Running back Mark Fletcher has been fired from Ohio State

Ryan Day and running backs coach Tony Alford received a commitment from one of the nation’s top running backs in 2023, Mark Fletcher of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage in April.

However, over the past two weekends, Fletcher has been visiting Miami and Florida, so the Ohio State staff began looking for other opportunities to walk back.

And tonight Fletcher announced that he has now retired from the Buckeyes. The news was posted on Twitter.

On Twitter, Fletcher had this to say:

“First of all, I want to thank Ohio State University, Coach Tony Alford and Coach Ryan Day for the privilege of playing football at the next level.

However, after long conversations discussing the best opportunities for me and my family, I have decided to withdraw from Ohio State University and reopen my recruitment.

Please respect my decision.

#Foreverhuble04

I love all the people who really care about me and what I want in life.”

Fletcher, who had 35 scholarship offers, narrowed his decision down to a final four from Ohio State, Miami, Michigan and Penn State before choosing the Buckeyes.

On Tuesday night, the Buckeyes contacted Louisville and walked back Ruben Owens about visiting Ohio State before the Michigan game. Owens told Bucknuts “I’ll see” Tuesday night when asked if he would visit Ohio State. They also continued to recruit Alabama who backed out Justice Haynes. Without Fletcher in the class, the Buckeyes have no backsliding commitment for 2023. The Buckeyes’ search for a replacement for Fletcher is now in full swing.

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Fletcher is a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports ranking. He is the nation’s No. 202 overall prospect, the No. 9 running back, and Florida’s No. 46 prospect.

Depth has been a problem for the Buckeyes this season due to injuries. They absolutely must have one running back in their 2023 recruit class, or if they don’t land one through the transfer portal, or both.

Currently Miyan Williams and Treveyon Henderson have carried the burden and are very talented, but both are battling injuries. Evan Prior was lost before the season early in the year. The Ohio State staff has had to move the linebacker Dea Monte Trayanum and wide receiver Xavier Johnson to run back for depth in recent weeks.

With the loss of Fletcher, Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class now stands at 20 members. It has dropped one spot from No. 5 to No. 6 in the 247Sports Composite team recruitment ranking.

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