Ohio State Wide Receiver Signees Brandon Inniss, Noah Rogers, Carnell Tate And Bryson Rodgers “Are Gonna Be Really Good Players For Us”

By Griffin Strom on December 24, 2022 at 8:35 am
Brian Hartline, Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, Keenan Bailey

Ryan Day fielded a question about Brandon Inniss.

It’s hard to lead any discussion about the talent Ohio State signed Wednesday without first mentioning the crown jewel of the Buckeyes’ 2023 class, the lone five-star of the bunch who many consider the top wide receiver in the nation.

But instead, Day pivoted his response at Wednesday’s press conference to include all four wideouts that signed National Letters of Intent to play at Ohio State on the first day of the Early Signing Period. After all, the group is hardly a one-man band.

“You look at all four of these guys … all four of them are looking to come in and make an impact.”– Ryan Day on OSU's 2023 WR signees

Only one program in the country nabbed three of this recruiting cycle’s top 10 wide receivers, per the 247Sports composite rankings. And if you’re familiar with Brian Hartline’s exploits over the past several years, it wouldn’t take a shot in the dark to figure out which team that is.

Noah Rogers and Carnell Tate aren’t far off from Inniss’s recruiting stats in their own right, and even the lowest-rated pass catcher of the four – Wiregrass Ranch High School’s Bryson Rodgers – is still a four-star prospect.

According to Day, each member of the heralded quartet possesses the same goal upon arriving in Columbus.

“You look at all four of these guys; you look at Brandon, Carnell, Noah and Bryson Rodgers. I think all four of these guys are gonna be really good players for us,” Day said. “And all four of them are looking to come in and make an impact.”

Given the pileup of elite players in Hartline’s position room, it may be an uphill battle for any of the four to truly make a major impact as freshmen. This year’s three starting receivers, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming, are all likely to remain in the program for the 2023 season.

But far be it for me to bet against Inniss’s chances to showcase his talents at some point during year one, even if he doesn’t get an abundance of snaps to do so. 

During his senior season at American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Inniss caught 73 passes for 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns against some of the top competition in the nation. That’s not all that impressed Day and company. The Buckeye head coach cited Inniss as a leader in the 2023 class, a prospect who rallied other recruits and a piece that was easy to build around after committing to the program in June.

“Brandon, from early on he just had a presence about him, he had a leadership (quality) early on,” Day said. “His play this season, bringing them all the way to the state championship again, after the year before playing quarterback, you could just tell he was just a competitor. And now you see what he did this year, he can do so many things. He can play inside, he can play outside, he's a dynamic player and like you said, has leadership ability. And during the process, kind of would communicate to the guys in the class in these text chains that these guys would talking to each other. And he was a big catalyst for this class.”

Perhaps there were more curveballs during the recruitment of Inniss’s new stablemates. Ohio State was an early favorite to land Tate, the IMG Academy product and No. 61 overall player in the country, but hit some snags along the way. At one point, rampant speculation about lucrative NIL opportunities elsewhere led many to believe Tate would ultimately land at Tennessee. Day even cracked a smile when discussing the difficulties of Tate’s recruitment on Wednesday.

“Carnell, that was quite a recruiting process. I thought Brian and everybody did a great job there,” Day said. “But I think he always knew he wanted to be a Buckeye as well. He's got a chance to be an impact player for us.”

After committing to Ohio State on June 20, two days before Inniss, the 6-foot-2 wideout reinforced what Day, Hartline and the rest of the country saw in him with a stellar senior season in Florida. Tate hauled in 37 passes for 750 yards and eight scores and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the preseason.

Day alluded to similar recruiting complications with Rogers, who committed to the Buckeyes on the same day as Inniss following a junior season at North Carolina’s Rolesville High School in which he put up 1,432 yards and 22 receiving scores on 70 receptions.

“Noah from down in North Carolina, again, from the jump. There was a couple twists and turns along the way, but he was pretty loyal, and he had a big-time season,” Day said. “I think you're really gonna like him and just his personality and makeup.”

With a 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame and 37 touchdown catches in his final two years of high school, everything about Rogers suggests Ohio State has another star in the making at wideout.

But Rodgers, the first receiver prospect to commit to Ohio State in the 2023 class, was “a Buckeye all the way.” In fact, the Warren, Ohio, native told Eleven Warriors earlier this year “I’ve been rocking the Ohio State jersey since I was three.”

After catching 63 passes for 915 yards and 22 touchdowns combined in his junior and senior seasons in Zephyrhills, Florida, Rodgers will get the chance to don the scarlet and gray for real at the top of 2023.

“Bryson had a big-time season this year. His family has ties up here in Ohio, the Warren area. From early on he jumped on this thing and was a Buckeye all the way,” Day said. “And his loyalty during this whole thing has been excellent. I think he's gonna have a really bright future here.”

Even beyond Harrison, Egbuka and Fleming, Ohio State has highly-touted receivers like redshirt freshman Jayden Ballard waiting in the wings for more opportunities in 2023. Not to mention members of the 2022 recruiting class, which included four other four-star receivers in Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes, Caleb Burton and Kojo Antwi.

But if Hartline’s recent results have taught us anything, Inniss, Rogers, Tate and Rodgers will be primed to shine at Ohio State no matter how soon they get their chance.

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