Big weekend recruiting events have become a summer staple in college football. A pioneer of one of these events was Ohio State’s former head coach Urban Meyer with his ‘Friday Night Lights’ camp idea. Now, FNL was not all Meyer’s idea. Ohio State’s current Director of Player Personal, Mark Pantoni, was instrumental in the creation of the popular event. While Meyer maybe gone, Pantoni’s recruiting creativity remains strong at Ohio State. This summer, with Ryan Day as the new head man in Columbus, that creativity was put to use.
After Day and Pantoni decided to move on from the FNL style camp, they chose to do more of a family-oriented event which is where the idea of the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ came from. At the barbecue, recruits and their families are able to come together with Ohio State’s coaching staff to continue building relationships.
In college football, recruiting relationships are the name of the game. Young athletes and their families are trusting college coaches to get the best out of these athletes in all aspects of life. Luckily for Ohio State, Ryan Day has stressed the importance of these relationships since being hired as head football coach. Which was made even more clear after seeing all the high character coaches Day brought onto his first coaching staff. One thing that Day has stressed since the beginning is having a family focused program due to himself being a big family man. The ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ was the perfect way for Day to mix relationships and family with a big time summer recruiting event. All of these factors are how the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ came to be.
The event was held on Friday, June 21 from 10 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and its surrounding areas. After talking to a recruit in attendance, here’s how the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ went down. The event started with brief on-field work out with their future position coaches that, according to the recruit, was very informative. Unfortunately, all recruits on official visits are not allowed to workout because of NCAA rules. The on-field workout was followed by a group lifting session led by Mickey Marotti, Ohio State’s head strength and conditioning coach. Former Buckeye (and Indianapolis Colts draftee) Parris Campbell Jr. was also at the workout to give the recruits a glimpse into the rivalry with Michigan.
Once all the workouts were over, the athletes had a quick photo shoot then they joined their families at the Ohio State golf club for the barbecue portion of the event. All of the athletes in attendance got to spend time with the whole coaching staff while eating food and enjoying themselves. From all accounts, the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ was a hit—as to be expected. The barbecue style event fits in perfectly with the way that Day wants to run his program and team. Fans should look forward to the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ becoming a summer staple in Columbus.
As for the overall recruiting aspect of the event, it went over very well. While a large number of commitments didn’t happen last weekend, don’t fret! Those commitments will be coming sooner rather than later.
For the class of 2020, Ohio state currently has the No. 7 class in the country and is the top overall class in the Big Ten with 13 commitments. Ohio State is in a very good position with several top targets that could commit soon, with those prospects being defensive lineman Darrion Henry, tight end Joe Royer, and linebacker/safety Kourt Williams. Ohio State will likely end the summer with 20 or so commitments. With the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ to thank for more than a few of those commitments, Ohio State will be sitting in a familiar spot. On top of all of that, Ohio State will most likely have a top-5 overall class in the country come September.
Needless to say, Day’s first full recruiting class will be full of talent and the ‘Buckeye Bash Barbecue’ can be considered as a success.