The recruitment of five-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy wide receiver Carnell Tate didn’t lack for excitement, but the Buckeyes landed the long-time priority target on Monday as Brian Hartline continues to seemingly cherry pick the nation’s best receivers. Tate is another big-time pass catcher who will arrive at Ohio State with major expectations.
What Ohio State is getting
Simply put, Tate is one of the best receivers in the 2023 recruiting class, perhaps THE best. He is right in line with what Hartline and Ohio State have been landing in recent years as a five-star caliber prospect that has big-time college football player and potential high draft pick written all over him.
Tate combines a few of the things that I’ve liked over the years about recent first round draft picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Tate is a smooth route runner who just glides when he’s out on the field, much like Olave. But he combines that with the energy and the high compete level that I always respected from Wilson.
There aren’t a lot of holes to poke in Tate’s game. He has above average size, great hands, good top end speed and plays extremely hard. Like many young receivers, he’s still growing into his frame and could stand to add another 5-10 pounds of muscle before heading to Columbus, but his time at IMG Academy gives him access to some of the best high school facilities in the country.
Ohio State likes receivers who are versatile and can play both inside and outside. Tate does fit that bill to an extent, but his build and skill set are likely to see him on the outside during his time in Columbus. At 6-foot-1, with long arms and some physicality to his game, Tate will likely end up at either the X or Z receiver spots once he settles in.
What it means for recruiting
The Buckeyes now have two of the nation’s top receivers in the fold with Tate and Bryson Rodgers, but this is shaping up to be a four receiver class in Columbus. While Ohio State’s receivers room is as strong as any in the nation, it’s actually a little light on overall numbers and the expectation right now is that Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be a three-and-out player and the Buckeyes have a talented sophomore class that could see an early entrant or two as well.
So with that in mind, Hartline has to once again restock the pond and has two more spots to use. The targets have been mostly the same for the past several months. Five-star Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage product Brandon Inniss and Rolesville (NC) star Noah Rogers remain the two biggest priorities for the Buckeyes with Folsom (CA) star Rico Flores and Longview (TX) product Jalen Hale still out there as well.
Ohio State looks to be in great shape with Inniss specifically but the Buckeyes have also been surging with Rogers and that would be the dream quartet for Hartline and Co. Both prospects could be deciding sooner rather than later, which means Hartline and the Buckeyes could have this receiver class wrapped up before fall camp starts in August.
If that all comes to fruition, Hartline can really dive head first into identifying his 2024 priorities this fall. Philadelphia (PA) Roman Catholic star Tyseer Denmark was back on campus this week and was fantastic at the OSU 7-on-7 tournament on Thursday. The Buckeyes are in good shape there early on and they are also in very good shape with top target Jeremiah Smith out of Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna. Miami (FL) Central’s Jojo Trader, Burlington (NC) Cummings speedster Jonathan Paylor, and New Haven (IN) product Mylan Graham are a few more to watch in 2024.
Ohio State is halfway to landing what will once again be considered one of the best, if not the very best, wide receiver classes in college football as Brian Hartline continues to establish himself as one of the nation’s truly elite recruiters.
Check out more on Tate’s commitment to the Buckeyes below in the latest episode of the Givs and The Bank recruiting podcast.