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Even away from home, Ohio State still hosting top prospects

The Buckeyes will have the nation’s top safety watching Saturday night.

RJ Mickens

Tomorrow evening, the Ohio State Buckeyes face their toughest test of the season as they’ll battle TCU in a top-15 showdown at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. With what the Buckeyes have displayed so far this season, there’s more than enough reason to be both excited and confident in their ability to take home the win. With this game being the primetime game of the weekend, eyes across the country will be on Ohio State. That also includes recruits, as one of the nation’s top safeties will be in attendance at the game.

The best will have his eyes on OSU

Ohio State’s ability to recruit Texas as successfully as they have in recent years has correlated to instant success on the field. When the Buckeyes come on to the field tomorrow night, they’ll be starting most likely four players from the state of Texas—and that alone will have top recruits not only watching on television, but also in person. One highly sought after prospect that will be in attendance is the top overall safety prospect in the 2020 class, RJ Mickens. Yesterday, recruiting writer Bill Kurelic took to Twitter to let Buckeye fans know that Mickens will in fact be in attendance, and it looks to be very clear who he will be watching.

A Southlake, Texas product, Mickens is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety. A hard hitter who is also a great player defending the pass, Mickens is a very polished player already as a high school junior. He currently holds 27 offers, but Ohio State and Texas A&M are the only two schools with 247sports crystal ball predictions.

To brag a little more on RJ’s elite level talent, he’s considered to be the fifth best Texas player for the 2020 class as well as the 34th best player in the entire country. According to Bill Kurelic, TCU has recruited Mickens, but has since closed the lines of communication a bit. With RJ having a pre-existing friendship with current Buckeye Jeffrey Okudah, you can see why he’s high on Ohio State. Saturday night has the potential to really make an impression on this star safety, and that’s exactly what Buckeye fans want to see.

Ohio still loaded with talent

It’s hard to even imagine, but even with how great Ohio State has recruited with Urban Meyer and this coaching staff, there’s still been the occasional complaint that the Buckeyes don’t always make in-state Ohio prospects a true top priority. With a national recruiting approach, the focus gets pulled away from the home state.

Yesterday, 247sports published a tweet showing the top states in the country that produce the largest amount of current NFL players, and Ohio came in at No. 5. The four states in front of Ohio were Florida, California, Texas, and Georgia. No coincidence, Ohio State lands guys from those states year in and year out. This data shows a lot, but what it shows more than anything is that the Buckeyes are going after the right guys, and that’s exactly what they’ll continue to do.

But, at the same time, Meyer and OSU still do recruiting within the home state, and sometimes pull away with the recruiting win. Maybe the in-state recruiting will heat up over the next couple years?