the 2020 class, the second best at his position, and the 54th best prospect in the entire class. It’s easy to see why this prep star has well over thirty scholarship offers.
After a dominating performance at this past Saturday’s Nike The Opening Midwest Regional Camp at Massillon Washington High School, we were able to talk with Justin directly. Check out what he had to say to Land-Grant Holy Land below.
LGHL: How much do you truly like Ohio State? Would you say that Ohio State is in your top list of schools, specifically top three?
Justin: Definitely. Ohio State is one of my top schools. I really like Ohio State and what they have to offer.
LGHL: Who is your personal recruiter for Ohio State? Who talks to you the most?
Justin: My recruiter is Coach Stud. I talk with Coach Studrawa the most since he’s the offensive line coach. I talk with him often and saw him yesterday (Sunday) on campus at Ohio State, since I was in Ohio for the Midwest Regional The Opening Nike camp in Massillon.
LGHL: How did The Opening Regional Camp go for you personally?
Justin: The camp went really well. I received an invite to the official The Opening camp in Oregon. I also recently received the Rivals 5-Star Challenge invite so I have both Nike and Rivals camp invitations now.
LGHL: In your opinion, what are the two things that stick out to you the most regarding Ohio State. In other words, what comes to mind when thinking about the Buckeyes?
Justin: When I think about Ohio State, it’s a school that really produces. They constantly send guys to the NFL each year. The other is if you want to go to Ohio State, you have to compete to get on the field and play. The competition there definitely comes to mind.
LGHL: Do you have another returning visit planned to Ohio State soon?
Justin: I think I am coming back to Ohio State this June, but it’s not to camp, I will just come down to visit and talk with the coaches again.
LGHL: Your Oak Park team has tons of talent, what are you most excited for this upcoming season and what are your goals for the year?
Justin: Yes, we have a really good team for this coming season. Honestly, the focus is getting to the state championship and winning the ring. I really want the ring and to win it all this season.
Justin’s Oak Park team has quite the talent, and you may recognize their signal caller, Dwan Mathis, as Ohio State was his most recent offer. While he is currently committed to Michigan State, Mathis, in addition to Rogers, was on campus this weekend as he too competed at the Nike The Opening camp in Massillon. As Ohio State looks to try and at least land one of the two, when looking at Justin, it’s important to note that while it’s certainly early, the Buckeyes do own 100 percent of the crystal ball predictions on 247sports. Yes, home-state schools as well as others may be in the picture, but as Justin himself pointed out, the Buckeyes are definitely in his top list. As he competed this weekend against another Buckeye hopeful to be, Zach Harrison, also at Massillon’s Nike The Opening camp location, Rogers held his own.
All of the Ohio State followers would love to see these two together competing at practice in the same uniform in the years to come. Fortunately for the Buckeyes that’s not too out of the question to consider, thanks to the possible hint below.
A special thank you to Justin for taking the time to speak with Land-Grant Holy Land. Best of luck this upcoming 2018 season.