Ohio State football: Hartline takes over top spot in recruiter rankings

Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes assistant coach Brian Hartline during the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes assistant coach Brian Hartline during the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Ohio State football coach has proved to be the most valuable recruiter in the country when it comes to assistant coaches.

Kojo Antwi’s commitment on Monday means a lot of things to the Ohio State football team. They add another top receiver to an already loaded group in the 2022 class, they solidify their hold on first place in the recruiting rankings, and they showed their ability to come from behind to land a prized recruit (read that article here).

There is one other thing in the fallout from this latest commitment that has flown a bit under the radar. Receivers coach Brian Hartline has moved to the top of 247 Sports’ rankings of recruiters.

Hartline has been the primary recruiter on all four of Ohio State’s receivers in their 2022 class. That haul includes five-star Caleb Burton, along with four-stars Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes, and Kojo Antwi. He’s nearly five points ahead of USC cornerbacks coach Donte’ Williams in those rankings.

Hartline is not unfamiliar with the top spot in these rankings. He finished first for the 2020 class when he brought in Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Gee Scott, Jr. Those three comprised the number one, five, and ten receivers in the country. The fourth-year assistant has landed the nation’s top-rated receiver two years in a row. The aforementioned Fleming and Emeka Egbuka in the 2021 class.

A graduate of GlenOak High School in Canton, where he was a state champion in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles, he played for the Buckeyes from 2006 to 2008. He caught 90 passes for over 1,400 yards in his OSU career.

Hartline was taken by Miami in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. After six seasons with the Dolphins, he moved on to Cleveland for his final season. In his seven years of pro football, he had 344 catches for nearly 4,800 yards. He joined the Ohio State football staff as a graduate assistant in 2017 and was named interim receivers coach a year later. That position was made permanent in December of 2018.

Hartline is only 34 and has established himself as one of the best receivers coaches and recruiters in the country. We all know what that means. He’s fast turning into a very hot commodity. The next step for him is to take over an offense as a coordinator.

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My hope is Ryan Day will elevate him to that position in the next season or two. Retaining Hartline is something that should be a priority for Day.