Brian Hartline

What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder — The Recruiting Pitch Edition

I know the James Peoples buzz continues to grow. Right now there is a quiet confidence about Peoples, but I don’t know how much longer it’s going to stay so quiet. I will not be surprised to see him outdo Dallan Hayden’s freshman season of 553 yards rushing. He won’t need the same 111 attempts that Hayden got. If he does get 111 attempts, however, he’ll surpass Hayden’s 663 career rushing yards at Ohio State.

I think Brian Hartline’s message to 2026 WR Brody Keefe is pretty interesting. Part of the pitch was telling Keefe that Ohio State doesn’t need him. As in, they are not in a position of desperation or need. But the fact that they are offering him and recruiting him is a testament to what he can become. It’s basically a feather in the cap for the player. “We don’t just take anybody. You have to be special.” Keefe said he liked that pitch.

I wonder if Lincoln Kienholz’s patience comes from his upbringing and not being exposed to the Quarterback Production Market. Kienholz played multiple sports. He stayed in high school and didn’t graduate early because he wanted to play baseball. He’s not just a QB robot. He isn’t pre-programmed. Rather, he’s learning.

I know that people are overlooking Ty Hamilton, and that’s okay. Nose tackles aren’t supposed to garner much attention, but no defensive lineman had a higher tackle percentage for the Buckeyes last year. He made a tackle on 11.1% of his snaps last year. Tyleik Williams was at 8.3%, Jack Sawyer was 7.9%, and JT Tuimoloau was at 5.6%. Mike Hall was way behind Hamilton because he had more snaps and fewer tackles. One thing to keep in mind is that Hamilton played about half as many snaps as Tyleik Williams, and didn’t necessarily play on many passing downs. But the point here is that it’s nice to have a productive nose tackle, which OSU has.

I think every kid is different in how they will respond to a particular pitch, but so much of that response also involves how the adults in their lives respond to it as well. And that’s when opposing college coaches can really start to pry under the floorboards and tear stuff up.

To read the rest of this extended edition of What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder, you can click here, but you’ll need to be a premium subscriber. Additional topics include Michigan on television, Ohio State on Big Noon, Chip Kelly’s impact on the assistant coaches, more on Brian Hartline’s recruiting message and how not everybody responds well to it, why all five quarterbacks are still on campus, pushing players into the portal, the return of Kojo Antwi and the history to suggest there is still plenty of time, the tackle machine known as Cody Simon, and more.

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