Since 2019, Ohio State has recruited the most top-100 wide receivers with 12. Of those 12, five of them even ranked inside the top 50. The next closest school is Alabama with seven top-100 wide receivers with four in the top 50. Some of those names the Ohio State Buckeyes have recruited include Jameson Williams, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Kyion Grayes, and now Carnell Tate. It’s all because of the great job Brian Hartline has done with recruiting.
Hartline knows the Buckeyes program inside and out. He was a Buckeye player himself playing from 2006 through 2008 after redshirting his freshman year in 2005. During the three seasons, he accumulated 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns over 90 receptions. He would be drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2009 and was with the team for six seasons. After that, he spent one season with the Cleveland Browns. During his NFL career, he had 344 receptions for 4,766 yards and 14 touchdowns. His experience as a wide receiver made him a great coaching candidate and in 2017 he began his coaching career.
He started off as a graduate assistant for the Buckeyes but quickly saw himself get the wide receivers coaching job during the 2018 season after Zach Smith was fired. His wide receiver unit in 2021 of Smith-Njigba, Wilson, and Chris Olave finished with a combined 3,600 receiving yards, and 34 touchdowns. Olave and Wilson were named First-Team All Americans while Smith-Njigba was named Second-Team All American. With the work Hartline has done, on January 9, 2022, he was promoted to also be the passing game coordinator in addition to the wide receivers coach.
Even with Olave and Wilson off to the NFL, with the recruiting Hartline has done the Buckeyes’ wide receiver room still has Smith-Njigba, Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming, Grayes, Jayden Ballard, Kaleb Brown, Xavier Johnson, and Kamryn Babb in addition to Tate.
Tate is rated as the No.3 receiver in the 2023 recruiting class. Coming from IMG Academy in Florida he has consistently shown his ability to make big plays downfield and always be open. Tate is also a versatile receiver who can line up outside or in the slot and beat both man and zone coverage. He received over 30 offers and eventually narrowed his finalists down to Tennessee, LSU, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Ultimately what made him choose the Buckeyes he said in an interview with Sports Illustrated was “I know that my future is in great hands with them, and they will help me develop into a potential first-round pick and achieve all of my dreams and aspirations. It is a great program, overall.” Tate is the second receiver from the 2023 class and joins four-star Bryson Rodgers and they are still in the running for five-star receiver Brandon Inniss and four-star receiver Noah Rogers.
Hartline helped develop Olave and Wilson to the point where both were taken early in the first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Smith-Njigba has already been noticed as another first-round potential player in the 2023 NFL Draft. Hartline has proven he can develop NFL talent receivers which has made Ohio State the spot top receiver prospects want to play for.