Columbus, Ohio – Ohio football has had its fair share of problems during the 2023 recruitment cycle, but closing its borders was not one of them.
Ohio is home to seven players who are ranked in the top 300 nationally, most of whom play positions of need in this tournament. Everyone chose to stay home except for one. Arvell Reese is the last and final piece of this in-state puzzle for this session. Even if he is the lowest rated in the group, his decision may be the most important in the long run.
Jim Tressel built one of the best programs in the country during the 2000s, doing so mostly with locally grown produce. Many of these influential players came from Glenville High School, which had been introducing top ten players every year during its heyday. Troy Smith, Ted Jane Jr., Cardal Jones, and Marshawn Lattimore highlight the list of players in this pipeline, even though they’re hardly the only names on it.
But that pipeline hasn’t been around for most of the past decade since Lattimore and Eric Smith came out in 2014. This is because Ohio State University has taken a more patriotic approach to hiring under Urban Meyer, but also because talent hasn’t been the same. That could start to change in the coming cycles starting with Reese and 2024 defensive back target Bryce West.
“We are definitely proud of him,” West told cleveland.com. “We all want the same offers. We all grind the same. We push each other. We are trying to rebuild a pipeline between Glenville and Ohio.”
This idea is about what the future holds for Ohio State University. The immediate solution that Reese brings is the first player in the Knowles era.
It’s always been Knowles Known more as a planner than a recruiter, but that doesn’t take the sting out on how to recruit a linebacker in 2023. Ohio State lost its Top 100 recruits last month to Troy Bowles and Tacket Curtis after they both made state visits in June. Bowles’ choice of Georgia wasn’t a huge surprise, but Curtis’ choice of USC was no surprise. His relationship with Knowles dated back to his time in Oklahoma, and for most of the past six months it has felt like only a matter of time before he finalizes the deal.
Instead, she left OSU without a linebacker commitment at the end of July, assuring that although Reese’s recruitment began to explode, he was still in Columbus. This job was done, putting a player with a potentially high ceiling although still considered a raw talent.
Running coach Tony Alford and senior advisor and analyst Matt Guerrieri, who also played a role in this hiring, should also be credited.
Switching to a 4-2-5 defensive scheme means the Buckeyes can take in fewer linebackers per year. Plus, the room’s future is still bright no matter what happens in this class, with Reid Carrico, CJ Hicks, and Gabe Powers all in their first or second year on campus. But Reese’s landing is indicative of two things that are important to the program.
First, it converts an assumed win into an indefinite win. Second, you’ll probably make the ball roll when you restart a pipeline with a school that has brought the program a lot of wealth over the past 20 years.
To watch the full 2023 recruitment chapter in Ohio, click here.
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