The Ohio State Buckeyes don’t play on the field this weekend, but after rolling into their first of two bye weeks, the staff, players, and fans have to love the direction the team is headed and where it where it could end up in the second half of the season. Unbeaten, and more impressively poised, Ryan Day and his staff have a lot to be excited about at this point. While this Saturday won’t produce a game, the staff will surely be all over the map proving their really isn’t anything for a true “bye” when you’re a part of the Buckeye program.
Right now the actual on field season is the clear and obvious priority, but if there’s a second on a bye week it’s recruiting. Urban Meyer and his mantra that “recruiting is the lifeblood of a program” has reigned true for Day and that’s in large part why they continue to see the successes that they do on the field each weekend.
With visits to recruits in the 2020 and 2021 classes sure to have happened throughout the week, Ohio State is steadfast in their recipe for winning both on and off the field. You’d be hard-pressed to find a staff that recruits harder than Ohio State and that looks to be staying in Columbus for the long haul.
Have to keep this one at home!
Ohio State will soon enough be wrapping up a loaded class of 2020. In fact, it’s been a fun ride to watch how well Ryan Day and staff have recruited in their first year at the helm of the program. With elite talent coming from both in and out of state, the Buckeyes notching another top class in the country is all but cemented in stone even in October. Fast forwarding to 2021 though and you can see much of the same dynamic. Ohio State is locking up their best in-state guys, and doing their best to hand-pick the rest of the elite prospects from every corner of the country.
So far, the Buckeyes have five current commits in their 2021 class, four of them coming from Ohio; Jack Sawyer, Ben Christman, Jayden Ballard, and Reid Carrico. The final current commit, Kyle McCord hails from nearby Pennsylvania.
The four in-state guys are currently four of the top five players in the state. The lone player missing from that top five, Lorenzo Styles Jr. (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central). A 6-foot-1, 170 pound receiver that currently sits as the nation’s 21st ranked receiver, a top-105 prospect regardless of position, and Ohio’s fourth best player in the class of 2021.
One would think that this recruitment would be all but locked up due to how well the receiver recruiting is going, and considering that he is the son of a former Buckeye football player. So what’s the deal in this one? How do the Buckeyes not yet have this already in the commit column?
The problem isn’t why, but whom else. Notre Dame is the other blue blood in this race, and while the Buckeyes have battled the Irish several times for their private school in-state kids, this may come as a bit of a surprise to have to recruit a kid in their own back yard this hard especially knowing his family lineage.
Now, before we hit the panic button, there’s more than enough time in Styles’ recruitment of Styles, but as it stands right now though, the visits to Notre Dame for Lorenzo are still planned and insiders such as Director of Recruiting for 247sports, Steve Wiltfong have made it clear that they believe the Irish are the leader, and have done enough to land a current Notre Dame crystal ball forecast.
With Hartline and Day though, you can guarantee this battle has only just begun. All Lorenzo needs to do is turn on Sunday NFL football to see the litany of Buckeye receivers in the NFL making their mark. Lorenzo knows exactly what the Buckeyes can offer him. They’re in his back yard and closer to his heart than most recruits’. This race will be a wild one, but don’t expect Ohio State to let the Irish come in and take one of their very best that easily.
Thanks *ichigan, for one of the best in the country
It’s not talked about enough how good current 2020 Buckeye commit, Cameron Martinez (Muskegon, Michigan/Muskegon) is at football. The 15th best athlete in the country according to 247sports is not only a freak-show of a talent on offense, but can even play defense at the next level. Leading his team to his second-state championship appearance last season for the Big Reds, much of the same could be said for his senior season as Muskegon is still unbeaten after being tested several times by some of the top teams in the state. Cam and his squad are rolling right now and the accolades continue to come in, proving that the Buckeyes stole one of the best from The Team Up North, and that couldn’t be sweeter.
Yesterday, the USA Today High School Sports section published their nominees for “ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year” for their Midwest region. And no surprise at all, Buckeye commit, Martinez made the cut. In his last game alone, Martinez at quarterback rushed for nearly 100 yards on the ground on 19 carries and notched another four touchdowns to his season total. Through the air, Cameron threw for another 200 yards and while he doesn’t always have to play a full game every week, he’s still posting individual stats that prove he is truly one of the best athletes not only in the Midwest, but in the country. Ohio State landed a prospect that can do it all and it will be exciting to see where the staff decides to fit him in.