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The Morning Bell: Wednesday April 20th

Saturday we finally got to see some football return to the Horseshoe, even if it only was the Spring Game. For me, the Spring Game has always been a welcome sight, as it shows a shift in the offseason schedule. The next time we see the Buckeyes in their helmets and pads, it will be preseason camp in early August. You never want to wish summer away, but when it gets you closer to Gamedays, it is hard to control yourself. Even though it was a very basic scrimmage, there are still plenty of things to take away from Saturday's Spring Game

Offensive Arsenal

Since Ryan Day got to Columbus, Ohio State has been a national leader on the offensive side of the ball. Long gone are the days of "3 yards and a cloud of dust" in Columbus. We are in the era of quick strike offense, and last year we saw the Buckeyes hit touchdown strikes from seemingly everywhere on the field. All of that being said, with a Heisman Finalist QB returning in CJ Stroud, and the Wide Receiver room running like a well oiled machine, Ohio State should look to the ground game for a true offensive juggernaut this fall.

If you look across college football, no one has a better three-headed monster in the tailback room. Henderson as the feature back broke records last year as a freshmen, rushing for 1248 yards/ 6.8 ypc/ 15 TD. Pair that with Miyan Williams who rushed for 7.2 YPC, you make a pretty nice duo. Yet with those two back in Columbus, one of the guys with the most buzz after this spring is Evan Pryor. Another full winter with Mickey Marotti seems to have really paid off, as Pryor looks like a much more physical player than he did in his freshman campaign. We had been hearing nothing but positive news from people inside the program on Pryor, as he even earned a comparison to Curtis Samuel. When the bright lights came on Saturday during the Spring Game, we all saw why he had earned so much hype out of the spring practices. Only one word could describe his play: Electric.

If you run into this Buckeyes team in November, and you have to play those three running backs who will all be fresh, not many defenses are going to have a fun time trying to keep points off the board. With as explosive of an offense as Ohio State had last year, the red zone was an issue. With Donovan Jackson and Matt Jones filling the guard positions this year, and these three running backs on your squad, no one should be able to keep Ohio State from getting across the goal line. Pair this running attack with the best QB in college football, and there is no reason the Buckeyes shouldn't return to the CFP after missing in the 2021 season.

Future QB?

If you follow the recruiting news surrounding Ohio State at all, then you should be no stranger to 2024 5-Star QB Dylan Raiola. Raiola is a 6'3" 225 lbs prospect from Chandler High School in Arizone, and when you flip on his highlight tape, it is pretty easy to see how he came to earn his ranking.

Watching these highlights, you quickly have to remind yourself that you are watching his Sophomore highlights. With some of these throws that he is making, I would be comfortable stacking these highlights against anyone from the 2022 and 2023 classes. Physically imposing already, with a lot of room to grow, it is possible Raiola enters the collegiate scene at closer to 6'5" or 6'6".

All that being said, over the last week just about anyone who is anyone in the world of recruiting insiders has made a prediction for Ohio State to land the commitment of Raiola here in the near future. He would be the first addition to the 2024 Buckeyes class, and with Ryan Day's stance on visits while committed, you have to assume Raiola is locked in if he does commit. Now, this is recruiting, and we all know things can change. We are a long ways away for NSD for the class of 2024, but if he does decide to come aboard, it is hard to start off a class any better than that. He has already been seen engaging with 2024 5-Star WRs and Ohio State targets Jeremiah Smith and Jojo Trader, so we may begin to see some dominos fall very soon for the 2024 class.

Happy Wednesday everyone, we are all one step closer to the weekend! Enjoy!

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