It almost feels like it’s still the year 2020 with Urban Meyer heading to Jacksonville to be the next head coach of the Jaguars, but it’s definitely proving that 2021 is off with a bang. This is relevant news, as it could have a direct impact on Ohio State’s recruiting efforts.
The main fear for Ohio State fans is the poaching of Urban’s top guys — mainly Mickey Marotti and Mark Pantoni. In this case, the real concern is Pantoni potentially being someone Meyer would want with him in Jacksonville. With Pantoni being one of the main keys to the Ohio State recruiting machine, it would be a big hit if he were to head back to his home state of Florida.
On one hand, it would be understandable because Urban is who gave him his start, but on the other Pantoni is really one of if not the best in the business at his job title. The concerns are definitely worth considering, but reports have already started to surface that the dynamic duo of Marotti and Pantoni are thought to be staying at Ohio State and continuing to lead the charge as two of the most integral pieces of Ryan Day’s staff.
That said, don’t worry about the Buckeyes and their recruiting efforts. The momentum is going to be hard to stop regardless.
At this point, @LettermenRow sources have indicated that Ohio State is not expected to lose any coaches to Jacksonville. Multiple sources have also indicated that Mickey Marotti and Mark Pantoni are planning to remain with the Buckeyes.— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) January 15, 2021
Buckeyes making an early impact on 2023 blue-chipper
As it is in every recruiting cycle, offensive line will be a major priority for the Buckeyes in both the 2022 and 2023 classes. Everyone knows that games are won in the trenches, and Ohio State will have to continue bringing in elite talent on both sides of the ball to keep winning at the level they currently are.
Fortunately, Ohio State is standing out early to several top linemen. Whether it be in-state or nationally, the Buckeyes and position coach Greg Studrawa will be putting in overtime hoping to land their top targets early and often. After 2021’s little hiccups recruiting the position, the priority to land top-caliber players early in the process will be key.
Yesterday, Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts gave an update on 2023 offensive tackle prospect Kadyn Proctor, saying Ohio State is already a top school in his recruitment. Though it’s early, the Buckeyes love to build relationships with their top targets, allowing them to not only stand out from other top programs, but also help them win out in the end. Knowing Proctor’s talent, it’s not a surprise that the Buckeyes offered him back in December, and will be a player in his recruitment consistently since he’s in the footprint of the Big Ten and a player that is certainly of Ohio State caliber.
A 6-foot-7, 300-pound monster of teenager, Proctor is currently only a high school sophomore. Of course with that size, he already has the frame to be the perfect offensive tackle with size and length. Still, with two full seasons of prep ball to continue his development, it’s pretty easy to see why he will be one of the more sought after players in his class.
Currently, Proctor checks in as the third-best tackle prospect in the country, the No. 31 player nationally, and the top player in Iowa for 2023. As stated, the Buckeyes have offered and Proctor clearly has interest as well in what Ohio State has to offer. This will be a name worth paying close attention to moving forward.
Murphy sheds light on top schools list
In yesterday’s edition of State Secrets, we touched on the top schools list of the nation’s top inside linebacker, Shawn Murphy. Coming as no surprise, Ohio State made the cut for Murphy as he trimmed his nearly 50 offers down to a final eight. With nothing but the best of the best in college football still under consideration for the Virginia native, Ohio State will really have to battle to land his services.
As we touched on Thursday, at one time it really did seem like the Buckeyes had serious momentum, and while things have certainly not cooled between the two parties, it does feel as if his name is not mentioned as much. That simply could be due to the fact that Ohio State does already have three players committed at the linebacker position for the 2022 class.
With his top schools announced, Murphy has given a taste as to what stands out about each program and what peaks his interest. In regards to the Buckeyes, it’s his close relationship with position coach Al Washington. In his own words, the two have “a very nice bond.” When Washington was brought to Ohio State, it was not only his coaching, but also his recruiting that had the Buckeyes excited for him to join the staff. His abilities have been seen everywhere he’s been, and in 2022 especially he’s proving his worth both on and off the field.
In addition to Murphy’s bond with Washington, he also believes he can fit into Ohio State’s defensive system right away. Simply put, the Buckeyes are definitely one of the eight that really stand out, but there’s also others. Even without a prediction on the 247Sports Crystal ball, it could very well be Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, and likely Florida who lead the pack here, but all eight schools of course are in the running still for a reason.
As this recruitment continues, it will be key for the Buckeye staff to get Murphy back on campus when he’s allowed to do so. Continuing to build a strong relationship with him thanks to Washington looks to be the biggest factor and chance for Ohio State to win out in the end. Fortunately, the position coach knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to both recruiting players and relationship building.