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How The Opening Finals Will Shape Ohio State’s Future Passing Attack

June 28, 2016

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Ohio State fans could be looking at the future of the Buckeyes’ passing attack when The Opening Finals kick off on July 8.

The event—which is Nike’s signature high school football camp—annually draws the nation’s top high school talent to Beaverton, Oregon, for a series of physical tests to determine the top overall athlete in the country.

But the camp also holds a competitive seven-on-seven competition, and that’s where Ohio State’s future could be on display.

Four teams are set to compete against one another, and Team Alpha Pro will be led by quarterback Tate Martell, a 5’10 ½“, 203-pound blue chip out of Las Vegas.

Rated a 4-star standout and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback for the class of 2017, Martell is one of the country’s most productive signal-callers, combining to throw for 5,145 yards and 72 touchdowns (against just eight interceptions) while running for 1,037 yards and 14 touchdowns during his sophomore and junior seasons.

He’s one of the most electrifying players in this year’s recruiting cycle, and he announced his intention to bring that playmaking ability to Columbus when he committed to the Buckeyes earlier this month.

Martell will put those skills on display during the highly anticipated seven-on-seven tournament, where fate may be smiling upon head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Because lining up on the perimeter for Team Alpha Pro will be Ohio State’s top wide receiver targets5-stars Tyjon Lindsey and Trevon Grimes.

And it’s not a leap to assume that Martell will be working hard to establish a chemistry with the 5-star pair on the field while trying to nudge them toward Ohio State off it.

In fact, that’s a fair assumption to make because the prized quarterback is already recruiting both for Ohio State via Twitter.

Landing Lindsey would be an absolute coup for the Buckeyes. During the 2016 recruiting cycle, Ohio State signed Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, the No. 10- and No. 12-ranked receivers, respectively. Both are big (Mack is 6’2″, Victor is 6’4″) outside receivers who use their length and range to punish a secondary.

Lindsey, a 5’8 ½” blazer from Corona, California, is an ideal slot receiver who can wreak havoc working over the middle of a defense while also having the speed to burn it deep. He’d fit in seamlessly with what Ohio State already has in its wide receiver room.

At 6’3″, Grimes falls more into a similar mold to Mack and Victor, but the standout from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, boasts 4.4 speed that would be a invaluable to the Buckeyes’ passing attack. He has the long-range speed to grow into a role similar to the one Devin Smith had for Ohio State’s national title-winning team. 

With Lindsey and Grimes bringing a unique set of strengths to the field, it’ll be easy for Ohio State fans to see why Meyer is recruiting the pair so hard.

And with Martell as their quarterback at The Opening Finals in two weeks, it should be easy for that 5-star tandem to see themselves suiting up for the Buckeyes next year.

 

All recruiting rankings and information via 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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