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Ohio State recruiting: Buckeyes host New Jersey’s top 2020 prospect

Ohio State receives unofficial visit from nation’s 5th best ATH

SB Nation

It’s been said before, but Ohio State’s ability to recruit with so much success stems mainly from their ability to develop their players for the NFL. When you take into consideration last night’s first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s further proof that the Buckeye program is doing everything the right way when it comes to getting their guys to the next level.

Top level talent comes to Columbus not only to compete for national championships, but to also work toward their lifelong goal of playing on Sunday. When a larger number of them are doing so currently, more elite level recruits are sure to let the Buckeyes do the same for them if they so choose to suit up in the Scarlet and Gray.

New Jersey’s finest stops in Columbus

One of the many things Ohio State does well offensively is their ability to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers. Fortunately, Ryan Day’s 2019 offense will once again be loaded with elite offensive talent. With size and speed, the Buckeyes will surely be one of the more potent offenses yet again in the Big Ten and college football world. Yes, coaching and scheme play a huge role into the success Ohio State has had, but without playmakers, you’re just not as valuable.

Yesterday, Ohio State hosted a prospect they would love to have in their 2020 class. Checking all of the boxes that a playmaker should, New Jersey native Jalen Berger was able to stop by campus for a 1-day unofficial visit while seeing some other schools in the region. A 6-foot, 185-pound burner of a player, Berger has no short list of accolades. Checking in as the nation’s fifth best athlete, the top overall player in New Jersey in his class, and a top fifty player nationally, Jalen has everything you’d want on your roster. Battle tested too, Berger plays his prep ball at Don Bosco Prep, one of the state’s best high school programs. To have a ranking like that is major, but to earn it against playing top talent each week of his prep career makes it that much more impressive.

No stranger to Ohio State, the Buckeyes were elated to get Berger on campus even for a short period of time. After hanging out with Coach Tony Alford for much of his visit, it looks as if all things went well for Jalen and Ohio State. Currently, even though there are only two predictions on the 247sports crystal ball, both are in favor of the Buckeyes. With offers from nearly 30 schools—and most if not all of the top programs in the country—the recruitment for Berger is sure to be one that’s hard fought. For Day and Ohio State though, things look to be setting for a solid foundation.

In-state talent ready to release top schools list

One of the many aspects to Ryan Day that has Ohio State fans excited is his priority to recruit within his own borders and make an added effort to keep Ohio’s best players at home in the Buckeye state. While recruiting nationally will of course still be a goal in mind, when an elite prospect from Ohio is on the board, Ohio State will be pulling out all of the stops to keep them home. Off to a solid start already in the 2020 class, Day and the rest of the staff know there’s still guys out there that are high priority targets for this current cycle. One is none other than Cincinnati native Darrion Henry. No stranger to the Buckeye recruiting followers, Henry has been a top target for some time now.

Last checking into Columbus for the Ohio State spring game just two weeks ago, Henry has probably seen all that he needs to when considering the Buckeyes. Add the fact that he would be developed by the nation’s best and proven defensive line coach and you can see why every prediction on the 247sports crystal ball favors Henry staying close to home. With all of the aspects the Buckeyes have going for themselves though, Henry still does not at least publicly have his mind made up. He does however have a list of schools and announced via his Twitter that his final list will be coming soon.

With Ohio State expected to make this list, it will be interesting to see who else is being seriously considered by the nation’s third best defensive end prospect and Ohio’s second best player. After making his rounds through SEC country this spring, you can bet a few of those programs will make the cut, but Ohio State has to like where they stand for one of their best home state players. It’s not a done deal yet by any means, but at the very least, Ohio State has set a firm foundation with Henry.

Quick Hit

  • The Director of Recruiting for 247sports, Steve Wiltfong, has said that he believes from multiple accounts that the current leader for five-star running back Kendall Milton is Ohio State. As the Buckeyes look to land their top running back talent, they’d love for it to be Milton.