After a star career at Ohio State, Brian Hartline had a successful seven year NFL career, with a pair of 1,000 yard seasons. Two years after retiring from the pros, he joined his alma mater as a graduate assistant on Urban Meyer‘s staff.
In 2018, after the Zach Smith scandal hit the Buckeyes program, Hartline was elevated to wide receivers coach. He remains in that spot as Ryan Day has taken over the program from Meyer, and appears to have a very bright future in coaching, as Ohio State continues to produce quality pass catchers.
Former Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones believes the sky’s the limit for the 34-year old Canton native. During a recent episode of his podcast “Roommates” with former Buckeye teammate Tyvis Powell, he discussed Hartline’s transition into the coaching world.
“I remember how many critics he had because he wasn’t a ‘proven guy’ when it came to the coaching aspect, but one thing you can’t coach, one thing you can’t teach is experience. And he had that playing, not just at the highest level in college, but the highest level in football period,” Jones said.
— Cardale Jones (@CJ1two) May 19, 2021
Of course, not every former college star or NFL player turns into a great coach. However, Brian Hartline has really taken to the recruiting world, and continues to round into a great wide receivers coach, Cardale Jones says.
“That always don’t pan out to make a great coach. He’s a hell of a recruiter, he’s a great coach. You see some of these guys he’s getting in these last three-four years. He’s had the No. 1 receiver in each class. He’s creating a lot of opportunities, a lot of competition in that room, and I wonder what the heck he’s telling these guys to come in to Ohio State when they already had the No. 1 receiver for the last three years, on top of guys that’s there that are performing at a high level.”
Hartline has developed into one of Ryan Day’s ace recruiters. In the last few years, he’s landed a four five-star receivers: Julian Fleming, Emeka Egbuka, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Caleb Burton, the first two of whom were the No. 1 receiver in their respective classes. He is also credited with recruiting five-star quarterback Kyle McCord, along with 10 other four-star players per 247Sports. That group includes quarterback CJ Stroud, and wide receivers Gee Scott Jr. and Marvin Harrison Jr., son of the Indianapolis Colts legend.
If he keeps that up, and Ohio State keeps rolling through the Big Ten, you could see Hartline start to get some offensive coordinator and head coaching looks down the road.