The Rogers Impact

An epic week of wide receiver recruiting got its cherry on top on Wednesday as the Buckeyes landed Top 100 Rolesville (NC) star Noah Rogers.

What Ohio State is getting

Rogers is one of the more quiet recruits you’ll ever come across, but his game speaks pretty loudly. At every bit of 6-foot-2, Rogers is a big-time vertical threat who can consistently run past defenders and make big plays.

But Rogers is more than just a speed guy, he is a highly skilled pass catcher. He has the knack for making tremendous individual plays in 50/50 situations. He has the ability to elevate over defenders and has some of the strongest hands in this class nationally.

While there is a lot of versatility in this wide receiver class, Rogers’ game is very much built to play on the outside where he can use his speed, size, and athleticism to overwhelm man defenders. Rogers probably best fits the X position, a role Marvin Harrison Jr. currently occupies but he could just as easily play over at the Z position so there is enough versatility there to continue to prioritize getting the three best receivers on the field together.

Much like Carnell Tate, there isn’t much to knock on Rogers’ game, it’s really just a matter of getting a little bit bigger and stronger and adjusting to the speed and physicality of major college football. All of the physical tools are there to be a great player in Columbus.

In terms of current Buckeyes, Rogers probably most closely resembles Jayden Ballard. A tall, rangy athlete that can absolutely fly but is also capable of making the spectacular contested catch. Rogers might even be a little bit ahead of where Ballard was entering his senior season of high school.

What it means for recruiting

Ohio State should be finished recruiting wide receivers for the 2023 class. The target number of late has been four receivers and with back-to-back-to-back commitments this week, the Buckeyes have now met the goal for the class. While it would be hard to turn away someone like Rico Flores, it is likely that the Buckeyes will stay put here in the interest of roster spacing.

While this might sound strange given the higher profile recruitments of Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate, this might be Hartline’s best recruiting job of the cycle. Throughout his process, many felt Rogers would stay close to home as he’s a quieter kid and a bit of a homebody. In fact, I had an SEC coach tell me two months ago that they weren’t convinced that the heavy hitters like Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State would be able to pry him away from playing right down the road at N.C. State.

Furthermore, Hartline was able to continue to gain momentum and lock this one up as he was hitting on all of his other top targets and guys that he had been recruiting even longer than Rogers. It says a lot about the relationship that he was able to build with Rogers that the big commitments didn’t steer the Top 100 prospect away to a closer school with a better depth chart.

Brian Hartline now has roughly 18 months to focus on landing yet another elite group and the targets here are just as intriguing as any other crop that Hartline has landed so far. Florida stars J.J. Smith and Jojo Trader are right at the top of the wish list and Ohio State is in good early position for both, especially Smith.

Philadelphia (PA) Roman Catholic star Tyseer Denmark is another player who is very high on the Buckeyes early on and has made a couple of unofficial visits this off-season. Hartline will now be able to put the bulk of his recruiting time into evaluating the 2024 class and doing what he does best, building meaningful relationships.