OSU pitches success, future to recruits


By Jim Naveau - jnaveau@limanews.com



Okudah

Okudah


Ohio State #80 Brendon White heads down field as Ohio State is #24 Shaun Wade plays defense at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University April 15,2017 Photos by Don Speck


COLUMBUS – Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class is ranked No. 1 in the country and its 2017 freshmen were ranked No. 2.

Next year’s recruiting class has two 5-star recruits and 12 4-stars so far and this year’s class had two 5-stars and 17 4-stars.

In Urban Meyer’s six years as OSU’s head coach, he has had only one recruiting class ranked lower than No. 5 in the country.

So, how do the Buckeyes do it? What started this tidal wave of incoming talent, beginning with the all-world class of 2013, which included players like Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Vonn Bell, Darron Lee, Eli Apple, Billy Price and Tyquan Lewis? And what has kept it going?

Success on the field and in getting players to the NFL obviously has a lot to do with it.

Meyer is a magnetic, some would say charismatic personality. Recruiting coordinator Mark Pantoni directs a 10-person staff which relentlessly identifies, evaluates and pursues the top recruits and gets the Ohio State brand out there, including posting as many as 500 items a week on social media.

And they all emphasize what Ohio State can do for an athlete once his playing days are over.

Here’s what some of the top recruits in the 2017 recruiting class said convinced them Ohio State was the place for them.

Jeffrey Okudah, a 5-star cornerback from Texas, said, “What sold me was the plan they had set out for me after football. Not many schools go into that much detail. That really sold me and my family.

“They were pretty close to my family. They did a really good job of recruiting everyone around me. And I knew in my head I wanted to compete with the best players in the country. From the start, that always caught my eye.

“The one thing I liked about Ohio State’s coaching staff was the honesty. They never said anything like, ‘We’ll give you a spot.’ They knew we knew we’d have to come in and work for it from Day 1,” he said.

Tate Martell, a 4-star quarterback from Las Vegas, said, “I knew this was the place for me as soon as I got offered. This is where I wanted to be.”

Martell said he felt a connection with Meyer. “I think we both have a passion for football that is second to none. It just felt like a perfect fit for me,” he said.

Shaun Wade, a 4-star cornerback from Florida, said, “He (Meyer) does a great job. My parents love him.

“What sold me was he told me he would help me get a job after football or if I get hurt he would help me get a great job. If they didn’t have anybody go to the NFL I would still be here,” Wade said.

Okudah
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_Okudah.jpgOkudah
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_Martell.jpg
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_Wade.jpg
Ohio State #80 Brendon White heads down field as Ohio State is #24 Shaun Wade plays defense at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University April 15,2017 Photos by Don Speck
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_Spring.jpgOhio State #80 Brendon White heads down field as Ohio State is #24 Shaun Wade plays defense at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University April 15,2017 Photos by Don Speck

By Jim Naveau

jnaveau@limanews.com

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