It’s no secret how valuable Brian Hartline is to Ohio State’s football program. An alum, NFL veteran, and dynamic position coach ever since he stepped foot on campus, everything Hartline has put his hands on has seen success. Whether it be the on-field numbers his players have put up in their careers or the NFL success his guys are having each year, Hartline quickly cemented himself as the top receivers coach in the country.
Arguably Ryan Day’s most important position coach on offense, what Hartline has done as a receivers coach alone is worthy of continued praise, and is one of the main reasons Day has worked so hard to keep him over the last couple years. That has included pay raises, new titles, and now of course his latest promotion as the offensive coordinator.
Looking specifically at the job he’s done with his position, the receiver production has never been higher at Ohio State. Hartline has raised the level to an all-time high, and that’s seen at both the collegiate and professional levels when you look at this season of Marvin Harrison Jr. and in the NFL with rookies like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. Hartline is incredible at development, and virtually everything else he’s tasked with on a daily basis as an Ohio State coach.
With an increased role as the team’s new offensive coordinator, there should also be an increased role in his recruiting responsibilities that stem beyond just his immediate position group. Hartline has basically focused solely on receivers when it comes to recruiting, but seeing how successful he’s been when it comes to landing elite playmakers and building relationships, surely him helping with other position groups would be beneficial for the program as a whole.
Seemingly every cycle Hartline is getting who he wants when it comes to landing players for his position room. Likewise, landing the top receiver in the country has happened more times than not since he’s been at the helm. Ehile Day has crushed it with quarterback recruiting, seeing Hartline help in other areas such as offensive line or even with running backs is reasonable, as he will in large part be calling a lot of the shots from here on with Day overseeing the operation.
Looking at offensive line, Justin Frye is only entering year two with Ohio State, and as he saw his title grow to run game coordinator this coming season, offensive line recruiting is where it all starts. The best college football programs are elite up front, and the Buckeyes have been very good, but there’s always room for improvement. Who better to help land elite players along the offensive trenches than Hartline?
He has experience recruiting in every corner of the country, and his track record alone would give him a foot in the door. Additionally, when you look at where he’s pulling these top players, many times it’s those same regions that are also producing the best offensive linemen — and even other skill positions.
It’s easier said than done, but it also doesn’t really seem that Hartline would be spread too thin in multiple areas rather than just his lone position group. Having a bigger role with the offense is something that he’s earned, and while he’s never done it before, his success everywhere else gives reason to believe that this too will go in Ohio State’s favor.
The 2024 cycle is already off and running, and recruiting efforts are being put to work daily. If the Buckeyes really want to continue being atop of the college football landscape when it comes to both recruiting and on-field success, Hartline needs to have an extended role on the trail where he’s seen so much success already.