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What 4-star RB Jordan Marshall’s Michigan commitment means to Ohio State football: Buckeyes Recruiting

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 3/21/2023 Stephen Means,
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller running back Jordan Marshall returns to the sideline Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Byers Field in Parma after his second touchdown vs. St. Ignatius. Moeller won, 25-10. © Matt Goul, Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller running back Jordan Marshall returns to the sideline Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Byers Field in Parma after his second touchdown vs. St. Ignatius. Moeller won, 25-10.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State has had to live with the fact that Michigan has had bragging rights in the rivalry the last two seasons because of what’s happened on the football field, but now it’s starting to leak over onto the recruiting trail.

The Buckeyes have always put an emphasis on keeping the best players within the state from going elsewhere and up until now have done so successfully. But now they’ve lost out in the fight to land Jordan Marshall, who instead liked the Wolverines’ pitch better.

The nation’s No. 91 player and No. 7 running back come from Cincinnati Moeller. Having a top-100 recruit at running back in a year where you may watch up to three guys in the room leave after the 2023 season should make this a no-brainer, given the way things have gone in previous recruiting cycles.

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Ohio has produced 16 players who’ve been considered among the top 105 nationally within their respective classes in the five cycles Ryan Day has been head coach. Marshall is the third who didn’t end up a Buckeye along with Drew Allar and Kaden Saunder, who both ended up at Penn State in 2022.

But there’s a need to go big on running back in this cycle both with quality and quantity. Both are still on the table, but losing out on Marshall means that accomplishing that will require OSU to hit home runs nationally as it did in 2021 with TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor.

Michigan has had a history of coming into Ohio and finding talent that eventually comes back to haunt Ohio State with the two most notable being Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson, who both went on to win Heisman Trophies. While it hasn’t been much of an issue in recent years, that could change in 2024 with the Wolverines fully invested in the best Ohio has to offer.

That starts with Marshall but also extends to four-star cornerbacks Aaron Scott — who’s fresh off an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor — and Bryce West. Both are taking their time with their recruitment with no decision expected anytime soon. For now, OSU’s the favorite, but Michigan is undoubtedly making a push.

Marshall was scheduled to make official visits to Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and Wisconsin in June. The Buckeyes will surely continue to recruit him, but whether those trips still happen or not may be the biggest indicator of whether flipping him is actually possible.

While he’s the first top-100 recruit from Ohio that Michigan has landed since Dymonte Thomas in 2013 — and the 10th overall — he gives the Wolverines’ 2024 class three commits from Ohio, which is more than any other state right now.

Michigan has again established itself as one of the better programs in college football with back-to-back Big Ten championships and College Football Playoff appearances. Those accomplishments came on the backs of two emphatic wins over the Buckeyes, and the Wolverines have begun to shift the tide in the rivalry.

That’s on the field, but Ohio State has still had the edge when it comes to recruiting talent in recent years. But that could also be on the verge of changing as Jim Harbaugh tries to hurt Day where it may hurt the most by coming into his backyard and taking the very players he’s put the biggest emphasis on.

Consider Marshall’s commitment as the first successful trip over state lines.

To see Ohio State’s full 2024 recruiting class, click here.

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