A look at each of Brian Hartline’s five fully loaded receiver recruiting classes at the state of Ohio

If you’ve been paying attention to Ohio State’s commitments this week, you already know the simple truth: Brian Hartline is good at recruiting.

This fact has become crystal clear over the past three days as Ohio State has gotten three engagements in a row from wide receivers that are all ranked in the top 50 potential customers in the 2023 class: Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, and Noah Rogers.

However, it’s not like Hartline’s recruiting prowess was a secret before this week. Ohio State has introduced elite recruiting classes in the wide receiver position year after year since Hartline became the Ohio State wide receiver manager in the middle of the 2019 recruitment cycle. Those classes have been consistently in between. the best in the country, creating a talent pool that has made the state of Ohio the excellence in the wide receiver position for years to come.

In his first five rounds of recruiting as an Ohio wide receiver coach, Hartline landed 17 wide receiver engagements, and all but three were ranked in the top 100 prospects in their respective recruiting classes.

Now that the state of Ohio has likely finished its 2023 recruiting class in the wide receiver position, and has done so spectacularly, it’s worth checking out each of Hartline’s top five recruiting classes as an assistant. full-time coach and why each of them was a cause for celebration. For those whose attendees actually started their careers in the state of Ohio, let’s also take a look at how those classes have fared so far.

2019: Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams

Brian Hartline’s first recruiting class of tenure as Ohio State wide receivers coach included only two wideouts, but both of these receivers have already become the top 12 picks in the NFL draft.

Hartline was still just a quality control coach when Wilson got involved in Ohio State, but he helped ensure Wilson stayed busy with the Buckeyes after Zach Smith and Urban Meyer departures. As potential customer number 20 in the 2019 class, Wilson was the highest-scoring wide receiver Ohio State had ever signed at the time and became exactly the player he should have been. In three seasons as Buckeye (one of which was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Wilson received 143 passes for 2,213 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Williams, who became the first wide receiver to actually engage Hartline in September 2018 while Hartline was the interim Ohio State wide receiver coach, was a one-year starter for the Buckeyes in 2020 but did not fully realize the his potential until he moved to Alabama, where he was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2021. Hartline still contributed to Williams’ development, however, and his emergence as a first-round pick is only helping Hartline’s efforts to continue to recruit the best wide receivers in Columbus.

The only 2019 class wide receiver selected higher than them in this year’s NFL draft was USC’s Drake London, who was not offered by the Buckeyes as the No. 247 in the cycle.

2020: Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr., Mookie Cooper

Hartline quickly demonstrated its ability to recruit at the elite level in its first full round of recruiting on the job by introducing the most talented wide-receiver class in the history of the state of Ohio. Ohio State became only the second school (after Alabama in 2017) in the composite ranking era to get four wide receivers who were all ranked in the top 100 prospects in the same recruiting class, and Hartline was ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s best assistant coach recruiter.

Fleming, the third overall potential customer in the class, became the highest-scoring signee wide receiver in the history of the state of Ohio (a title he still holds). Smith-Njigba was the number 29 prospect overall, alongside Fleming to become the first pair of wide five-star receivers to sign with Ohio State in the same year, while Scott was 66th and Cooper was 93rd in the final composite rankings.

So far, actual field results for this class have been mixed. Fleming’s first two years at Ohio State were plagued with injury, Scott moved to tight end after a season and still hasn’t played much, and Cooper moved to Missouri after just one year.

Obviously, Smith-Njigba proved to be everything he was recruited for and then some with his record-breaking second season in which he scored 95 passes for 1,606 yards. And Fleming and Scott still have plenty of time to tap their potential, even though Scott’s position coach is now Kevin Wilson rather than Hartline.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming became the first pair of five-star receivers to sign with Ohio State in the same recruiting class.

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

Hartline scored another home run in the 2021 recruiting class, when Ohio State landed the three catchers they pursued most aggressively in that class and continued its streak of signed-only catchers that were ranked in the potential top 100. customers of the class. He marked the second consecutive year that the state of Ohio earned the best wide-angle receiver in the class, as Egbuka was ranked the No. 1 wideout and no. 10 general prospectus in the 2021 cycle.

While the Ohio State class wasn’t quite the widest catcher recruiting class on paper that year – Alabama signed four catchers that were all ranked in the top 75 – there is already evidence to suggest that the class of The Buckeyes’ 2021 receivers could end up being the best since that year when all was said and done.

Egbuka showed flashes of star potential in his first season as Buckeye. So did Harrison Jr., who scored three touchdowns early in his career and already looks underrated as just the potential 97th customer in his class. Ballard, who remains the only wide receiver in the state of Ohio to have signed into Hartline’s tenure, hasn’t played much like a true freshman, but has garnered a lot of praise for his performance in his second spring as Buckeye.

2022: Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes, Caleb Burton, Kojo Antwi

The most recent recruiting class to arrive in the state of Ohio was the first in Hartline’s tenure that did not include a five-star wide receiver and also the first that included handsets rated outside the top 100 overall prospects in their class. . But that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes’ new class of freshman receiver lacks talent.

As has always been the case during Hartline’s tenure, the State of Ohio got the receivers it pursued the hardest. Brown and Grayes were both ranked in the top 88 overall potential customers in the class, with Grayes climbing the rankings during his final year following his Ohio state engagement. Burton was rated as a potential five-star customer at the time of his engagement with the Buckeyes before sliding to 132nd in the final standings, while the Buckeyes beat out stiff competition from Georgia to land Antwi, the overall 151st in the composite. final rankings.

They haven’t played for the state of Ohio yet and with all the talent that has come with the two recruiting classes in front of them, there may not be a lot of playtime available for new freshmen in 2022. Any of them could turn out to be one. star over time, however, and they bring a diverse group of skill sets that should complement each other as each tries to make their way through the rotation in different roles.

2023: Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate, Noah Rogers, Bryson Rodgers

As impressive as Hartline’s recruiting classes at Ohio State have been year after year, the class he has now assembled for 2023 is arguably his best work.

The rankings for this recruiting cycle will not be finalized until they play their senior seasons, but if Inniss (currently 18th overall), Tate (28th) and Rogers (50th) all remain in the top 50 potential clients of the class, Ohio State would become only the third school to sign three top 50 potential clients in the wide receiver position in the same class, along with Alabama in 2021 (Ja’Corey Brooks, Agiye Hall, and JoJo Earle) and Texas in 2000 (BJ Johnson, Roy Williams and Sloan Thomas).

Discover the Commits 2023

While it’s possible that any of their recruiting rankings could drop by the end of the cycle, it’s also possible that some of them could climb the rankings, most notably Bryson Rodgers, who would currently be the lowest-scoring wide receiver in the was Hartline as the overall prospectus no. 270 in the 2023 class. It seems likely that his final ranking will eventually be higher, however, considering Ohio State made him a priority and accepted his commitment before getting more wideouts in the class.

More important than the final rankings, the state of Ohio once again got the receivers it wanted most, with the exception of 2023 flagship receiver Zachariah Branch, who committed to USC. With receivers n. 2 and n. 3 of the class committed, however, the State of Ohio is set to once again sign the best class of wide receivers in the country. And Hartline is currently on track to be 247Sports’ best 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 ranking era to sign more five-star receivers in two different recruiting classes (along with Texas), and they’ve achieved goal entirely in the Hartline’s first four years as an Ohio State receivers coach.

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