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Top wide receiver targets for Ohio State in the class of 2021

What does Brian Hartline have up his sleeve for the class 2021 following his impressive wide receiver haul in 2020?

Emeka Egbuka

First year wide receiver coach Brian Hartline was on quite the recruiting tear in the class 2020. The Buckeyes currently have four wide receiver commits in the class of 2020 with five-star Julian Fleming and four-stars Mookie Cooper, Gee Scott Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Many Buckeye fans are very excited with what coach Hartline is building at Ohio State and that excitement should not end anytime soon.

As for the class of 2021, the Buckeyes are off to a great start with their signal caller Kyle McCord already in the fold; he is looking for top wide receivers to join him, though. Between Hartline’s recruiting and McCord being in the class the Buckeyes should be able to add some great receivers in 2021. They are already off to a great start after four-star Jayden Ballard’s commitment last month. In Ballard, the Buckeyes got not only a great player but a great leader.

“He has great hands and I’m excited to work with him,” 2021 quarterback commit Kyle McCord said to Land-Grant Holy Land about Ballard.

As for wide receivers that could join Ballard in the 2021 class, there are many great options for Hartline and McCord to go after.

Let’s get the second segment of ‘McCord’s Men’ going with everyone’s favorite wide receivers. First up is Ohio State’s top priority at receiver in the class 2021: Marvin Harrison Jr., out of St. Joseph’s High School in Philadelphia, Penn. He’s also a high school teammate of McCord.

Some football fans may recognize the name and that is because Harrison Jr. is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Much like his father, Harrison Jr. is a technician at the wide receiver position who runs crisp routes despite his young age. One other thing that stands out about Harrison Jr. is his size and length; at 6-foot-4, he is a large target on the outside that looks natural catching the ball.

As for his recruitment, Harrison Jr. has not been shy about his fascination with Ohio State. He has been to Columbus twice and has a good relationship with coach Brian Hartline. McCord had this to say about Harrison Jr., “he knows how badly I want him at Ohio State with me so I don’t really need to say much to him.”

While the Buckeyes look to be in very good shape for Harrison Jr. one school in pursuit of his commitment is the college football powerhouse Clemson Tigers. The Tigers are very good at recruiting, especially at the wide receiver position.

Beyond Harrison Jr. and Ballard, the two guys that seem to be at the top Ohio State’s board are Emeka Egbuka and Lorenzo Styles Jr.

When it comes to the Steilacoom, Wash., native, Egbuka is an all-around wide receiver that is a national prospect and holds offers from many powerhouse schools. While he is ranked as an athlete on some sites, he would play WR at Ohio. He wasn’t shy about his feelings towards Ohio State, as he told Land-Grant Holy Land, “I love Ohio State and all the energy there.”

As for challengers to Ohio State in his recruitment, there are a few. The in-state Washington Huskies look to be the biggest contender for him along with Stanford and Alabama. When it comes to what McCord had to say about Egbuka, he told Land-Grant Holy Land, “I’m doing my best to recruit him as much as I can.”

Styles Jr. is a different case than Egbuka seeing as he is a legacy recruit whose dad played at Ohio State under coach John Cooper. The Pickerington, Ohio, native has a lot of speed on the outside and in the slot. That makes a lot of sense when you find out he’s also a track star for Pickerington Central. When it comes to catching the football, Styles Jr. is a natural—and he also tracks the ball very well.

Quarterback commit Kyle McCord had this to say about Styles Jr, “I threw with Lorenzo on my visit and he is one of the fastest kids I’ve ever played with at any level.” When it comes to his recruitment, Styles Jr. is a different guy than Egbuka with his recruitment being more of a Midwestern battle between Ohio State and Notre Dame. This could be a recruitment that draws on for a while but look for the Buckeyes to prevail in the end. With Hartline’s receiver recruiting prowess added with Al Washington’s Ohio recruiting reach, it’s making OSU a tough choice for Styles Jr. to pass up. Both players are top targets for Ohio State with Styles Jr. possibly being a little higher on the board seeing as he is an in-state guy.

With Ballard already in the 2021 class, and the Buckeyes looking very good for both Harrison Jr. and Styles Jr., their wide receiver room could get full quickly. Then throw in the possibility of Egbuka committing to the Buckeyes, and the Buckeyes are approaching a full house. Nonetheless, there are a few names for Buckeye fans to keep an eye on: four-star California wide receiver Beaux Collins, four-star Jalil Farooq out of Maryland, and Latrell Neville out of Texas.

Since Hartline became a coach at Ohio State, he has worked to recruit big-time wideouts and that will not stop in the class of 2021. With the way college football rosters are constantly changing, it is difficult to project how many receivers Ohio State will take in 2021. However, expect Brian Hartline to stay hot on the recruiting trail. At the same time, there’s no doubt that McCord is working hard to bring top wide receivers with him and keep this offense at a high level with the class of 2021 and beyond.