The Hurry-Up: Ryan Day Says Matt Barnes Has Not Been Given Additional Recruiting Duties, Knijeah Harris and Nyckoles Harbor Pick Up Ohio State Offers

By Garrick Hodge on October 5, 2021 at 5:46 pm
Matt Barnes

On the field, Ryan Day has shifted various responsibilities concerning his defensive staff this season.

Defensive backs coach Matt Barnes is now the defensive play caller and seems to be in line to continue those responsibilities for the remainder of the season, especially after back-to-back solid showings. Meanwhile, Kerry Coombs has gone from being on the field to offering his analysis from the press box. 

Off the field, despite the in-season shakeup, responsibilities on the recruiting front have not changed in regards to scouting, communication, or much of anything, really. 

“You know, we really haven’t changed that all that much,” Day said at Tuesday’s press conference when asked if Barnes’ role in recruiting has expanded. “Right now, the defensive staff is still continuing to work like they have. All these guys, it’s group recruiting all the time anyways. I’m involved with it as well. We had a bunch of (recruiting) calls last night. We really haven’t made a huge adjustment in that area.” 

Day added he has not had to address any concerns from recruits in regards to Barnes’ and Coombs’ roles changing. 

“I haven’t had any,” Day said. “No one’s really pressed me with those types of questions. I think they understand what Ohio State is and they understand this program. Our philosophy is not going to change.” 

It could be entirely possible no recruit or the family members has brought that up with Day. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it. Daniel Harris, the father of five-star priority 2023 cornerback target AJ Harris told Eleven Warriors last month while they understand the business side of college football and that staffs will have turnover year in and year out, they’d view Ohio State differently if Coombs left or was terminated, especially since Barnes has not spoken with Harris nearly as much. 

That is just one family member of a recruit publicly voicing that opinion, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t weighing on other defensive recruits’ minds in future classes. 

Harbor receives OSU offer

Ohio State extended an offer to four-star 2023 tight end and defensive end Nyckoles Harbor on Monday. Harbor, a Washington, DC, resident who also has had a successful prep track career, was offered by OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson, meaning it’s likely the Buckeyes are higher on him at defensive end than they are tight end. 

Harbor is rated the 82nd-best prospect nationally, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. To this point, he has been offered by 21 Division I programs, including Michigan, Texas, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Oregon and Oklahoma. 

Harris picks up Buckeyes offer

Harbor wasn’t the only four-star 2023 prospect to receive an offer from Ohio State on Monday. The Buckeyes extended an offer to 6-foot-3, 305-pound guard Knijeah Harris, who plays at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida), a school OSU certainly has not shied away from recruiting. 

Harris released a top-12 list in June, but now that Ohio State has extended an offer, it’s unclear just how much the Buckeyes have inserted themselves into the conversation for Harris. Harris is rated the 182nd-best player nationally in the cycle and the eighth-best interior offensive lineman. To this point, Harris has been offered by 23 Division I programs, including Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Penn State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia and Auburn.

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