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A look at which recruits will be in town for Ohio State’s “Buckeye Bash”

OSU can't host official visits, but that isn’t stopping top prospects from flocking to Columbus

Five-star Robinson Secondary OT Tristan Leigh
Scooter Waller, 247Sports

Recruiting in the year 2020 is no easy task, and it has been especially hard for the recruits themselves. The members of the 2021 and 2022 classes have had to put much of their process on hold as they wait out an ever-extending NCAA dead period that has prevented them from visiting their top schools.

However, while official visits remain off the table until at least the end of the calendar year, that isn’t stopping recruits from visiting college campuses on their own time. At Ohio State, members of the 2021 class have organized their own Columbus get-together, an event that is being called “Buckeye Bash.” While the players will not be able to speak to coaches or tour the facilities, the plan is for them all to watch the game somewhere together — likely off campus.

Thanks to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts, we now have a comprehensive list of who will be in town this weekend for the Buckeyes’ season opener against Nebraska. Let’s take a look at the names expected to be in town on Saturday, which includes 13 commits and a few other big targets:

Jack Sawyer (five-star DE)

Ranking: No. 3 overall, No. 3 SDE, No. 1 in Ohio
Status: Committed (2/3/19)

Tristan Leigh (five-star OT)

Ranking: No. 11 overall, No. 4 OT, No. 1 in Virginia
Status: Uncommitted, Ohio State in Top 5

TreVeyon Henderson (five-star RB)

Ranking: No. 22 overall, No. 2 RB, No. 2 in Virginia
Status: Committed (3/27/20)

Jakailin Johnson (four-star CB)

Ranking: No. 41 overall, No. 3 CB, No. 1 in Missouri
Status: Committed (3/15/20)

Jayden Ballard (four-star WR)

Ranking: No. 48 overall, No. 5 WR, No. 2 in Ohio
Status: Committed (6/21/19)

Mike Hall (four-star DT)

Ranking: No. 55 overall, No. 5 DT, No. 3 in Ohio
Status: Committed (2/1/20)

Jordan Hancock (four-star CB)

Ranking: No. 67 overall, No. 4 CB, No. 8 in Georgia
Status: Committed (7/19/20)

Evan Pryor (four-star RB)

Ranking: No. 77 overall, No. 2 APB, No. 4 in North Carolina
Status: Committed (3/16/20)

Ben Christman (four-star OL)

Ranking: No. 121 overall, No. 7 OG, No. 6 in Ohio
Status: Committed (6/26/19)

Tyleik Williams (four-star DT)

Ranking: No. 159 overall, No. 10 DT, No. 5 in Virginia
Status: Committed (8/27/20)

Denzel Burke (four-star ATH) — likely attending

Ranking: No. 180 overall, No. 8 ATH, No. 4 in Arizona
Status: Committed (5/24/20)

Sam Hart (three-star TE)

Ranking: No. 380 overall, No. 16 TE, No. 3 in Colorado
Status: Committed (12/30/19)

Jaylen Johnson (three-star S)

Ranking: No. 393 overall, No. 25 S, No. 11 in Ohio
Status: Committed (1/7/20)

Zen Michalski (three-star OT)

Ranking: No. 627 overall, No. 48 OT, No. 10 in Indiana
Status: Committed (10/3/20)

Aidan Leigh (2023 OT)

Ranking: N/A
Status: Uncommitted

Ohio State could also be getting a visit from one of their top remaining targets in four-star safety Derrick Davis Jr., who will only be able to make it if his team doesn’t have a game this weekend. Davis is the No. 2 safety and the No. 53 recruit in the 2021 class overall, and he is expected to make his commitment on Nov. 7, where he will likely be choosing between Ohio State and Penn State.

Only seven of the Buckeyes’ 20 total commits in the 2021 class will not be in attendance, with six of them having high school games to play on either Friday or Saturday night, and the punter Jesse Mirco unable to make the trip all the way from Australia.

Quick Hits

  • We got a little more insight into the recruitment of five-star defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau on Monday. While the top prospect himself has played his process very close to the vest, his uncle, Doc Aokuso, spoke with Buckeye Grove’s Joseph Hastings about the highly-touted Washington edge rusher and his interest in Ohio State.

“J.T. has always been a fan of Ohio State and rightfully so,” Aokuso said. “Just being a guy playing the d-end position, and kind of the history and tradition with Ohio State in the past six years as far as the d-end position goes with the Bosa Brothers and Chase Young. It’s hard not to like them, you know what I mean?”

Aokuso had great things to say about the Ohio State program, lauding all of the history and tradition in Columbus. He also said it would be an ideal place for any top recruit to go and find themselves in a position to be successful.

“At the end of the day, you kind of have to take a look at everything. If J.T. does come, is he going to be able to come in and get in and be effective now, or is it something where he’s going to have to wait? It all boils down to where he fits in the depth chart or where he’s looking at in the depth chart and what that entails moving forward in the future.”

The OSU staff will look to try and get Tuimoloau on campus in early 2021, when the NCAA dead period has hopefully concluded. The 6-foot-4.5, 277-pound defensive end is the highest remaining target on the Buckeyes’ board, coming in as the No. 2 player in the country overall.

  • It’s been a while since we’ve seen any official Ohio State offers floating around, but on Tuesday night we finally got one — four-star IMG Academy OT Tyler Booker. The No. 10 OT and the No. 91 recruit overall in the 2022 class, the Bradenton, Florida native already holds a whopping 27 offers, including from many of the SEC big boys among the likes of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU.
  • Speaking of offers, another one came through late Tuesday night when 2022 wide receiver Kyion Grayes announced his Buckeye offer via Twitter. The Arizona commit is a three-star prospect, and is currently listed as the No. 68 WR in the nation.