It’s pretty hard to believe that Ohio State hasn’t landed a five-star running back for more than a decade. Wild, right? It’s been 14 recruiting classes, going back to the class of 2006, since Ohio State pulled in a five-star halfback. It was Beanie Wells then, and we know how that turned out. Since then, Ohio State has certainly had its fair share of elite halfbacks, and has even gotten close to pulling in a few five-stars, but has had no luck bringing in the nation’s truly elite college backs.
In his first recruiting class, Ryan Day is looking to change that. How can we tell? Well, look no further than Ohio State’s top two running back targets in the 2020 class: Kendall Milton and Bijan Robinson. Both five stars, both top 25 players nationally, ranked as the third and fifth best backs in the country, respectively.
Now, recruiting five-stars and landing them is a different story. Ohio State is recruiting Robinson, but at this point, they don’t seem to be atop his list of schools. Milton, on the other hand, included Ohio State in his final four last week, and on Monday evening, he made an announcement that should capture the imagination of quite a few Buckeye fans and coaches.
Now, generally the first official visit has a bit of a stigma around it. It’s largely considered that the later the official visit the better, but I don’t think you should buy into that as fully as some may. Late visits are great, but the last time Milton was on campus, Ohio State blew him away so much that they jumped into his top two after being an afterthought.
With the red carpet fully rolled out on a visit, it’s easy to imagine a similar experience for Milton on his second visit to Columbus.
Another factor to consider: five-star receiver Julian Fleming is set to announce his commitment on May 31. Many consider him an Ohio State lean, and while it’s not a huge deal, the momentum of landing a separate five star on day one of Milton’s visit would absolutely be noticed by Kendall. Is that the kind of thing that wins a recruitment? No, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt, and it’s easy to imagine that Ohio State was thinking the same thing when they set up this visit. Look for the weekend of May 31 to be a big one at Ohio State.