The college coaching carousel has really started to take off. It seems every time you refresh your Twitter feed there’s a new development or another program with a head coaching vacancy, and surely that’s going to continue on as we approach bowl season and beyond. In just the last 48 hours, the college football landscape has changed drastically with the news of Lincoln Riley heading to USC after leaving Oklahoma unexpectedly. More is sure to come, but a job change of that magnitude is already impacting the Oklahoma program in a major way.
The Buckeyes, you would think, will also see some sort of coaching changes, and while Ryan Day and the majority of program will be stable and without change, it’s just a fact that after the season things can change in a variety of ways. Less of a real priority here of predicting what will come of the Ohio State staff, this is more so how the Buckeyes can benefit on the recruiting front from the many coaching changes that are happening now and may come in the near future. In this instance, the focus is on the big time opening at Oklahoma. You can guarantee Day and his crew are keeping eyes on the headlines, and on the players both currently on the roster or committed to those programs being affected.
The big one: Oklahoma
The program to really watch for the Buckeyes is Oklahoma. With their success and the success of Ohio State, the Buckeyes and Sooners have gone up against each other more times recently than in the past for top target recruits. Typically, Ohio State has had the edge, but make no mistake about it, the Sooners have also landed some big time players that the Ohio State staff would have loved to have in their classes. As this massive change for Riley to USC has only happened Sunday, the shockwaves are already hitting Oklahoma.
Right away, two of Oklahoma’s top 2023 commits have re-opened their respective recruitments, and not ironically both at one time had Ohio State in the mix before making the verbal pledge to the Sooners.
The first was Brandon Inniss, who had been committed to Oklahoma since August, re-opening his recruitment on Sunday night. Right off the bat, Inniss and his de-commitment has to spark the interest of the Buckeyes because of their previous interest for one, but also because he’s the top receiver in the class as well as the No. 9 player in the country overall. With what Brian Hartline is doing at the receiver position and after landing the top receiver in multiple classes, Inniss being back on the market is going to have the Buckeyes at least shooting their shot. Again, it’s important to note that before his verbal to Oklahoma, Ohio State was certainly in the mix, and now has a chance to get back in touch.
In addition to Inniss, Oklahoma also lost running back Treyaun Webb from their 2023 class Sunday night when he too took to Twitter to announce that he would be re-opening his recruitment. A familiar name for Buckeye fans, Webb, the fifth-ranked running back in the class, of course is a product of Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Florida) that has produced a few other Buckeyes over the years. Originally, Ohio State was in on Webb from the jump, even with his early commitment to Georgia that came before his Sooners verbal.
Now, the Buckeyes seem to be in a great spot for the nation’s best running back, Richard Young, so their interest level in Webb may not be as high as it once was. With how well TreVeyon Henderson has done in his freshman campaign for Ohio State alongside Miyan Williams, position coach Tony Alford has all of the recruiting pitches and tactics he needs to once again land the best running back in the country for the 2023 class.
These two guys are just a pair in the 2023 class that have backed away from the Sooners so far. In addition to those big losses, some major impacts on the current roster are also developing, as quarterback Spencer Rattler already announced his decision to enter the transfer portal and big time receiver Theo Wease is expected to do the same. With the Buckeyes’ embarrassment of riches at the receiver position even for next year, it’s not out of the question that the staff could at least look into Wease with Chris Olave moving on and Garrett Wilson more than likely joining him.
Time will tell, but it’s going to be like buzzards on roadkill with coaches now targeting the Oklahoma’s current and future players.
Sources tell me Oklahoma WR Theo Wease is expected to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. The former five-star Allen prospect accounted for over 650 yards and 6 touchdowns with the Sooners and will have three years available with COVID eligibility. @BrandonDrumm247— Mike Roach (@MikeRoach247) November 29, 2021
On Monday night, the next big domino fell when Brian Kelly was announced as the next head coach at LSU, opening the door for Ohio State both in the recruiting game and in a potential assistant coaching search. You’d imagine Notre Dame will target Luke Fickell, and if so, maybe Ohio State could not only swoop in for players interested in the Irish such as current 2023 commit Brenan Vernon, who is Ohio’s second best player, but also try and poach away their former player Marcus Freeman to leave Notre Dame in his defensive coordinator role and do the same in Columbus. Stranger things have happened.
This winter is going to be an exciting one, and because of the many changes taking place across the landscape of college football, the Buckeyes will be paying close attention and looking to strike while the iron is hot.