Bullet Points: Aftermath Of Major Recruiting Weekend For The Buckeyes

The Buckeyes just concluded the biggest recruiting weekend of the off-season so far. The Buckeyes staff and program played host to just over 25 recruits across the country, including a number of five-stars who made their way to Columbus. 

In fact, the whole South Florida Express 7on7 squad attended the star filled weekend. The roster consists of five-star WR’s Carnell Tate and Brandon Innis as well as four-star athletes Mark Fletcher, Jeremiah Smith, Daemon Fagan, and Sharif Denson. Future 2024 five-star WR Joshisa “Jojo” Trader was also in attendance. 

Now what type of impact did Ohio State have on the number one 7on7 team in the country? Well I can definitely say the tactic of students attend a live practice while recruits were there was a success as a few of the players were stunned by passionate fan base. Now in terms of recruiting, The Silver Bulletin feels confident in saying it had a major impact. The Silver Bulletin grabbed a quick response from one of the recruits (who wished to be anonymous) stating, “This visit definitely changed some things for me and my teammates, we all could definitely see ourselves playing for the Buckeyes in that moment,” said the recruit. 

Now the biggest question remaining is do the Buckeyes stand a chance to land both Tate and Innis? For the first time throughout this 2023 recruiting cycle I can say yes they do. Before I touch on that note, I would like to state that there is a small chance that the Tate announcement could be coming sooner than we think. In fact, many recruits who were attending the event said that Tate was even recruiting them on behalf of the Buckeyes at the event so I’m going to stick with my gut here and say we can expect Tate to land with the Buckeyes quite soon. 

Now in terms of Innis, I’ve always been very skeptical at the chances to land the tandem but now it would appear the Buckeyes are neck and neck with USC to land the coveted slot receiver. I caught up with a source close to the Innis family who mentioned that Innis really had not had a chance to develop that in person relationship with Brian Hartline until this visit (although they speak on the phone and through text often). The source confirmed that following them meeting and hanging out in person, Innis left very pleased and said it felt as if there could be a shift in the recruitment following the weekend. If I had to put my money on black (USC) or red (Ohio State) right now, I’d still be inclined to go black. However, I really do think the tide is turning here and the Buckeyes have a real shot to land Innis. 

The biggest takeaway I got from the major recruiting event was that it would appear the Buckeyes are in a great position to land two 2024 future five-star prospects in Trader and Smith. The pair both made it sound like the weekend was so impactful that they’re already ready to make the jump on board. Although it’s early, Ohio State is never going to say no to a pair of bona fide stars from the Sunshine State. The more the program can continue to build that pipeline, the stronger the program will be. 

Another interesting takeaway I had from the weekend was around Fagan. I had the chance to interview Fagan three times during my time with Rivals.  I always felt that Fagan would end up elsewhere, although being very open about growing up an Ohio State fan. Fagan always gave the vibe that the Buckeyes were a serious player and they would remain a contender in his recruitment but he seemed fairly interested in being closer to home. A school like Miami or Florida always seemed like a landing spot for him…until what I was informed a couple days ago. Fagan seems to be all Buckeyes following the recruiting weekend and has been a master of the recruiting game in terms of keeping his thoughts close to the vest. He had a great time in Columbus and apparently would have committed on the spot had he had the go-ahead. 

I would expect that one of the players current Ohio State commit Cedrick Hawkins was referring to when he said “Don’t be surprised if you see one or all of them commit in a couple weeks,” was  Fagan. I’ve heard he’s been given the go-ahead and that the two most likely to hit the green light from that 7on7 team are Tate and Fagan.