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Column: Ohio State’s offensive explosion was well timed with two specific offensive targets in attendance

With a pair of four-star offensive prospects in attendance, the Buckeyes high level output on offense couldn’t have come at a better time.

Devin Brown
Blair Angulo, 247Sports

No. 3 Ohio State took care of business inside of Ohio Stadium yesterday against No. 7 Michigan State thanks in part to an offensive explosion in the first half. The Buckeyes would ultimately amass over 600 yards in total offense and pieced together 56 points in the conference victory on senior day. With that being said, the timing of the high level offensive display might have come at the best time possible with two key offensive targets roaming the sidelines and witnessing the output first hand.

Making his way from the beehive state was 2022 four-star quarterback Devin Brown, a current USC commit, of Corner Canyon (UT) for an official visit. The 6-foot-3, 189-pounder surely took note of the performance that came at the hands of Ohio State starting quarterback and likely Heisman finalist CJ Stroud. Brown was able to take in an effort from Stroud that saw the Buckeye signal caller stand in the pocket and pick apart the Spartans defensive secondary all day on his way to 432 yards passing and topped it off with six touchdown tosses.

Michigan State v Ohio State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With Brown likely the only quarterback prospect that could be considered as a realistic option for a spot in the class, barring coaching changes, it’s hard to argue the importance of having him on campus to witness the standout performance by Stroud. Brown is at an important stretch now in his recruitment in which he has to make a decision on whether or not he should stick things out with USC, as Brown has been a Trojan pledge since September of last year, or he moves on and heads elsewhere.

Brown, a Draper native, is currently graded as the No. 59 player overall in his class and should be one to monitor closely as the Buckeyes remain on the hunt to fill the void left by Quinn Ewers’ reclassification. The key Ohio State target for Head Coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis is also slotted as the No. 5 highest graded quarterback and the very best player in the state of Utah.

Another player that likely came away with a positive outlook on what a potential fit with the Buckeyes would look like is 2023 four-star wide receiver Carnell Tate of IMG Academy (FL). For Tate, this was his second game day visit to Columbus this year as he also took in the contest against Penn State in which the Buckeyes walked away as 33-24 winners over the Nittany Lions.

This time though, Tate, a Chicago native, had the opportunity to watch Ohio State’s top three pass catchers in Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Garrett Wilson all eclipse the century mark in yards and reach 371 yards combined on the day. The trio and sophomore wide receiver Julian Fleming were all able to haul in touchdown receptions as well which could be appealing to Tate as the Buckeyes showed an ability to get different wide receivers involved.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Michigan State at Ohio State Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tate is still taking visits to programs around the country and is expected at Tennessee next weekend but for now, it seems as if the battle for the No. 7 highest graded wide receiver is going to come down to Ohio State or Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is also penciled in as the 40th best prospect in next year’s class and the eight best player from the always loaded state of Florida.

Perhaps the next step for Ohio State in leaving a big impression on Tate is having their top trio of receivers surpass the 1,000 yard mark in the same season. Entering today, Smith-Ngijba is the lone pass catcher for the Buckeyes to surpass the mark. However, Wilson is just 61 yards away from joining him and Olave is only 152 yards away from reaching the mark as well. If the three ultimately finish strong and hit the feat, it would be incredible as only five former Buckeyes have done it in the past and it would be no surprise if that catches the attention of Tate, and many other wide receiver targets for Brian Hartline, going forward.