Ohio State is on one heck of a run recruiting wide receivers.
The hot streak began in the 2019 class, when the Buckeyes went down to Texas and hauled in a five-star WR by the name of Garrett Wilson. With Brian Hartline at the helm of the position group, Ohio State not only snagged the No. 1 WR in the 2020 class in Julian Fleming, but also five-star WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba and another pair of top-100 national recruits in Gee Scott Jr. and Mookie Cooper.
Now, the Buckeyes seem to be on the fast track to once again come away with the No. 1 WR — this time in the 2021 class — as Emeka Egbuka has been pegged an OSU lean for some time now. However, as usual, Ryan Day and his staff can never rest on their laurels in the recruiting game, and so they are already looking ahead to 2022.
They got one step closer with the nation’s top pass-catcher in the junior class on Tuesday, as five-star WR Caleb Burton included Ohio State in his Top 12.
Likely one of Ohio State’s top targets in the 2022 class regardless of position, Burton is the No. 1 WR in the country and the No. 10 overall prospect in the cycle. The Texas native cut his list from nearly 40 offers down to just 12, with the Buckeyes making the cut alongside Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Texas and USC.
It was not a surprise to see Brutus’ face alongside the other mascots on Burton’s graphic, as the 6-foot, 165-pound stud receiver has been high on Ohio State for quite some time. Hartline and crew offered Burton back in March, and since then the two parties have been in constant contact. Speaking to Bucknuts back in May, Burton said things have been going great between he and the Buckeyes’ wide receivers coach.
“I send [Hartline] videos of me working out and he critiques them,” Burton told Bucknuts. “Our relationship is going very well. And my dad and gets along well with coach Hartline and likes the work he has done in the past.”
Burton continued to speak highly of Hartline and the rest of the Ohio State staff when discussing his latest Top 12 with 247Sports on Tuesday.
“Obviously the relationship me and Coach Hartline and Coach Day have and their wide receiver room is always ridiculous and it’s nice to have a ex NFL wide receiver coaching you and looking at what he’s done he’s sent a lots players to the league,” Burton said in regards to why OSU made the cut.
Burton would be a massive get for Ohio State, even with all the wide receiver talent already on their roster. Catching 50 passes for 906 yards and 12 touchdowns in his sophomore season, he has drawn rave reviews for his abilities. 247Sports’ Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks even compared him to Jerry Jeudy.
Good frame potential for typical outside receiver prospect. Flashes impressive timing and high-pointing ability on contested throws. Meets the ball at the apex. Adjusts well with encouraging body control. Gets off the line quickly and on top of corners in a hurry. Shows impressive burst and acceleration. Dangerous in catch-and-run situations. Generally a good hands catcher. Good football pedigree. Adequate to above average on-field long speed but can get faster at the top end. Among the top prospects in Texas for the 2022 class. Possesses all-conference potential with long-term NFL Draft ceiling.
It will still be quite a while before we find out Burton’s college destination, as the Del Valle product expects to make his commitment sometime between the end of his junior year and the beginning of his senior year. As things currently stand, expect Ohio State to be in the mix until the very end.
- According to Bill Kurelic, five-star OT Tristan Leigh is making his ‘best effort’ to visit Ohio State for what has become known as “Buckeye Bash” on Oct. 24. LSU has pulled ahead and appears to be in the drivers seat for Leigh’s commitment, but getting the Virginia native on campus and around the rest of Ryan Day’s stacked 2021 class would likely be Ohio State’s best chance at stealing the talented offensive tackle away from the Tigers before the buzzer.
- Ohio State is also still in the hunt for four-star safety Derrick Davis Jr., but is probably lagging behind Penn State in a two-horse race. Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports spoke with Davis’ father recently, and he said the Buckeyes are still a “major player,” and have conducted a number of Zoom calls with the talented DB. However, at this time it seems that the in-state Nittany Lions are the team to beat.