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Scarlet Sunrise: Toledo hires former Buckeyes safeties coach Perry Eliano to lead CB room

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom06/07/24


Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Buckeyes football, recruiting, basketball and more in Scarlet Sunrise.

Toledo hires former Buckeyes safeties coach Perry Eliano to lead CB room

Perry Eliano is staying in Ohio.

Toledo hired the former Buckeyes safeties coach Thursday. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the news first, then Lettermen Row confirmed it.

After spending two seasons coaching safeties at Ohio State, Eliano will lead the cornerback room at Toledo, which just produced a first-round pick at the position. Quinyon Mitchell went No. 22 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles in this year’s NFL Draft. Interestingly enough, four of the Rockets’ last five draft selections, dating back to 2019, have been defensive backs.

Eliano will try to help continue the program’s burgeoning NFL pipeline in the back end. He was one of three Buckeyes coaches who wasn’t retained this offseason, the others being quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis and special teams coordinator Parker Fleming.

Eliano was the first of those three to go. Now he has a landing spot for the 2024 season.

Eliano played a role in the Buckeyes’ secondary returning to its “Best in America” status. In 2022, he helped Lathan Ransom become a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best defensive back in college football. In 2023, Eliano facilitated the rise of Sonny Styles as a starter and was flexible in allowing the “nickel” safety position to be manned by a cornerback to match coordinator Jim Knowles’ evolving system. That paved the way for Jordan Hancock to break out.

Unfortunately for Eliano, he couldn’t match his position group’s on-field improvement with success on the recruiting trail, at least to the level Ohio State needs.

Eliano and the Buckeyes missed out on five-star safety Caleb Downs the first time around in the 2023 recruiting class. During the 2024 cycle, Ohio State couldn’t reel in five-star safety KJ Bolden, despite Bolden’s family ties to Eliano. Of the five Buckeyes safeties Eliano signed, none were ranked inside the top 100 in the On3 Industry Ranking. Just one made it inside the top 250, and that’s Malik Hartford, who, granted, hit the ground running in Columbus and even started two games as a true freshman last season.

Eliano will get a fresh start at Toledo. He’s now earned three straight jobs in Ohio. Before he coached at Ohio State, he served as Cincinnati’s cornerbacks coach from 2020-21. During that two-year span, he helped Bearcats corners Sauce Gardner and Coby Bryant reach All-American status.

Breaking down projected Buckeyes wide receiver depth chart

It’s that time of the week. As Lettermen Row continues to mow through its position preview series, we’re continuing to project the depth chart for every Buckeyes position group.

This time around, we took a crack at Ohio State’s wide receiver room. Who will start? Who else will contribute as a rotational playmaker?

The Buckeyes are replacing the production Marvin Harrison Jr. provided them the last three seasons, particularly the last two when he emerged as a two-time unanimous All-American. Luckily for Ohio State, it’s got a handful of promising underclassmen to complement senior leader Emeka Egbuka.

Check out our projected wide receiver depth chart here.


Observations from second Ohio State recruiting camp of summer

Ohio State hosted its second recruiting camp of the summer Thursday.

The Buckeyes notably welcomed On3’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2026 class, five-star New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine defensive lineman Jahkeem Stewart, and he showed out.

On the other side of the ball, Ohio State hosted a collection of tight ends, including four-star Washington (Okla.) tight end and Ohio State commit Nate Roberts. Buckeyes tight ends coach Keenan Bailey worked those prospects especially hard.

Lettermen Row was on site for full coverage.

Check out our offensive observations here.

Check out our defensive observations here.

Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 85 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 176 days

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