“Now, with Ryan Day running the show in Columbus, Ohio State still looks to be a formidable presence in one of the country’s most fertile recruiting grounds.”
With the state of Florida functioning as one of the largest hotbeds for young football talent, it was no surprise that former Ohio State head coach put a heavy focus on recruiting in the Sunshine State. After Urban Meyer’s retirement, some wondered if the Buckeyes would be able to maintain such a presence in the state that provided them with players such as Joey and Nick Bosa, Damon Arnette and Shaun Wade, to name a few. Well, if current crystal ball projections hold true, it seems that Day will not skip a beat in the nation’s 27th state.
It all starts with five-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy, who made it clear at The Opening’s Miami regional event that the Buckeyes are his No. 1 choice at this point in time. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound receiver out of St. Thomas Aquinas is the fifth-ranked wideout in the country and the No. 2 overall recruit in the state of Florida. With Ohio State’s 2020 class already securing a pair of four-star wide receivers in Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Gee Scott Jr., Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes could be looking at a monster class at that position.
OSU is also still in the mix for a number of four-star cornerbacks from the state of Florida, including Henry Gray and Fred Davis II, both of which have been forecasted by some analysts to wind up in Columbus. Gray, formerly committed to Miami, is seemingly currently between Ohio State or Clemson. The same is true for Davis. Both Davis and Gray are two of the top recruits in their home state, ranking at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.
The Buckeyes are also still in the running for corners Miles Brooks and Lejond Cavazos. Brooks, a teammate of the aforementioned Davis, plans on returning to Columbus this spring where he can reunite with former teammates. Cavazos, who decommitted from Ohio State after Meyer’s retirement, is still considering OSU as well as other schools among the likes of Georgia, Oregon and Miami.
“It’s no surprise, then, that the Buckeyes have been active in the transfer market. OSU has spoken with at least three different grad transfer linemen from Power 5 programs.”
Ohio State is losing two starters along the offensive line with the departure of Michael Jordan to the NFL Draft and Isaiah Prince exhausting eligibility. While the Buckeyes already have some guys on the roster that can fill those spots, and added 2019 signees Dawand Jones and Enokk Vimahi (who will leave for a two-year mission), they still remain thinner than Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa would prefer. As a result, they have been pretty active in the transfer market.
There are currently at least three grad transfer O-linemen that OSU has spoken with. Those three are Jonah Jackson, R.J. Proctor and Parker Braun. Jackson, who last played at Rutgers, looked to be the most probable of the trio to end up a Buckeye at the beginning, but after his visit with Oklahoma seemingly went well, his decision is still up in the air. An honorable mention All-Big Ten player in 2018, Jackson would be a huge get for Ohio State as an instant plug-and-play guy.
Proctor and Braun don’t seem any closer to a decision either. Proctor, from Virginia, is set to visit OSU at the beginning of March. He spent last weekend at Texas and is also considering Florida State, Houston and Oklahoma. Braun, from Georgia Tech, is a two-time all-ACC selection. He is currently in the process of setting up a meeting with Ohio State.
“We’ve done some things this year differently to try and keep [Kaleb Wesson] at a higher fitness level with our strength staff. We have to continue to keep our thumb on that.”
Ohio State men’s basketball is currently in the midst of an incredibly difficult stretch. After collapsing in the second period against No. 11 Michigan State on Sunday, losing to the Spartans 62-44 after leading at halftime, they still must play four ranked opponents in their last six games of the regular season. With a NCAA Tournament appearance very much in jeopardy, they will have to win a majority of those games. In order to do that, they are going to need a much better effort from Kaleb Wesson.
Wesson started off the season hot, averaging 14.4 points in November and over 18.8 points in December. However, once the new year kicked off and the conference schedule began, Wesson began to falter. In January, the big man’s scoring had fallen to around 11.6 points per game, having now gotten back up slightly to 13.2 points per game in February with three contests still to be played this month. However, even with the slight uptick in scoring, none of it has come easy for Wesson as it has been a struggle to even stay on the floor with constant foul trouble.
While some of these trends could be attributed to stiffer competition in the conference schedule as opposed to earlier non-conference opponents, it is also an issue of fatigue. The 6-foot-9, 270-pound sophomore may be experiencing both physical and mental fatigue as the long college basketball season grinds on. While Holtmann has noted the team is taking steps to limit his physical fatigue, the mental aspect may be more concerning.
Wesson is clearly frustrated with some of the fouls called against him, forcing him to spend large chunks of time on the bench. As a result, he must change his style of play, which is something that likely makes him uncomfortable and could be a reason for some of the big man’s struggles. Regardless of what is going on with Ohio State’s leading scorer, they are going to need Wesson to really lock in over these last six games if the team has any hopes in playing meaningful basketball past the conference tournament.