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Buckeyes trying to close in on blue-chip RB

Ohio State is set to host one of its top running back targets

Even though the current Buckeyes aren’t on the football field, it’s still a big week for Ohio State. Former players are showing how well they were developed by the Buckeye program as they compete at the NFL Combine. While NFL scouts are evaluating how these former Buckeyes can help their team, the Ohio State coaches are using this once again as an opportunity to show the top recruits in the country that they too can be on that stage if they come to Columbus.

Invading Michigan never felt so great

It’s always great when you’re able to go into your biggest rival’s back yard and steal their top prospects, regardless of position. In the 2020 class, Ohio State landed Cameron Martinez, who was named Michigan’s Mr. Football — twice — as he was highly lauded in back-to-back years. Proving there’s no love for their greatest foe, the Buckeyes also have a secret weapon in Kerry Coombs who recruits the state up north with the very best of them.

The poaching of Michigan-native talent isn’t going to end any time soon. In fact, it may just be getting to it’s peak under Ryan Day.

Earlier this week some news broke regarding Michigan’s top prospect for the 2021 class. West Bloomfield’s Donovan Edwards is currently the No. 3 running back in the country, and plays his high school football within an hour of Michigan’s campus. With that, it’s been communicated over and over how much of a priority Edwards should be for the Wolverines and Jim Harbaugh. Though the RB is right in Michigan’s back yard, it’s seemingly a two-team race in his recruitment, with Ohio State being the other program vying for his services.

Until this week, the 247Sports Crystal Ball favored the in-state Wolverines. But, the real news was when highly-regarded recruiting analysts such as Steve Wiltfong and Allen Trieu “flipped” their Crystal Ball forecasts away from Michigan and now in favor of Ohio State. Causing nothing short of a panicked meltdown for Wolverine fans, OSU looks to have the inside track right now, and that’s not just because of the Crystal Ball predictions.

It’s no secret how important the running back position is for Ohio State in the 2021 class. The staff is making it their top priority, and while they are in on many of the nation’s best guys, it looks and feels as if they are really making progress for the aforementioned Edwards. Interestingly enough, the very reason Edwards may be trending towards Columbus and away from Ann Arbor has to do with feeling like a priority.

Edwards has been quoted as saying the Buckeyes are recruiting him the hardest, and others have pointed to the possibility that Michigan may have been taking for granted his proximity and potential to be a Wolverine just because of where he’s from. If Ohio State can gain momentum in their favor off of that plea then they certainly will.

In regards to what’s next, the good news for Ohio State concerning Edwards is that he will be back to Columbus for yet another unofficial visit in just over a week. Reported first by Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts.com, Edwards will be making his fifth unofficial visit to Columbus to see what they Buckeyes have to offer him in both football and life after the game. Having a handful of visits already to Ohio State, the two parties have a strong relationship, but each visit is an opportunity for the staff to seal the deal and make Edwards even more comfortable with seeing his future in Scarlet and Gray.

Quick Hits

  • Four-star 2021 defensive end Tunmise Adeleye revealed that the three programs recruiting him the hardest are Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Florida. The No. 3 defensive end in the country is scheduled to commit on August 1.
  • Current 2021 commit Jaylen Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) continues to see his stock rise, as he is now ranked as the 17th-best safety prospect in the country in 247Sports’ own ratings and is now a composite four-star thanks to the most recent rankings update.