It’s the middle of February, and that means Ohio State’s current roster is going through the grueling offseason workouts the strength staff is putting together. Whether it be in the weight room or on the field for mat drills, the Buckeyes are doing everything in their power to use this time to get stronger and for motivation to finish next season the way they desired this past year. It certainly isn’t lost on the staff and players that they were called “soft” so this is a chance to prove any doubters wrong and get back to the top of the college football landscape.
On the recruiting side of things, just as the players are working tirelessly, the coaching staff is also putting in the hours on the recruiting trail. While it’s technically a “dead period”, that really doesn’t halt the efforts the staff is putting forth with their top targets. Right now, the dead period limits coaches to no in-person contact, but of course phone calls, FaceTime, texts, and other electronic communication methods are still in full effect. Ryan Day and his crew are using every method possible in order to bring in the next wave of elite talent to Columbus.
A top receiver target ready to narrow it down
Thanks to position coach Brian Hartline, Ohio State should be expected to bring in another elite haul of receivers in the 2023 class. While there’s quite a few names on the list in terms of targets, you have to like the chances the Buckeyes have at landing their top priorities. Yet to have a receiver in the fold for 2023, there’s really not a big rush, but odds are it’s only a matter of time before the first top target joins the fold.
Speaking of narrowing it down, on Wednesday one of those receivers Ohio State is after, Rico Flores, took to his Twitter account to announce that he was ready to start shortening his top schools list and will get down to a top five next week.
Ranked as the No. 23 receiver in the country, Flores is also the 155th best player nationally and the 13th best player from California in 2023 per the 247Sports Composite. In addition to his high four-star status, Flores’ near 30 offers from many of the top programs in the country show the caliber of talent he is, and a big reason as to why Ohio State and coach Hartline are identifying him as one of the player’s they would love to have in the fold.
Oregon, Alabama, USC, Texas, LSU, Georgia, Stanford, and several more are all among Flores’ offers, but planning to narrow it down to a final five shows how quickly he’s moving through the process. When next Tuesday comes, it’s pretty safe to assume that thanks to Hartline and what Ohio State is doing with the receiver position, the Buckeyes will end up being one of the five schools still in the running.
A potentially incredible dynamic duo
Sticking with the receiver position, one player the Buckeyes have been high on from the very beginning in the 2023 class is Carnell Tate. The IMG Academy product by way of Illinois is arguably the receiver Hartline and Ohio State have had as their top priority for some time now. The third-best receiver in the country, Tate is also the No. 21 player nationally per 247Sports. The Buckeyes look to be in a pretty solid position in this recruitment, with other suitors such as Notre Dame also in the mix.
In addition to Tate, Ohio State has seemingly rekindled their relationship with the nation’s top receiver in the class, Brandon Inniss. Thanks to his de-commitment from Oklahoma, the Buckeyes among others have been able to really get back in the running, but with him planning an April visit to Columbus, Ohio State is thrilled that they have another top receiver prospect interested in what they have to offer.
Putting the two together, Wednesday on social media Inniss hinted at he and Tate being a potential package deal, and while that tends not to happen very often, the Buckeyes and Hartline would love nothing more than to add that type of duo to the receiver room. Tate has been to Columbus numerous times and certainly has seen all that Ohio State has to offer, but now with Inniss, the Buckeyes plan to do more of the same.
It’s going to be an exciting spring nonetheless, but here’s to see if Hartline can do it again.