Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr.

A look at each of Brian Hartline’s five broad-based recruiting classes in Ohio.

If you’ve ever paid attention to the commitments Ohio State got this week, you already know the simple truth: Brian Hartline is good at hiring.

This fact has become crystal clear over the past three days as Ohio State has had three consecutive commitments from wide receivers all ranked in the top 50 potential 2023 class opportunities: Carnell Tate, Brandon Ennis and Noah Rogers.

It wasn’t as if Hartline’s hiring prowess wasn’t a secret before this week. Ohio State has brought in elite recruiting classes to the wide reception position year and year since Hartline became Ohio State wide reception coach halfway through the 2019 recruitment cycle. These classes have long been among the best in the country, creating a pool of talent. That set Ohio State of Excellence into a broad receiving position for years to come.

In his first five career sessions as a wide reception coach at Ohio State, Hartline had 17 wide receiving commitments, and all but three were ranked in the top 100 prospects in their hiring classes

Now that Ohio State has finished the 2023 recruitment chapter in a wide receiving position, and has done so in an amazing fashion, it’s worth taking a look at each of Hartline’s first five recruitment chapters as a full-time assistant coach and why each of them has been cause for celebration. For those participants who have already started their careers in Ohio, we also take a look at how these classes have performed so far.

2019: Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams

The first enlistment class in Brian Hartline’s tenure as a wide receiving coach at Ohio State included only two wide receivers, but both receivers had already made top 12 picks in the NFL draft.

Hartline was still only a quality control coach when Wilson committed to Ohio State, but he helped ensure Wilson remained committed to the Bucks after the departures of Zach Smith and Urban Mayer. Being the 20th place finisher in the 2019 class, Wilson was the highest wide receiver that Ohio State had ever signed at the time, and he became exactly the player he was expected to be. In three seasons as Buckeye (one of which has been shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Wilson has 143 passes for 2,213 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Williams, who became the first wide receiver to actually commit to Hartline in September 2018 while Hartline was interim wide receiver coach at Ohio, had a one-year start for the Buckeyes in 2020 but didn’t realize his full potential until he moved to Alabama, where He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2021. Hartline still had a role in Williams’ development, however, his appearance as a first-round draft pick only aids Hartline’s efforts to continue recruiting top receivers on a large scale for Columbus.

The only 2019 class wide receiver selected above them in this year’s NFL Draft was USC’s Drake London, who was not presented by the Buckeyes as the 247th overall prospect on the course.

2020: Julian Fleming, Jackson Smith-Nigegba, J. Scott Jr., Mookie Cooper

Hartline quickly demonstrated his ability to recruit at an elite level in his first full hiring cycle on the job by bringing in the most talent-rich, broad reception class in Ohio history. Ohio State became only the second school (after Alabama in 2017) in the composite ranking era to hit four broad receivers all ranked in the top 100 public opportunities in the same employment category, and Hartline is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s top employer among coaches. assistants.

Fleming, third in the class, became the highest-ranked in Ohio State history (a title he still holds). Smith-Njigba was the 29th candidate overall, pairing with Fleming to become the first five-star receiver duo to sign with Ohio State that same year, while Scott was 66th and Cooper 93rd in the final composite standings.

So far, the actual field results for this chapter have been mixed. Fleming’s first two years at Ohio State were plagued by injury, Scott moved to a tight end after one season and didn’t play much and Cooper moved to Missouri just a year later.

Of course, Smith-Njigba proved everything he was recruited to be, and then he got 95 passes for 1,606 yards. Fleming and Scott still have plenty of time to tap their potential, though the Scott Center coach is now Kevin Wilson instead of Hartline.

Jackson Smith Ngigba and Julian Fleming

Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming became the first pair of five-star wide receivers ever to sign with Ohio State in the same hiring category.

2021: Emeka Igboka, Marvin Harrison Jr., Jayden Ballard

Hartline hit another trajectory in the 2021 recruiting category, when Ohio State landed the three receivers it followed solidly in that category and continued its run of only signing receivers ranked in the top 100 potential in the class. It was the second year in a row that Ohio State landed the highest wide receiver in the class, with Egbuka being ranked #1 wide and #10 in the 2021 session.

While the Ohio class wasn’t the highest hiring class on paper that year — Alabama signed four receivers that all ranked in the top 75 — there is already evidence to suggest that the Buckeyes’ 2021 receiving class could end up being the best. From that year when it was all said and done.

Egbuka showed flashes of star potential in his first season as Buckeye. So did Harrison Jr., who fell into three touchdowns in the first start of his career and already appears to have been underrated as a mere No. 97 in his class. Ballard, still the only state receiver signed by Ohio State at Hartline State, didn’t play much as a real freshman but earned plenty of praise for his performance in his sophomore year as Buckeye.

2022: Caleb Brown, Keon Gray, Caleb Burton, Kujo Antwi

The most recent recruit class to reach Ohio was the first in Hartline’s tenure not to include a wide five-star receiver and also the first to include receivers ranked outside the top 100 overall prospects in its class. But that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes’ newcomer class lacks talent.

As has always been the case in Hartline State, Ohio State landed the receivers it desperately sought. Both Brown and Grays are ranked among the class’s top 88 overall chances, with Grays climbing the rankings during his senior year after committing to Ohio State. Burton was rated a five-star prospect at the time of his commitment to the Buckeyes before slipping to 132nd in the final standings, while the Buckeyes beat stiff competition from Georgia for landing Antwi, the 151st overall in the final compound. Categories.

They haven’t played any Ohio State shots yet, and with all the talent that came with the two recruiting classes ahead of them, there may not be much playtime available for freshmen in 2022. Any one of them could prove to be a star in time, although they It brings a variety of skill sets that should complement each other well as they each look to work their way up in rotations in different roles.

2023: Brandon Ennis, Carnell Tate, Noah Rogers, Bryson Rogers

As impressive as Hartline’s Ohio State recruiting classes have been throughout the year, the class he’s now amassing in 2023 is his best work yet.

The rankings for this career cycle won’t be completed until after they’ve played their senior seasons, but if Ennis (currently 18th), Tate (28th), and Rogers (50th) all remain in the top 50 odds in the class, Ohio State will only become 3rd school which predicted three top 50 potential teams in a wide receiving position in the same class, along with Alabama in 2021 (Ja’Corey Brooks, Agiye Hall, JoJo Earle) and Texas in 2000 (BJ Johnson, Roy Williams and Sloan Thomas).

Learn about 2023 commitments

While it is likely that any of their enlistment ratings will drop by the end of the cycle, it is also likely that any of them will be able to raise the rating, notably Bryson Rodgers, who would currently be the lowest ranked wide receiver in the Hartline era as number 270 Probability of the year in the 2023 class. It seems likely that his final ranking will eventually be higher, although Ohio State made him a priority and accepted his commitment before landing any other bid in the class.

More important than the final rating, Ohio once again landed the receivers it wanted most except for the 2023 highest-rated receiver Zacharias Branch, who committed to USC. Commiting to the No. 2 and No. 3 receiver in the class, Ohio State is set to sign the nation’s best class of wide receivers once again. Hartline is currently on track to be 247Sports Recruiter of the Year for the second time in four years.

As long as Inniss and Tate maintain their five-star status, Ohio State will become the second school in the composite rating era to sign several broad five-star receivers in two different employment categories (along with Texas), and they have fully accomplished that goal within the first four years From Hartline as a reception coach at Ohio State.

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