With Van Jefferson Out, Ohio State Focuses Receiver Recruiting

By Mike Rockstedt on August 26, 2014 at 2:15p
Christian Kirk has Ohio State in his final group.

The wide receiver position has certainly become a point of emphasis for the staff at Ohio State. Urban Meyer's offense doesn't need giant receivers so much as it needs playmakers, but a receiver with the physical tools to shield off defenders or out-jump them for the ball is something any coach would covet.

Ohio State has had a spotty record with recruiting this type of player. In the 2014 class, for instance, the Buckeyes smuggled Johnnie Dixon out of Florida, but they also missed on Josh Malone, who is playing for Butch Jones at Tennessee.

The class of 2015 is off to a slow start at wide receiver as well. To date, none of Ohio State's 15 commits is a receiver, and four-star receiver Van Jefferson, the Buckeyes' top target at wide receiver, committed to Georgia over Ohio State and others Monday.

But don't fret—there are plenty of fish in the sea. Ohio State has been targeting other receivers, and the Buckeyes are good position with a few of them.

Christian Kirk

Christian Kirk is one of the best receivers in the country, and there is some mutual interest between him and OSU. The 5-foot-10, 191-pound receiver has visited Columbus twice, made more significant by Kirk travelling all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona.

His skills are unquestioned:

The bad news: though Ohio State may have been one his favorites at some point, it appears the Buckeyes are fading into the background. Kirk hopes to come back soon for an official visit, and if that visit happens (possibly for the Virginia Tech game) Ohio State could become a serious contender again. If it doesn't, Kirk won't end up in Columbus.

Lawrence Cager

Lawrence Cager has made a quick ascent in the 2015 class. The 6-foot-5 Maryland prospect performed well enough on the camp scene to receive an invite to The Opening, which led to scholarship offers from schools across the nation, including Alabama and Ohio State.

Cager recently released his top seven schools and has even named Ohio State his leader. He hopes to commit at the Army All-American Game, but Ohio State certainly wouldn't mind if he made a decision during his official visit for the Virginia Tech game.

Devante Peete

Devante Peete is the star wide receiver for a loaded St. Thomas Aquinas team in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At 6-foot-5, Peete is another one of the tall receivers Urban Meyer wants for the outside of his offense. He has the speed to be a vertical threat, and the frame and agility to get yards after the catch. But don't take my word for it.

Peete has a top three of Louisville, Miami, and Ohio State.

The chances are not as great as they once were of Peete landing at OSU, but some of his teammates are scheduled to be at the Virginia Tech game. If he makes the trip with them, things could get interesting.

Alex Stump

If Ohio State wants to find a homegrown wide receiver, Alex Stump is their top option. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver from Lakewood is well-rounded, though it's his size in particular that is earning interest. An offer from Ohio State would give Stump some serious considering to do; the problem is his commitment to Kentucky.

Kentucky, which has made serious inroads to Ohio recruiting, secured Stump's commitment in May. He took a visit to Stanford over the summer, but he re-affirmed that he was 100% to Kentucky. Most people think that Stump needed to camp in order to earn an offer from the Buckeyes, but with a good showing this season, that could change. Growing up in Ohio, Stump has an affinity for the Buckeyes; if an offer comes his way, it'd be difficult to turn down.

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