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Buckeyes the early leaders for elite 2022 running back target

Can Tony Alford bring in yet another top running back?

Four-star 2022 RB Nicholas Singleton
Mark Brennan, 247Sports

We actually made it! Ohio State football is coming back and that news alone helps save us from all the negativity the past month or so has brought in regards to the Big Ten nightmare. Sure, it may be almost 40 days away, but the fact that the Buckeyes are going to take the field at all this fall truly feels like a miracle, and is all you can ask for at this point.

With how talented this team is, it would have been a shame to not see them in action, and would’ve left Ohio State’s coaches, players and fans wondering what could have been for years to come. If all goes well, thankfully, that won’t have to be the case. Ryan Day and his crew have been preparing as if they were going to play, so when it comes time to do so, the Buckeyes will without a doubt be ready to go.

Though this week has brought tons of good news, the mid-week announcement that the NCAA once again extended the recruiting dead period did bring a bit of pain, especially to the players who suffer because of this. If there’s a silver lining to any of it, Ohio State has navigated through the troubles without skipping a beat.

Of course the staff and recruits themselves would love to get to campus and actually live out what the recruiting process is supposed to be, but here we are. As the chase to finish the 2021 class continues and the momentum in 2022 moves along, the one common theme you can always expect is that Ohio State will recruit at the highest of levels even in the midst of a pandemic.

Buckeyes the early leader for 2022 RB

Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford has been on an absolute tear when it comes to the recruiting grind. After a mishap in the 2020 cycle, his ability to bounce back and dominate on the trail since then has him receiving the recognition he rightfully deserves.

With the current 2021 class completely locked up at the RB spot with the nation’s top back in the country in TreVeyon Henderson and high four-star Evan Pryor both in the fold for the Buckeyes, you may think Alford would take a bit of a breather, but he has other plans. His full attention is now locked on the 2022 class and once again bringing in more elite talent.

It’s important for Alford to build strong relationships with his targets early so those bonds can pay off come decision time. Alford has already been all over his top targets list and is obviously putting in overtime, currently sitting as the fifth-best recruiter in the country according to 247Sports. At running back, one prospect who is sure to be in it until the very end is Pennsylvania native Nicholas Singleton (Reading, PA/Governor Mifflin) — a 5-foot-11, 195-pound back with plenty of star power to be a key piece in anyone’s back field.

Ranked as the No. 3 player in Pennsylvania for the 2022 class, Singleton also checks in as the seventh-best running back as well as the No. 108 player overall in the country, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. With offers from nearly 30 of the best schools in the country, it’s not hard to see why the Buckeyes are making him feel as if he’s their top dude on the trail.

The good news for Alford and Ohio State, according to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts, is that Singleton has the Buckeyes as his early leader in his recruiting process. A big time step in the right direction, the path to landing yet another elite running back could be well underway.

As if that news isn’t already stellar, when you consider what Ohio State has done in the state of Pennsylvania lately, it’s really a blow to Penn State — which makes it all the more enjoyable. Taking Julian Fleming, the best receiver in the country in 2020, out of the state and then your five-star QB in 2021 in Kyle McCord plus guys like Marvin Harrison Jr., the Buckeyes are clearly having their way in enemy territory. Ohio State hopes to continue that trend with Singleton.

Quick Hits:

  • Though the NCAA’s decision to extend the recruiting dead period is horrible for the kids, there may be a slight advantage for Ohio State and their recruitment of the five-star top receiver in the country, Emeka Egbuka. Egbuka’s strongest relationship in his recruitment has publicly been Brian Hartline, the Buckeyes receiver coach. The fortuante part if you are Ohio State is the longer Egbuka is unable to visit other programs — mainly Oklahoma — the more likely the Buckeyes existing relationship wins out. Still a ways to go in this one, but Hartline and Ohio State still look to be the front-runner.