Tomorrow marks a week until kickoff and that’s really all that matters at this point. It’s been a long offseason, and fans are beyond ready to see what this coaching staff and team has in store for the year. Lofty expectations are in store for the Buckeyes—and they will look to get rolling from the start. When the season arrives, recruiting will see its importance ramp up on home game days as the program always plays host to many top recruits each and every chance they can.
With most of their class already locked up, it’s been a dry spell in the recruiting world as of late. As the staff looks to lock up their remaining spots between both signing days, it’s crucial to get positions of need squared away. One of those positions is at running back.
Without further adieu, let’s jump in and take a look at the updated case of the running back spot for the class of 2020.
We’ll be “just fine,” right?
A great part of weekly practice is being able to listen to both player and coach interviews following each on-field session. Player interaction is great too, but hearing coaches give details to scheme, personnel and more is the cherry on top for interviews. Earlier this week, an interview that had Buckeye Nation buzzing was with Tony Alford, the running backs coach.
In his interview, Alford was asked about the current state of running back recruiting. Of course this doesn’t come as a surprise to any with all of the emotional roller coasters the staff has gone through while trying to land an elite level running back for the 2020 class, which is a serious position of need. Being asked the question though, Alford didn’t shy away from words. He mentioned that OSU “will be fine” and “we’re going to get the guys who want to be here.” Statements like this from the position coach show confidence, but is it a sense of too much confidence?
Not to rehash everything that has gone on this cycle, but Ohio State has been a “favorite” to land three elite national recruits at the position and since all were “thought” to have been future Buckeyes, each has gone their separate way. Alford mentioned that when he thought they were going to land key guys such as Bijan Robinson, it’s tough to see them go elsewhere. The class is loaded with talent, but running back is the one spot on offense that really needs to be refilled for the future.
So where do the Buckeyes turn to? Just last week this same question was thought to be answered when LGHL wrote that in-state all-purpose back Michael Drennen II liked what he was hearing from the staff—and how he was fitting in as a priority the rest of the way out. Since then, Kentucky has emerged as the new school that likely leads, and has been most linked with Drennen. It’s just a wild ride to be quite honest. Things change, literally, every week.
Other names that the Buckeyes are linked with are Texas native and son of Emmitt Smith, EJ Smith, and New Jersey star Jalen Berger. If Ohio State lands either of the two, it immensely helps close the door on an incredible 2020 class overall. With only a few remaining spots left, it will be interesting to see where the staff puts their effort and who they give their efforts to. Of course, in a week from now we could be updating the situation yet again. For now though, sit back and trust that the Buckeyes will in fact be “fine.”
- Julian Fleming, the highest ranked commit in Ohio State’s current class, and his prep football team will be televised on ESPN2 this coming Sunday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m.