COLUMBUS — There aren’t many schools in the country that give Ohio State regular and consistent trouble on the recruiting trail.
Alabama is one of them. That shouldn’t be surprising considering the Crimson Tide’s on-field success in the last 15 years. It’s truly a rivalry that sees two of college football’s giants line up and slug it out against one another whenever they cross paths. In truth, it doesn’t happen that often, as the two schools seem to have different recruiting priorities. In most instances, it seems Ohio State and the Crimson Tide go toe-to-toe without a clear-cut winner in the recruiting game.
Maybe it’s recency bias. Alabama’s thumping of Ohio State in the national title game, combined with the transfers of Jameson Williams and Henry To’o To’o, is still a fresh wound for those in Columbus. Maybe it’s just paranoia that Nick Saban’s program seems to invoke all over the country, but whatever it is,Â it’s bothersome for the Buckeyes because there doesn’t seem to be a truly effective message againstÂ Alabama.
How do you combat the program that wins a national title seemingly every other year and continues to put out NFL first round picks at a previously unseen clip?
The best way to fight is to compete for titles and produce draft picks, right? Ohio State has done that as well as anyone, yet — especially along the offensive line — the challenges of recruiting against Alabama remains. Those challenges seem to be growing when it comes to offensive linemen from the south, or from southern prep powerhouses like the IMG Academy. The latest player from IMG to commit to Alabama, Tyler Booker, made an official visit to Ohio State in June but the Buckeyes couldn’t seem to getÂ really into the mix.
That’s a big question that Ohio State is going to need to evaluate. Is it simply the idea that the Tide get tackles drafted in the first round? Is it the aura of the SEC versus the Big Ten? Is it the continued changing demographics and population shift in the United States making it harder to find big-time offensive line talents close to Ohio?
Lettermen Rowâ€™s Jeremy Birmingham and Spencer Holbrook are discussing those topics and more in the latest episode of Talking Stuff, the recruiting podcast from Lettermen Row.Â There’s also discussion about the rising challenges in the Class of 2023, recruiting against a number of programs that are bouncing back while the traditional Ohio State recruiting footprint seems to have less top-tier talent to pick from.
Talking Stuff is presented by the fine folks at Byers Auto, the best place to buy a new or used car in Central Ohio.
Check it out in the link below and find more episodes all Lettermen Row video content on our YouTube channel.