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4-star DE Ani Izuchukwu set to visit Ohio State this weekend

The Buckeyes are hoping to beat out the Crimson Tide for their next great pass-rusher.

247Sports

Izuchukwu set to visit

For Ohio State and every other program in the country, the recruiting focus is primarily set on this year's recruiting class. However, that doesn’t mean the Buckeye coaching staff isn’t putting together massive amounts of effort toward next year's cycle.

Right now, ‘19 OT Doug Nester of Spring Valley (WV) is already a pledge to the Scarlet and Gray. The high four-star prospect committed to Ohio State back in August and definitely got the ball rolling on what is expected to be yet another impressive Urban Meyer haul.

This weekend, the Buckeyes will have an opportunity to impress yet another highly-touted prospect in hopes of ultimately bringing them to Columbus. According to Andrew Lind of Eleven Warriors, ‘19 DE Ani Izuchukwu of Davidson Academy (TN) is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Ohio State to check out the battle in The ‘Shoe against in-conference foe Maryland.

Izuchukwu is a 6'4, 230-pounder that has compiled over a dozen offers in his recruitment thus far. Ohio State, who offered back in April, is one of a few major programs hoping to land the Volunteer state standout. Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, and Tennessee are amongst the others.

As of now, Izuchukwu is currently projected on the 247Sports Crystal Ball to wind up in Tuscaloosa donning the Crimson and White for Nick Saban. The Nashville native is fresh off of a visit to the Alabama campus this past weekend as he watched them roll over Ole Miss by a final score of 66-3. We will see if the Buckeyes can give the Terrapins a similar beatdown come Saturday.

Izuchukwu is currently listed as a four-star prospect in his class. Additionally, he is pegged as the 175th-best player for next year's cycle. Not to be forgotten, Izichukwu is also the 11th-best weak-side defensive end in the country, for the time being, and the seventh-best player from the state of Tennessee.

Chatfield still in play?

Sticking to the defensive end position, a name that may be familiar to Buckeye fans across the country is ‘18 DE Andrew Chatfield of American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Chatfield, a four-star prospect, was once committed to Ohio State. The 6'2, 221-pounder originally made his pledge to the Buckeyes back in June of this year. However, just days after making that verbal commitment, Chatfield decided to camp at Miami (FL). A little over one month later, he would then make a stop in Gainesville to participate in a camp with the Gators.

Chatter on whether Chatfield would ultimately be a member of the Buckeyes class began to grow louder and louder. Just one week into the month of August, Chatfield announced that he was backing off of his pledge to Ohio State and re-opening his recruitment.

That brings us to today, and Chatfield has yet to give his pledge to any other program. In fact, it almost seemed like a matter of time until Florida received a commitment from 16th highest-graded weak-side defensive end in the class. As you can see, that has yet to happen. So, could the Buckeyes actually still be in play for the one-time pledge?

In a piece by Landof10.com’s Jeremy Birmingham, Chatfield is quoted telling Sam Speigelman of SEC Country that “they’re still open” to having him. Birmingham says that an official visit to Ohio State has been talked about and I would imagine that unless that happens, the possibility of Chatfield being a Buckeye is slim.

It was also revealed in the piece by Birmingham that Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Oregon are the programs who communicate most with the Sunshine State prospect.