Believe it or not, it’s a busy time for the Buckeyes, even though it’s late January and just the start of the so-called “offseason”. Everyone knows at Ohio State there’s no such thing as an offseason, and both the staff and players are showing exactly why that’s true. Shoot, even former Buckeyes are proving that’s the case as they’re still on the field looking to boost their stock for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
Right now is an exciting time for the program because it’s offer season. The coaching staff will be out on every corner of the country targeting the next elite talents to come play for Ohio State. Throughout the week, new offers have gone out in pursuit of the next great Buckeyes. In addition, strength coach Mickey Marotti has the players already going full head of steam in the weight room for their winter workouts.
Fortunate enough to also have 14 class of 2020 recruits enrolled and on campus, OSU is wasting zero time as they attack everyday with their ultimate goals in mind.
Buckeyes busy on the recruiting trail
Ohio State has always made the state of Florida a strong priority when it comes to recruiting. While the entire state is loaded with top talent each and every year, there’s one specific Sunshine State school that’s always kind to the Buckeyes recruiting efforts. Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas needs no introduction, as it’s helped Ohio State land stars such as the Bosa brothers and Damon Arnette. A top prep program nationwide, Aquinas pumps out college football players at a high rate, and the Buckeyes have been on the receiving end of some of the best to ever come out of the program.
Yesterday, Ohio State once again made their presence in South Florida when they offered 2021 St. Thomas Aquinas product, Ja’Den McBurrows. A 5-foot-10, 165 pound cornerback, McBurrows may not be as highly rated as the typical Ohio State offer as the 78th best at his position, but with double-digit offers from the likes of Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee, and now Ohio State — among others — it’s clear that McBurrows is a player that regardless of ranking status is highly regarded.
The Buckeyes have always had success with Aquinas and while this recruitment is just starting, you have to like Ohio State to at least be a factor moving forward.
Switching to the other side of the ball, the Buckeyes have been on a roll when it comes to offensive line recruiting. In the 2020 class, they struck gold with multiple guys including the nation’s best overall tackle in Paris Johnson Jr. — the top overall prospect in Ohio. Looking ahead to the 2021 class, the Buckeyes already have two studs committed with Donovan Jackson and Ben Christman, and will certainly be on the hunt for more the rest of the way. Yesterday, the 2022 class made a dent in the headlines, as an offer was given to 6-foot-4, 300-pound Texas native Kam Dewberry.
Only a high school sophomore, Dewberry already possesses the size of a big time college football player, but with two full prep seasons still to grow into his strength and ability on the field. He’s a prospect that will easily be one to keep a close eye onmoving forward. In fact, even though he’s far from signing anywhere, Dewberry already holds nearly 20 offers from some of the nation’s top programs. His offers thus far include Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M among others.
Ranked as the No. 3 offensive tackle for the early 2022 ratings and the No. 7 player in Texas, Ohio State will be all over this recruitment moving forward, especially given the success they have had recently recruiting the Lone Star state.
Back to the defensive side of the ball, no position has been as impressive as the defensive-end spot for Ohio State. There’s no debating Larry Johnson is the best at his job in the country, and with how well the Buckeyes are proving that in both the NFL and in Columbus, recruits should be lining up to play for he and the Buckeyes. His track record more than speaks for itself, and is a huge reason why the success continues to repeat itself each and every year.
A major factor in this strong run has been the ability to find prospects that will develop into guys poised to ruin a quarterback’s day. Right now, the search for those guys is underway.
Yesterday, North Carolina’s Jahvaree Ritzie was on the receiving end of an Ohio State offer. The 6-foot-4, 265 pound defensive end is highly touted as the No. 8 player at his position in the 2021 class and the No. 7 player in his home state. Holding over 20 scholarship offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Penn State, and many more, Ohio State is now in the fold.
As mentioned, the Buckeyes have a huge recruiting advantage in terms of recent success at the position. It may be too early to tell, but that proven track record gives reason to believe the Buckeyes will be a factor in this recruitment.
The final piece in 2020
It’s been a few weeks now that Muskegon, Michigan native Cameron Martinez has been the lone 2020 pledge not to sign with Ohio State — yet. Doing his due diligence after the departure of Jeff Hafley, Martinez wanted to see who Ohio State was going to bring into the fold in his place to help coordinate the defense.
Hearing from and entertaining schools such as Notre Dame and Northwestern since then, the Buckeyes have wanted nothing but to keep Martinez in the fold as their final piece to the class. A lot has happened in the past few weeks, including the hiring of Kerry Coombs, who is more than familiar with the Buckeye program and even recruiting the state up north.
Last week, Ryan Day was in attendance for Martinez’s Muskegon basketball game, and while Notre Dame was also there, it’s still the Buckeyes who have the commitment of Martinez. Yesterday, possibly the greatest asset to getting him in the fold officially occurred, when Coombs was able to see Martinez in home and spend time making sure he knows where he will fit into this team’s plans as the two began to develop a relationship with each other.
With the February’s National Signing Day under two weeks away, yesterday’s visit was a huge key to the puzzle, and could be the piece that completes the picture.