With the Buckeyes getting their Week 1 contest out of the way on Thursday with a 45-31 disposal of Minnesota, the coaches were able to hit the recruiting trail and check out some of their top targets in the 2022 and 2023 recruiting class. Plus, one of the top receivers in next year’s cycle gave some positive news to Ohio State on Saturday.
Cook down to 12
When talking about the best of the best at the wide receiver position in the 2023 class, you have to place four-star wide receiver Johntay Cook II of DeSoto (TX) in the discussion. The 6-foot, 170-pounder comes in slotted as the eighth-best player at the position on the 247Sports Composite.
Ohio State jumped into the picture for Cook, the No. 45 overall player in his class, back in May when they threw an offer at the highly-touted wideout. Now, the Buckeyes find themselves firmly in the mix to potentially land his commitment. This weekend, Cook revealed the top programs that he is focusing on going forward.
ALL GLORY TO GOD— Johntay II⚡️ (@_jayythegreat_) September 5, 2021
Recruitment 100% Open pic.twitter.com/wTmSBaHqQt
As shown in the tweet above, the Scarlet and Gray will have the tall task of outlasting Alabama, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, and USC if they hope to add Cook to their 2023 recruiting class.
However, one thing about elite receivers is that Ohio State wide receiver coach Brian Hartline always seems to have more than a puncher’s chance when in pursuit of them. He has shown it time and time again as he’s played a pivotal role in bringing players like Mookie Cooper (now at Missouri), Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming, Marvin Harrison Jr., Gee Scott Jr., Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Jameson Williams (now at Alabama) to Columbus — all of whom were top 100 prospects in their respective recruiting classes. Hartline also put together a 2022 haul of four more blue-chippers that are expected to make their way to Columbus next year in Kojo Antwi, Kaleb Brown, Caleb Burton, and Kyion Grayes.
Hartline checks out Tate
Staying on the theme of wide receivers, Hartline was a busy man just one night after seeing his unit compile over 200 yards receiving and three touchdowns against the Gophers. On Friday night, Hartline made his way down to the Queen City to get a first hand look at four-star wide receiver Carnell Tate of IMG Academy (FL). The Ascenders took on Cincinnati La Salle (OH) and had their way with the Lancers in a 58-7 victory.
In the contest, Hartline would see Tate find the endzone after reeling in a touchdown reception in the win. Tate is scheduled to make his collegiate decision in a little over one month, and all indications are that the Buckeyes are in a battle with Notre Dame, who also had coaches in attendance on Friday, to land his pledge.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is currently graded as the No. 58 overall player in the 2023 class. Tate also comes in at No. 9 at the wide receiver position, one spot below the aforementioned Cook, and has the 13th-highest rating among all seniors in the state of Florida. The 247Sports Crystal Ball is currently split down the middle with one prediction in favor of Ohio State and the other leaning Irish.