Three-star running back Wilrl Hartson sticks to Ohio State as a favorite track

Even though Ohio State did not sign an appeal Wednesday, the Buckeyes will still be running low in the 2023 recruiting class.

Three-star running back from Massillon, Ohio, Wiltrell Hartson, announced his commitment to Ohio State on Saturday as the favorite.

Hartson chose to move forward with the Buckeyes despite receiving from 10 FBS schools, including a Power 5 school (Boston College) as well as Army, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Temple, Toledo, and UAB.

The 5-foot-9, 200-pound running back had a highly productive career at Massillon Washington High School, breaking the school’s single-season rushing yards record with 2,042 yards in 2022 (132.8) while ranking second in school history in rushing yards (3,983) and rushing touchdowns (53).

Hartson was ranked as the 89th best running back (No. 1,313 overall) in the recruiting class of 2023.

His commitment to Ohio comes after the Buckeyes went without signing a scholarship during his early signing period.

While the Buckeyes had expected to sign four-star Florida running back Mark Fletcher until finalizing his commitment in November, they were unable to trade him for any other running back they deemed worthy of a scholarship offer. Ohio State hosted running backs Trey Cornist and Lamar Sperling in visits after Fletcher’s decommitment, but signed Tulane and Buffalo after the Buckeyes elected not to field either.

With Myan Williams, Trevion Henderson, Evan Pryor and Dallan Hayden all expected to return to Ohio State next season and the Buckeyes considering the possibility of keeping Chip Trayanum at a return, Ryan Day said Wednesday that he felt they could afford to go without a scholarship in the middle of the season. 2023 if they can’t get a scholarship they really wanted.

“We have a pretty decent depth there when you look at Trey and Miyan. Then Chip, we have to decide whether or not we’re going to take him full-time. Dalan got injured, then Evan Pryor,” Day said. Already with five men there, four and a half men. If we had someone there that we really liked, we’d take them. We didn’t feel the need to, but will always look to upgrade if we can or add someone to the list that we think can help us. So it just didn’t work out for us this year. But we definitely had a head start (Fletcher), and then we lost the guy.”

That could open the door for Hartson, though, to compete for a running back in the future even though he walks. He joins a group of running backs on the roster that includes TC Caffey, who played in two games for Ohio State this season and ran for two. 49 yards touchdown against Toledo before suffering a season-ending injury, as well as Kayden Saunders and Chase Brecht.

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