Continuous victories over Michigan has led to victories on the recruiting trail, with Ohio State able to snatch the best players out of the state to the North year after year. That tradition continues strong with Michigan Player of the Year Cameron Martinez. While he’s just a three-star (for now) according to the 247sports composite rating, his numbers have been nothing sort of ridiculous.
Martinez has 2,016 rushing yards this year to go along with 35 touchdowns. Even more startling is his yards per carry, sitting at an absurd 8.8. He’s been unstoppable, and that’s why his team, the Muskegon Big Reds, are 13-0 and playing in the Division 3 State Championship this Saturday.
Last year, he was the first junior to take home the prize, rushing for an even better 2,526 yards and 38 touchdowns. For all his rushing exploits though, Martinez is technically a quarterback, and did add another 1,258 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air in 2019. His ability to be a multifaceted weapon has been instrumental in becoming the first two-time winner.
His lack of a true position though has most likely been what’s holding his rating back. His size (mostly his weight) isn’t quite big enough to be an every down back at the next level, and his throwing isn’t really his best quality. He projects to be more of a slot receiver or even a defensive back in college, but doesn’t have much experience in either of those roles.
Regardless, the numbers and awards don’t lie. Martinez is something special, and just another feather in the cap that has been OSU recruiting. The last two winners of the prestigious award went to Michigan and Michigan State respectively, but now the Buckeyes are well and truly in the mix.
I know LGHL just reported Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s move up the rankings, but I thought it would be appropriate to revisit it again. According to 247sports own rankings, OSU has the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 receivers in the class. Just look at how beautiful that picture is.
Rivals.com listed Gee Scott Jr. and Smith-Njigba the most likely candidates to receive a fifth star, and what they did in their last games will certainly help that case. Smith-Njigba had a phenomenal game against a traditional Texas powerhouse in the Allen Eagles. The Eagles have made the semifinals every year since 2011, and Smith-Njigba almost single-handily sent them home to break that streak. He had 15 catches for 252 yards and five touchdowns, and also had a sixth score rushing.
Scott Jr. also had a huge game leading his Eastside Catholic squad to the state semifinals with an eight-catch, 165-yard and three-touchdown performance. It’s crazy how Smith-Njigba’s numbers make those look pedestrian, but make no mistake — those are video game numbers. If both of them can continue their dominant work in the playoffs, an upgrade almost seems inevitable.
So it won’t be a surprise at all if when the new composite rankings come out that OSU will have three five-star receivers in the class, an unprecedented feat. Julian Fleming is even the No. 1 overall player right now according to ESPN. Combine that with Garret Wilson who himself had a five-star rating in 2019, and Justin Fields could very easily have four five-star receivers to throw to next season. If you thought the OSU pass attack was good this year, next year may be historic.
By the way, in case you were wondering about 2021, OSU currently has the No. 9 and No. 11 receivers in that class in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jayden Ballard, respectively, and are favored to get the No. 3 in Beaux Collins. Brian Hartline is currently the No. 1 overall recruiter in 2020 and 2021. Let that sink in for a second.