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How Carnell Tate's Commitment Impacts Ohio State’s 2023 Recruiting Class

An in-depth look at what Tate will bring to the Buckeyes both on and off the field.

Ohio State added a key piece to its 2023 recruiting class on Monday afternoon when Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star wide receiver Carnell Tate announced his commitment to the Buckeyes.

The 6-foot-2 and 185-pound Tate originally hails from Chicago, where he starred at Marist High School as a freshman, but transferred to IMG in the middle of his sophomore year after the state of Illinois postponed fall sports amid the pandemic.

Tate has continued to develop into one of the nation’s top prospects while suiting up for the Ascenders, who played a national schedule that includes elite programs such as Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage, Cincinnati La Salle, Miami Northwestern and Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy last season.

Even when lined up against highly rated defenders in those games, Tate used his explosiveness and aggressiveness to consistently and effortlessly make big plays in the passing and return games. He already has a wide catch radius and soft hands, and his ability to make contested catches will only get better as he adds weight in college.

“This is a kid who can play everywhere, checks all the boxes and brings some size to the table,” Irish Breakdown’s Bryan Driskell said. “He’s a matchup nightmare for people. He gets that initial separation and he’s a very clean pass-catcher. He’s got a very unique athleticism for his size. It’s fun to watch.

“The biggest thing with someone like Tate is just refining his game. He’s going to get bigger, stronger and faster, but there’s things he can do out of his stance, using his hands a little better at the snap and not drifting on some of his routes. Those are all things that a young receiver can get good at, but it’s just about refining his skillset.

“For me, what makes him a big-time prospect is he has a high ceiling, but the difference between him and some other players is he has an incredibly high floor. I think that’s what makes Carnell unique. He has a real natural feel for the game, understands football, has a high football IQ and as he’s gotten stronger and bigger, he’s just become more dominant.”

As for how Tate fits into the class, Ohio State is looking to reload at wide receiver again this cycle. The Buckeyes already have Zephyrhills (Fla.) Wiregrass Ranch four-star Bryson Rodgers in the fold and plan to add as many two more players at the position in 2023.

Tate’s pledge only strengthens the staff’s pursuit of American Heritage five-star Brandon Inniss – who was his teammate on the South Florida Express 7-on-7 team and is coming off an official visit – and Rolesville, N.C., four-star Noah Rogers, who is scheduled to take his on June 24-26 after having flight troubles this weekend.

Brian Hartline, Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss and Keenan Bailey

Of course, that would give Ohio State commitments from four elite wide receivers in back-to-back classes after the staff added Kyion Grayes, Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown and Kojo Antwi last cycle.

That might make some hesitant to think the Buckeyes can pull all four, but with the amount of turnover at the position in Columbus these days – whether they’re heading to the NFL or transferring to another program after learning from Brian Hartline for a few years – the numbers will always sort themselves out.

If Ohio State somehow miss out on one or both of Inniss and Rogers, another name to keep in mind is Folsom , Calif., four-star Rico Flores, who is also set to take an official visit next weekend and then make his college decision on July 3. He’s currently trending to Notre Dame, though, so it could ultimately be a situation where the Buckeyes are comfortable with a trio of Rodgers, Tate and Inniss or Rogers.

That said, Tate now becomes the fourth member of the South Florida Express to commit to Ohio State this cycle, joining American Heritage four-star running back Mark Fletcher, Titusville (Fla.) Cocoa four-star safety Cedrick Hawkins and Tampa (Fla.) Wharton four-star cornerback Dijon Johnson, who previously played for Team Tampa but joined the squad for the Overtime 7-on-7 even in Las Vegas earlier this month.

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He’s probably not the last either, as the Buckeyes are favored for Inniss and a pair of 2024 wide receivers in Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep five-star Jeremiah Smith and Miami Central five-star Joshisa Trader. Talk about the cupboard being chock full of talent…

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