The rich have gotten richer in a massive way.
Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes have landed the country's No. 15 overall player and No. 2 receiver in the 2022 class, as five-star receiver Caleb Burton has committed to Ohio State. Burton now pairs with the Buckeyes' other huge commitment over the past week in five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, the No. 2 overall player and No. 1 quarterback in the 2022 cycle.
Rumors of Burton's commitment to the Buckeyes began over the weekend of Oct. 24-25, as a bevy of tweets from members of Ohio State's 2022 class began making the rounds on Twitter with them hinting at a potential commitment, and one of the prime five-star names to emerge as a possible pledge was Burton.
The Burton File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6-foot/165 lbs.
- Pos: WR
- School: Del Valle (Del Valle, Texas)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★★
- Composite Rank: 2 WR
The elite Del Valle (Texas) blue-chip prospect has long been on the Buckeyes' radar as the top receiver target in their class, well before they officially extended an offer on March 24.
Burton's impressions of Buckeyes receivers coach Brian Hartline were strong right off the bat, with Burton telling Eleven Warriors previously, “I could tell he wanted to be the best at whatever he did. He’s a funny guy and cool to talk to. He loves the game of football, and he just wants what’s best for his team.”
From there, Burton's recruitment picked up even further, with consistent communication and relationship building leading to the Buckeyes making it on Burton's top 12 list on Oct. 6 – a list that featured Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, Oregon, Alabama, Stanford, Clemson, USC, Auburn, Georgia and Texas.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||125||13||APRIL 22, 2020|
|TEGRA TSHABOLA||OT||127||12||APRIL 23, 2020|
|C.J. HICKS||OLB||35||2||MAY 1, 2020|
|GABE POWERS||OLB||33||1||AUGUST 1, 2020|
|DASAN MCCULLOUGH||OLB||48||5 (ATH)||AUGUST 18, 2020|
|BENNETT CHRISTIAN||TE||386||19||SEPTEMBER 1, 2020|
|BENJI GOSNELL||TE||264||10||NOVEMBER 4, 2020|
|QUINN EWERS||QB||2||1||NOVEMBER 19, 2020|
|CALEB BURTON||WR||15||2||NOVEMBER 23, 2020|
A huge factor in his decision to commit to Ohio State was Hartline's track record in a short amount of time in developing players into successful pro prospects.
“We dug into what Ohio State has to offer and how well they produce wide receivers after college,” Burton said. “He just said there’s no better place, and the offense they run is perfect for the WR core. All the people he has coached and sent to the leagues just shows he knows what to do.”
Also greatly helping matters was the Texas pipeline Ohio State has created, recently with J.K. Dobbins, Jeff Okudah and Baron Browning as a few Lone Star State prospects who paved the way.
But, of course, it was in seeing fellow five-star receivers Garrett Wilson (Lake Travis) and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Rockwall) already get their careers off to fast, successful starts that wound up catching Burton's eye – especially after seeing Wilson explode for career highs in catches (seven) and yards (129) in his first career start against Nebraska and after seeing Smith-Njigba snag his first career touchdown in his first career game with what's already a candidate for catch of the year.
Seeing two former Texas stars like himself explode on such a big stage was absolutely a factor after Hartline had laid such a strong foundation in his recruitment.