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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WezBuck28's picture

With Dixon, dontre, Marshall, Thomas, Clark, Jeff green, Cory smith in the mix, will missing out on all of our potential targets be a big hit, or do we focus on '16 as far as nagging some receivers?

+1 HS
MN Buckeye's picture

I prefer nagging receivers now rather than later.

-1 HS
ibuck's picture

Popular nags: You don't get off the line fast enough; Run the route more crisply; Grab the ball at the highest point; Two hands!

And how about committing today?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+2 HS
Turtlebuster's picture

Skill position recruiting this cycle has been a bit of a let down...obviously still time, but not alot of names being linked to OSU. Of the above mentioned only Cager could be considered likely to end up in this class. Would the staff be content with only Cager? Does bringing in a guy like Torrance Gibson give the Buckeyes enough of a viable option to not take another WR. (if he cant land the QB job).

+1 HS
CTBuckeye's picture

Sounds like the Virginia Tech weekend is going to be the biggest group of high profile targets that comes all year, which is perfect.  What high school senior wouldn't get goosebumps - 100,000+ fans going crazy, night game, national television...I expect at least one of the above names, and hopefully others, to come away from that weekend convinced Ohio State is the school for them.

"Because we couldn't go for three"

+1 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

This guy doesn't need to see any more Kirk highlight videos.

Yes please.

+4 HS
Killer nuts's picture

If Urban can get Christian Kirk to sign with the good guys I think that would be his greatest recruiting victory to date. Certainly on par with Vonn Bell, Dontre, Dixon, and Raekwon.

+7 HS
mtrotb's picture

With 9 scholarship players returning next year we only need to sign 1 or 2 this year so we are still in good shape.


+1 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Kirk would be phenomenal in this offense, so hopefully he takes an official so The Closer can do his thing.

I would take any of them though, even just one would probably tie us over till 2016.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+1 HS
allinosu's picture

Kirk might be wearing something this Friday like TG did. Could give an indication where is mind is towards a school.

Sebastian's picture
+2 HS
bakerjon's picture

I think we get Cager (and Gibson) in S&G next year. We still need another WR in the recruiting cycle after Cager. Yes the cupboards look well stocked at the moment, but talent moves on quickly. Not taking a WR would be a big hit in 2-3 years. Remember Corey Smith is a Jr. Jeff Greene is a Jr. 2 Strong years and Dontre Wilson could be playing on Sunday. 

Still would love to get Kirk, but it looks unlikely. Hoping the Aquinas connection lands us Peete. That size is hard to beat. As they say, you can't teach someone to be tall.

"You do what I cannot do. I do what you cannot do. Together we do great things"

melbournebuckeye30's picture

Yes, the Va. Tech. game looks like a big time recruiting game.  Wonder if LeBron is on the sidelines at a night time game on national t.v.  Think that might help some recruits don the scarlet and gray? 


TraSmith4's picture

We will get Cager and if we get Kirk that would be a very welcome surprise but this is one position that I am not at all worried about. We are fine at WR and after JT lights it up this year throwing for 3,000+ yards and 35+ TD's we won't have to worry about the '16 WR class either as they will be lining up to get in.

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Tra - those are some big numbers and bold predictions, but...


What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

BennyBucks's picture
Gimme a BIG WR.....


+7 HS
robobuck's picture

Auto up vote for what about Bob!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

+2 HS
BennyBucks's picture

Thanks Robobuck. I only have 92 helmet stickers.........


+10 HS
robobuck's picture

#boom! You're on the right track!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  1 Corinthians 9:24

+1 HS
OfficerRabbit's picture

Guess who just hit 100....



+1 HS
MikeTheBuckeye's picture

Looking forward to the VT game and all of its aftermath.

+2 HS
Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

This is why Gibson needs to get on border (make his announcement known already) and start leading the recruitment of some of these big wide receivers.  While I want Kirk... I feel it's vital to land a stud tall receiver.  We already have Wilson (5'10), Samuel (5'11), Johnnie Dixon (5'11), Paris Campbell (6'0... no way), Noah Brown (6'1), James Clark (5'10), Terry McLaurin (6'0).

This team is starved for a 6'4, 6'5 standout wide receiver.  Heck... I'll settle even for a 6'3 receiver at this point.

+7 HS
rock flag and eagle's picture

You know what's crazy is that in the 2015 class alone, Georgia has four (4*) wide receivers (according to 247 composite) and all of them are 6'2" or taller.  They also have a 4* 6'6" tight end.  Van Jefferson will be one of their shorter pass catchers.  Some teams attract the big bodies, some don't.

+1 HS
rjenkins26's picture

Holy crap on a cracker! I've seen the Christian Kirk highlight tape before, but it just hit me...it was 6 minutes into the video before he didn't score a touchdown! I know that's the point of highlight tapes, but I can't remember ever seeing that many solid minutes of nothing but huge touchdown runs, catches, and returns. I hope Urban can get him here for the VT game!

GVerrilli92's picture

That one-handed interception and TD return is among the best high school plays I've seen on film. Nuts.

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

+1 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

You need to watch Curtis Samuel's highlight tape.  I don't think he was tackled but once.  Awesome...

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+1 HS
Buck Commander's picture

Sept. 6th May be Boom City.................

Damien Harris @Damien_D1Harris

Had a great talk with Coach Meyer and the staff! Taking my official September 6th for the Virginia Tech game 

9:37 PM - 25 Aug 2014

Every time I set my DVR to record Biggest Loser......It always records Wolverine Football Games!

russbuss31's picture

I cannot wait to be in the stands for the VT game in a few weeks. Would love to see some of these big names commit and get the ball rolling towards the future! I know Urban is a great closer, but I want results now!

I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people.

KBonay's picture

Can't say we aren't putting in the effort. This is damn nice. 

45OH4IO's picture

Hey Mike, I'm in the camp that to get a good receiving class, you need a great early QB commitment. So, even though it is early, are there any potential studs in Danny Clark's 2017 class? I feel like a few guys might want to hitch their career wagons up with his. I know it's WAY in the future, but it seems like a great opportunity to do some big time WR/TE recruiting.

Mike Rockstedt's picture

Bruce Judson who is most likely going to play WR in college has Ohio State on top could commit at anytime and Trevon Grimes, who is a star at St. Thomas Aquinas.

whiskeyjuice's picture

It would be nice to get at least 1 or 2 big receivers, with the height of at 6'5 would be nice. The big n tall receiver would expand OSU's offense something sic. All the fast play makers and edge players mixed a big n tall receiver down field.........that would make D-coordinators against OSU resign.

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

+1 HS
DC-town's picture

Missing out on an entire position grouping in a class really hurts and I agree not having the big name qb early hurt.  

Would we be 'ok' going forward, probably but that's a lot of pressure to bat a thousand next year.

And yes, we have talented guys that osu fans know the names of...but we haven't seen it on the field in a few years- I won't say his name as I always rooted for him, but spring game MVP trophies go in the same bottom drawer as denard robinsons sept heismans

'Piss excellence' -RB

Brutus1972's picture

It would be nice to get a 6'4"/6'5" WR in this class but if we get Kirk, I don't care if we get anyone else. I truly think that he is that good and will make an immediate impact no matter where he goes. Please let it be tOSU.

CuseGirl's picture

Other than QB, the thing that's irritated me the most is tOSU never having a Julio Jones or Megatron type receiver. I'm amazed that other schools, who are "running schools", can recruit these future pros but not tOSU....

And you know THIS....man!

Mizzillion's picture