Football Recruiting

Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘This was one of those ones we had to win’

Ohio State Football Notebook Buckeyes Buckeye Football

The Heart of It All

The high school football in Ohio is what turned Ohio State into a football power.

Ohio is a talent-rich state that cranks out college football players by the dozens every year. The 2018 class featured over 40 Power 5 signees, as does the 2019 class with still another signing day to go.

Over the last handful of years, the number of Ohioans signed by Urban Meyer has come into question, and it’s a question that remains with the 2019 class.

Of the 15 signees to this point, only five have come from Ohio, which is the same number they signed in 2018 and one fewer than in 2017.

How does Ryan Day view the importance of recruiting in the state of Ohio?

“It’s always a priority, so we want to make sure that in the next class that’s a huge emphasis, as well,” he said. “But we’re recruiting the kids from Ohio harder than anybody in the country, and it’s going to continue to be a priority.”

Everything is a Competition

In the days leading up to signing day, some pundits declared the competition for 5-star Ohio defensive end Zach Harrison the first real competition between Jim Harbaugh and Ryan Day.

In the end, it wasn’t quite 62-39, but it will have to do.

During the process, Harrison admitted to being torn between his options. Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State were all worthy suitors.

Ultimately, however, only one school could end up on top.

For Ryan Day, he views signing Zach Harrison as a big victory.

“Huge, huge,” Day said. “Like any time you’re competing, you’re competing for recruits, you’re competing on the field, and this was one of those ones we had to win. He’s down the street, and so that was a big get for us.”

Keeping the Class Intact

Any time there is a head coaching change at a school, there is going to be an upheaval in the recruiting class.

When Urban Meyer announced his retirement, it was imperative for Ryan Day to get into as many homes and see as many faces as he could.

Meyer even joked that if Day wasn’t in four states the next day, he’d be upset.

With Day on the trail, the Buckeyes managed to only lose two 2019 commitments in Florida defensive back Jordan Battle and Michigan quarterback Dwan Mathis. West Virginia offensive lineman Doug Nester is still committed, but he is looking around to make sure he ends up where he belongs.

The bulk of the class, however, remained committed, and because of that, Day didn’t have to go out and add a bunch of players to the class.

“Well, a couple things. One, we only have so many spots,” Day explained. “It was 14 today, and really don’t have many more, so that was the first thing.”

But it wasn’t just about the quantity. It was also about the quality.

“The second thing was that the kids that we have, we love,” he said. “We love these kids. We think the quality of the guys that we’ve signed here is excellent. So we wanted to keep them all. And so that was really important for us.

“But when you look at who these kids are in the last seven months, and their loyalty, it’s amazing. You know, what happened in August and then there’s a coaching change here down the stretch and these kids stuck with us, that means a lot to us, and we’re not going to forget that moving forward.”

5 Responses

  1. There’s a simple way to end this debate. Which states produce the most BCS players, NFL players and All pro and Halll of Fame players. Do that for 2018, 2008. 1998, 1988, 1978 and 1968. Well see Ohio and PA are no longer top dogs and talent has moved south and west with population explosion. No doubt Ohio is always a top 10, 8 or 5 school.

    1. Great point Kurt…And you will see Ohio up at about #3 in 78, 4 in 98, and now 6 in 2018 following CA, TX, FL, GA and LA. Lots of 14 to 18 year olds and young families…Not just retirees and immigrants like other fellow mentions. Look at recruits like Texan Garret Wilson, Floridian like Carlos Hyde…They moved from Ohio and kept loyalty to OSU. Yours truly was a former scholarship athlete from Ohio…But moved to Florida in high school and got a scholarship to ACC school. The population shift is VERY real, and it is forcing OSU to recruit more out of state to reach top talent. If Ohio day did more to attract business (and jobs), people would move to Ohio chasing jobs and in state Ohio recruiting would accelerate. For now, businesses, jobs followed by people are moving out of Midwest (especially leaving Ohio and Michigan) to southeast and Texas…And recruiting in SE and Texas is accelerating along with those population shifts. This is not my opinion, it is fact based on pure data.

      1. Just checked, Ohio is actually number 7 now for NFL. 2020 census will prove my point even more. You will see Ohio shrink to as little as 13 to 15 electoral votes. Southeast states will increase.

  2. Ohio recruiting is not what it was 20, 30, 40 years ago. Too much population has shifted to the South. Leaving Ohio with less relative population and less relative good athletes. Don’t agree with me?…Check the census bureau and see the population shift and electoral shift. As long as Ohio municipalities continue to drive out businesses and people, Ohio’s in state recruiting will suffer and shrink. Not enough people talk about this. Why is the ACC and SEC so dominant?…Well, half of those families used to be in the Midwest and now they have migrated to the south.

    1. Don’t agree, most of the population gains in other parts of the country have come from immigration especially Hispanic and they don’t really play football for the most part. Ohio State has done a really poor job in Ohio in the last 10 years. Trubisky. Deshone Kizer. Kareem Hunt, Leveon Bell, the Kelce brothers Luke Kuechly, James Daniels just to name some of the best young talent in the NfL all from Ohio that Ohio State let get away in recent years. There’s plenty of talent here if tOSU would just start recruiting it again

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