Ohio’s 2026 class is absolutely loaded and while a lot of early attention has been paid to the bumper crop along the offensive line, there are plenty of playmakers as well. Mentor wide receiver Justen Hodge is coming off an extremely productive sophomore campaign that saw him haul in 46 receptions for 872 yards and eight touchdowns.
Hodge was one of many class of 2026 standouts to check out Ohio State on Saturday.
“I really enjoyed the visit,” Hodge started. “Being able to spend a lot of time with Coach (Brian) Hartline and Coach (Devin) Jordan was cool. I felt like I am a priority for them. I will be visiting a few more times before the season starts.”
The visit was Hodge’s second trip to Ohio State during the recruiting process. He also made a visit back in the fall for the Maryland game.
“It’s the Shoe,” Hodge said of the game day visit. “I’ve always seen the environment on TV but to finally be there in person, on the field, and in the stands, it was better than I imagined. To watch the team and especially the wide receivers warm up and see how detailed they were in everything they did was impressive.”
While the fall visit was exciting, the visit on Saturday gave Hodge a more valuable experience with his ability to spend time with the coaches and begin to build relationships.
“It was completely different for my second visit,” he explained. “Coach Hartline really spent a lot of time with me, just going over what he expects out of his wide receivers. I can tell how passionate he is about that room and what type of guys he brings in there. We talked about what he wants to see from me in the next couple months. Coach Jordan was great also. He’s very approachable and answered any questions me or my parents had. I interacted with several other coaches and they all were welcoming and made me feel like I was at home. It was a great feeling.”
It’s just the beginning of the recruiting process for Hodge, who will hold numerous Power Five offers before all is said and done, but he likes what he has seen from Hartline and has connected well with him so far.
“His track record speaks for itself,” he said. “From Olave to JSN, Wilson, and now Marvin Harrison Jr., he has a formula that works. He brings in the guys he wants, develops them and puts them in the NFL. He told me he pushes his room to be great at everything and that’s something that is a priority for me.”
Hodge will visit West Virginia on February 3rd and expects to get back to Ohio State for a spring practice at some point as well as the spring game.