Ryan Day had big shoes to fill when he replaced Urban Meyer as the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. While Day has plenty to worry about on the field, he's also making important changes to the team's philosophy when it comes to recruiting.
Day has made it a priority to show confidence in the players he recruits and not simply to go after the very best according to the big rating services. 3-star Offensive line prospect Jakob James of Cincinnati is one of the beneficiaries of this revamped outlook.
James originally only received an offer from Meyer that was conditional based on his ability to continue to gain weight. He had been prepared change his diet to bulk up and wouldn't have committed for another year, but Day showed his belief in him by extending the offer without strings attached.
Day's pivot in strategy should be a welcome one for the school, particulary with an eye toward homegrown talent in Ohio. His focus on the development of recruits with their heads screwed on right, as well as an effort to show confidence in them, will lead to even greater long-term sustainability for the program.
Some of these early offers will also give the team an edge in recruiting. One of the biggest flaws in Meyer's recruiting strategy was that he waited too long to make certain scholarship overtures; In 2019, six players in Ohio were given offers by the Buckeyes, but only one player ended up committing.
It's still too early to tell whether Day can continue to build on the successful foundation that Meyer left behind, but he is off to a great start with some of his early decisions.