As the 2020 cycle heads into late spring, the wide receiver relationships are taking on new shapes.
It’s not new news that Ohio State has good relationships with 2020 wide receivers, but with a few of those receivers committing elsewhere, other relationships taking on new forms and others just remaining stagnant, it’s worth narrowing down who exactly Ohio State is looking at for the position – and who is still looking at Ohio State as a landing spot.
Some relationships have seen their dips, such as Rakim Jarrett after his tour of SEC schools and eventual commitment to LSU with cryptic tweets directed at fanbases. Jordan Johnson chose Notre Dame, and Maliq Carr, who has been reclassified as a tight end by 247Sports but is expected to play receiver, will probably stay close to home in Michigan.
These are the wide receivers in the class for whom Ohio State is still at the top of the list.
Ohio State continues to hang in there with No. 1 2020 wideout Julian Fleming. He was in Columbus on March 23, and since that visit, Fleming has been much more pro-Ohio State on social media and has been in active talks with Ohio State commit Lejond Cavazos.
The Pennsylvania-native has a good relationship with Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Fleming’s recruitment could speak volumes for what many receivers have said they believe about Hartline – he is the best receivers coach in the country. Fleming could choose any program in the nation, and right now, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he would choose Ohio State.
Most recruits already understand not to pick a program for a coach, and Fleming falls into the group as well. His recruitment could stretch out toward the end of the 2019 season if he’s waiting to see how the new Buckeyes staff performs during its first football season.
For now though, Ohio State is being strongly considered with Penn State and Clemson.
Florida wide receiver Marcus Rosemy has remained mostly quiet about his recruitment throughout the 2020 cycle, but Hartline was at St. Thomas Aquinas to watch a practice, where he expressed a desire to have Rosemy make a visit to Columbus with a couple of his teammates. That visit could happen this summer.
Rosemy also released his top-10 list over the weekend, and Ohio State was included along with Georgia, which is the next-most considered team in relation to Rosemy’s recruitment.
Rosemy also attends St. Thomas Aquinas, which is where Nick and Joey Bosa attended. Their legacy is frequently repeated throughout the core values of the football program, so Ohio State is a school strongly considered by most players coming up through Fort Lauderdale. Rosemy is no different.
The 2020 class is stacked with wide receivers. LV Bunkley-Shelton is rated as the No. 47 wideout in the country but the No. 248 player overall. His 247Sports Crystal Ball is all over the place, including USC, Oregon and Ohio State, but Ohio State sure seems like the leader for the California wideout.
He told Eleven Warriors that he talks to a lot of receivers coaches but Hartline is the one he talks with the most. His relationship with Hartline runs deeper than just a player-coach relationship, he said. Bunkley-Shelton wants someone who can be some guidance when he moves across the country, and he said he feels that from Hartline.
Bunkley-Shelton has been adamant in his support and fervor for Ohio State and has talked with commits Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Gee Scott Jr. often.
He’s a four-star wide receiver that is frequently lost in the fold when discussions surrounding five-star wideouts take place, but he can be a producer at the next level and is liked by Hartline as well. He’s also a major locker room add if Ohio State gets his commitment.
Mike Drennen is a four-star all-purpose back but is expected to play in a slot role if he does in fact choose the Buckeyes. There’s potential to be an H-back contributor as well. He showed a lot of his ability to play in the passing game at The Opening Regionals in Massillon on March 31.
Rated as the No. 199 overall prospect in the class, Drennen would likely not do a lot of carrying the ball between the tackles, as he weighs around 185 pounds heading into the summer.
Drennen has developed a good relationship with new head coach Ryan Day and made frequent visits to Ohio State from nearby Dublin throughout spring practice. Michigan is another contender, and Alabama has entered consideration late as well.
Three-star 2020 two-way player Ian Stewart has created a very good relationship with Ohio State and made two visits during spring practice in March. But Stewart isn’t being considered for the receiver position. Ohio State likes him as a safety, and the more anyone looks at his tape, the more they can understand why.
He’s looking at a handful of Big Ten schools – Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Penn State and Ohio State. He likes what Ohio State has in store for him as a strong safety in a way he doesn’t feel about some of the other schools interested in him.