The choice was clear for Bryson Rodgers.
While the three-star 2023 wide receiver currently resides in Florida, he's from Warren, Ohio, originally, and grew up an Ohio State fan. So when Brian Hartline came to Wiregrass Ranch High School (Zephyrhills, Florida) in January to extend an OSU offer personally, it was only a matter of time before Rodgers gave his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes.
Less than three months later, Rodgers pulled the trigger, committing to Ohio State on Sunday.
“I’ve been rocking the Ohio State jersey since I was three,” Rodgers told Eleven Warriors in February. “Seeing the smiles on my parents’ faces as well knowing they grew up Ohio State fans themselves, so envisioning their son playing for Ohio State being the diehard fans they are is awesome. Making them proud is my biggest accomplishment, in my opinion.”
Rodgers picked Ohio State over Alabama and Georgia, the two schools he considered the most in addition to the Buckeyes. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound wideout visited Ohio State during the Buckeyes' first spring practice in early March, then returned a month later for the spring game.
The Rodgers File
- Class: 2023
- Size: 6-2/170
- Pos: Wide receiver
- School: Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, Florida)
- Composite Rating: ★★★
- Composite Rank: #367 (#48 WR)
He considers his relationship with Brian Hartline to be very special, and he knows the offer wouldn't have come if the OSU wide receivers coach didn't believe in him. It's a big reason Rodgers felt comfortable pulling the trigger and giving OSU his verbal.
“One thing I love about coach Hartline and Ohio State, he doesn’t take any portal receivers. I don’t know if anybody in college football realizes that, but coach Hartline is big on not taking any portal guys because he believes in the guys in his room that he’s trusted from years before,” Rodgers said. “That just shows again how great of a guy he is and how much he believes in his players.”
Rodgers is the eighth commit in the 2023 class, and the third player from Florida to give their verbal to the Buckeyes in the cycle, joining four-star safety Cedrick Hawkins and four-star running back Mark Fletcher.
|OT||LUKE MONTGOMERY||★★★★||#43 NATL | #4 OT||6-5 | 280||Findlay (Findlay, OH)|
|TE||TY LOCKWOOD||★★★★||#101 NATL | #8 TE||6-5 | 225||Independence (Thompson's Station, TN)|
|IOL||JOSHUA PADILLA||★★★★||#136 NATL | #6 IOL||6-4 | 265||Wayne (Dayton, OH)|
|RB||MARK FLETCHER||★★★★||#153 NATL | #8 RB||6-1 | 225||American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, FL)|
|S||MALIK HARTFORD||★★★★||#205 NATL | #20 S||6-2.5 | 175||Lakota West (West Chester, OH)|
|S||CEDRICK HAWKINS||★★★★||#235 NATL | #23 S||6-0 | 175||Cocoa (Cocoa, FL)|
|WR||BRYSON RODGERS||★★★||#367 NATL | #48 WR||6-2 | 170||Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, FL)|
|DL||WILL SMITH||★★★||#444 NATL | #57 DL||6-3 | 260||Dublin Coffman (Dublin, OH)|
|Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports|
Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Rodgers is the 367th-best player nationally and the 48th-best wideout in the 2023 class. It's been awhile since OSU signed a wide receiver ranked as low as a three-star, but the last guy who fit that billing was Chris Olave in the 2018 class, so if he follows the same trajectory, he can enjoy being a first-round NFL draft pick someday.
Rodgers views himself as both an inside and outside receiver, and for Wiregrass Ranch last year, he caught 42 passes for 645 yards with 14 receiving touchdowns.