Nov 7, 2023 - Business

Buckeyes recruiting fewer Ohio football players

 Ohio State University college football players, by home region
Data: cfbstats; Note: Regions based on Census Bureau classifications; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

The era of homegrown talent in college football may become a thing of the past.

State of play: An Axios analysis of recruiting data shows that college football programs in Ohio and across the country are increasingly recruiting from out of state, Simran Parwani reports.

Between the lines: The growing professionalization and commercialization of college athletics is reshaping the recruiting landscape.

  • With the changing transfer portal system and the emergence of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals, college football programs are pressured to recruit and retain the best players regardless of academic year and geography.

Zoom in: Ohio's most prominent college football teams, OSU and Cincinnati, recruit slightly over half of their players from Buckeye State high schools.

  • The bulk of players hail from the Midwest, though an increasing number of recruits are coming from southern and western states.
  • OSU QB Kyle McCord is from Philadelphia and has the cheesesteak bona fides to prove it.

Yes, but: You can still find plenty of Central Ohio players on the Buckeyes roster, including starting defensive players Sonny Styles, Ty Hamilton and Jack Sawyer, all from Pickerington.

Read more: Interstate Blitz: Why college football programs are crossing state lines to recruit talent


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