Brian Hartline continues to build Ohio State WR room with Carnell Tate
{{ timeAgo('2022-06-20 12:18:21 -0500') }} football Edit

Brian Hartline continues to build Ohio State WR room with Carnell Tate

Devin Brown put out an advertisement for Ohio State’s wide receiver room and Brian Hartline on Twitter Saturday morning.

“3 year PhD program now available from WR in Columbus, OH. Professor Hartline is the best there is!” Brown wrote, tagging five-star wide receivers Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate, along with four-star Noah Rogers. “Get your applications in ASAP. Classes fill up fast. Also, the guys majoring in throwing here are pretty good too.”

It’s not like Hartline needed an advertisement.

Since he was officially named Ohio State’s program’s wide receiver coach in 2018, taking over as the interim coach in 2018 for Zach Smith and being promoted to the full time role in 2019, the former Buckeye wide receiver has brought in four five-star receivers — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Julian Fleming, Emeka Egbuka and Tate, who committed to the Buckeyes Monday — and has developed two first-round picks in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, with likely more on the way.

To Hartline, who outright said he doesn’t like the WRU title, it’s just the product of what he’s always known. It’s what happens when he has a room filled with receivers that work hard.

It’s the product of what he’s always felt about the receivers in his room that all have the same goal of developing to get to the next level.

That’s why Hartline doesn’t view himself as a master recruiter, something he says has a bad connotation. He’s just relaying the same message that convinced Wilson, Olave and Smith-Njigba to choose and get developed at Ohio State.

“I think it’s more important to identify talent than it is to communicate the information of why we’re different than others,” Hartline said. “I think recruiting has a bad connotation to it. I don’t do anything different than just explain why Ohio State’s a great university and how Ohio State can help maximize and reach their goals. Clearly a message is probably pretty important, but I think we pride ourselves more on not necessarily finding the best guys, but finding the right guys.”

That process begins for some before they even make Ohio State their home.

Coming into camp as a 2025 Texas A&M commit, Winston Watkins Jr. said he was given he “keys to success” by Hartline, getting a taste of what life would be like at Ohio State, what he described as “one of those WRUs in the county.”

"They can (develop) me for the next level of my career," Watkins said. "Not just for college. Get me pro ready."

2024 WR Tyseer Denmark, while holding onto offers to play at Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and USC, said he’s talked to Hartline extensively, a coach, he said, who’s eager to teach him how he can improve on his position, whether it’s getting in and out of reads or developing efficiency in his catch radius.

To Denmark, Hartline is the same coach to him that he is to the current members of his room.

“Up here, he makes his receivers go 100% every day,” Denmark said.

It affected Tate's decision, who has become yet another receiver to laud Hartline's ability to develop players like him into top-tier options not only in the Big Ten and in college football as a whole, but heading into the next level too.

"I love Coach Hartline and what he has done at the wideout position," Tate told Rivals national recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove. "You could see it. We all saw it from his previous year when he had Chris and Garrett. They went on to be first-round picks.

"I just hope to be on the path to be the next great receiver to come out of Ohio State."

That’s what a lecture under Hartline at Ohio State would feel like: a relentless expectation to better yourself as a receiver, becoming part of a conglomerate that’s united on the same goal while finding distinct roles in the Buckeyes offense.

That’s why, after Tate and four-star wide receiver Bryson Rodgers, the Buckeyes are not done, not satisfied in the 2023 class. Instead Ohio State turns its attention to Inniss and Rogers, the other two receivers tagged in Brown’s tweet.

Hartline knows what a wide receiver can do when he’s developed in his room. He knows what a receiver can turn into no matter how full the room may be.

He still doesn’t like to be considered an “NFL factory” or WRU.

But he knows something is being built in his room, giving Brown the subtle like instead of a retweet.