Eight days! Finally, we’re nearing game week for the Ohio State Buckeyes. With the Urban Meyer saga somewhat out of the way, fans can turn their attention and focus to the home opener. As the staff looks to put the finishing touches on the game plan for week one, it’s clear the recruiting efforts will also be picking back up with the season’s start. Targets will be in attendance for game days regularly, and with the negativity surrounding the program the past few weeks, a bright spot has been the recruiting. With 21 guys between the 2019 and 2020 class not wavering in their pledges to Ohio State during the unfolding of the Zach Smith/Urban Meyer situation, it’s factual how successful recruiting is. Look for that to continue and be a focal point in the next coming weeks.
Mathis and Rogers leads Oak Park to victory
It’s been a bit since we’ve talked about the 2019 quarterback recruitment. After a wild turn of events and several names on the list, the Buckeyes have their class signal caller in Michigan product Dwan Mathis. A 6-foot-4, 200-pound pro-style quarterback, Mathis is ranked No. 8 in the class for his position and also the sixth best player in a talented Michigan 2019 class. Yesterday, Mathis proved himself to be a consistent winner when he and his Oak Park teammates defeated Utica Eisenhower in their season opener.
In the contest, Dwan not only threw for a touchdown pass, but also had another touchdown on the ground, too. Much like the current Buckeye QB, Dwayne Haskins, Mathis is a quarterback that prefers to rely on his arm talent and getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers around him. However, the pro-style label doesn’t mean that he can’t run. In fact, Mathis is very much capable of escaping pressure in the pocket and hurting defenses with his legs just as much as he can with his arm. Yesterday’s game was a great sign for Buckeye fans who will easily be excited to see a future signal caller having continued success in a very tough conference of play.
On the same team, a prospect the Buckeyes have long been linked to is Justin Rogers. A talent that can play on both sides of the ball, Rogers is Michigan’s No. 1 ranked player for the 2020 class. Not to mention, Justin is also the top offensive guard for the class and a consensus five-star. A 6-foot-3, 310-pound stud, Rogers can literally do it all. Whether he’s blocking for the aforementioned Mathis, or if he’s on the defensive side of the ball, Rogers always impresses those in attendance.
Oak Park's Justin Rogers, the No. 1 2020 guard in the country right now. He's also playing inside backer on defense and had a tackle the first series. @SWiltfong247 @bartonsimmons https://t.co/aMQdEnh3lW pic.twitter.com/dcuCmkHt3q— Allen Trieu (@AllenTrieu) August 23, 2018
Lately, Justin has hinted a bit at a possible decision coming very soon. While the Buckeyes have long thought to have been the leader for this five-star talent, it has been rumored that he is forming a bit of love for the Georgia Bulldogs—who may be the hottest team on the recruiting trail right now. With the Buckeyes being able to hold onto Meyer, that could help once again sway the Midwest star to stay closer to home, but this is a recruitment that even if it does start off by being owned by Georgia, there’s still plenty of time until 2020’s signing day. From the videos though, this is a prospect clearly any program would love to have.
Buckeyes offer Peach State receiver
With Brian Hartline taking over the reigns as receivers coach, his recruiting tactics and targets are likely to be someone different than in the past. The Buckeyes have (and will be in on) some can’t miss receivers in the current and future classes; and yesterday, a new name came in to the fold.
Blessed to receive a offer from THE ⭕️HIO STATE— 7 (@javondbaker7) August 23, 2018
Javon Baker, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound 2020 receiver from Atlanta, Ga., became the latest prospect to receive the coveted Ohio State offer when he announced it via his Twitter account. A true speedster, Baker is a talent that can play both outside and in the slot. A great route runner, Javon has all of the tools necessary to be a go-to threat for any QB. Currently, Baker checks in as the 22nd best receiver in the 2020 class, but as stated before, that ranking could climb even higher.
An impressive offer list already, Javon holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State. A southern guy, the schools in his area will of course act as sharks in the water, but as it sits now, Baker seems to be entertaining all schools recruiting him. If the Buckeyes want to become a true threat for him, Hartline will have to get to work. Something Ohio State has going for them now more than ever though is a receivers coach who has played the spot at the highest level and speaks from experience.
That can’t do anything but help their chances right?