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Ohio State makes the cut for top 2020 guard

Could the Buckeyes pull one of the best players in the country out of Michigan?

Justin Rogers
Twitter - Justin Rogers

The hardest thing to do in college football recruiting is to pull top players out of hostile territory, especially when the two territories are Ohio and Michigan. Recruiting top talent is key to building a championship contending program. Right now, in the struggle between Ohio State and the University of Michigan, the Buckeyes are doing far better—and a tweet from 2020 Oak Park, Mich., guard Justin Rogers confirmed that.

One of the silliest things we do in evaluating recruiting is to “freak out” about recruiting lists. This is especially true for students like Rogers because he is so far from the time when he will be actually signing. However, this list has something very important in it. Despite once listing the Wolverines in his top three schools, neither the University of Michigan nor Michigan State University are listed in Rogers’ top 13.

That means that Rogers has been serious when he’s said that he has no issue with leaving his home state. We’ve seen it with players like Damon Webb and Mike Weber before, among others, but Ohio State really is gaining traction in Michigan. That’s significant. Top talent from the State of Michigan spurning the Wolverines for the Ohio State Buckeyes really shows where this rivalry is right now.

Obviously we’re still very far out from this recruitment being complete. However, after quite a few visits, including one earlier this week, it’s safe to say that the Buckeyes are a choice for Rogers. Now, we just have to see if the Buckeyes can hold on and secure a commitment.

Quarterback woes?

We talked last week about the weakness at quarterback for the 2019 class, and how that may hurt Ohio State. In case you needed some more proof, SBNation’s always excellent Bud Elliott dropped this piece yesterday, about the sheer lack of talent at quarterback in this class.

This is extremely important to Ohio State, mainly because they’re seriously lacking in depth at the quarterback position. Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin are the three quarterbacks on scholarship on the roster right now. If Haskins is to go pro after this season, or Martell transfers, Ohio State would have just two quarterbacks for 2019.

Usually, that could be fixed by simply bringing in a freshman quarterback. That may not be the best option for the Buckeyes this year though. If they miss on Grant Gunnell, a player like Graham Mertz might become an option, but he seems to be firmly committed to Wisconsin.

After Mertz, the options are pretty bleak. Michigan State’s Dwan Mathis is an option, but anyone outside of those three is either not a realistic option, or not talented enough to play at Ohio State. There’s no real reason to waste a scholarship on a quarterback that will never play just for the sake of depth, especially because Ohio State seems likely to take two quarterbacks in 2020.

With a historically bad quarterback class, if Dwayne Haskins leaves after 2018, could the Buckeyes look for a graduate transfer to bridge the gap, especially if neither Tate Martell or Matt Baldwin are ready? Right now, it seems like the best option.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson is the cover athlete for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football preview magazine.
  • Monroe College, a New York JUCO, cornerback Alex Badine Jr. accepted a preferred walk-on offer at Ohio State.