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Ohio State makes headway with a pair of 2022 linemen

The Buckeyes made the shortlist for a duo of juniors of the weekend

Five-star 2022 OT Zach Rice
Rivals.com

Unfortunately, Ohio State did not take the field this past Saturday, as Maryland’s program was hit with a small COVID-19 outbreak, but that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes stayed out of the headlines. Ryan Day has been absolutely killing it on the recruiting trail ever since he stepped foot on campus in Columbus, and that hard work continued to pay off as OSU made the short list for a pair of 2022 prospects over the weekend.

The good news starting rolling in on Friday night, when four-star defensive end Isaac Haam announced that Ohio State has made his top four schools list. Holding around eight total offers, Hamm has cut his list in half, as the Buckeyes made the cut alongside a trio of other Midwest powers in Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Hamm, a native of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, is the No. 14 SDE in the 2022 class, the No. 5 player in the Badger State, and the No. 231 player overall according to the 247Sports Composite. Interestingly enough, despite making Hamm’s final four, Ohio State has not yet sent an official offer to the 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior.

If the Buckeyes are serious about landing the four-star edge rusher, that offer would likely have to come sometime soon. As things currently stand, Wisconsin seems to have an edge being the in-state program. There are two Crystal Ball predictions already in for Hamm, and both of them are in favor of the Badgers. There is a ways left to go in this recruitment, but it is clear that Hamm has some interest in becoming the next Larry Johnson disciple.

The next bit of good news came on Saturday, when five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice included Ohio State in his top eight. With at least 31 offers thus far as one of the top prospects in the entire 2022 class, Rice has cut his list down to Florida, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UNC and Virginia alongside the Buckeyes.

With tackle being a massive area of need for Ohio State moving forward, especially with some big recruiting misses in 2021, Day and position coach Greg Studrawa would certainly love to land a player of Rice’s caliber. The 6-foot-6, 282-pound blocker is the No. 2 OT in the cycle, the No. 3 player in Virginia, and the No. 29 player overall in the 2022 class.

There is clearly a solid level of mutual interest between the two parties, as Rice was one of a few guys that had put Ohio State football in his Instagram bio a short while back when it seemed like the Buckeyes were gaining significant steam in the junior class. The offer from the Buckeyes was a huge deal for Rice and his family back in April, with his mother getting especially emotional upon hearing the news.

“Coach Stud offered me, and I was really shocked,” Rice told Eleven Warriors. “But then my mom – she’s a counselor – she got off the phone with one of the ladies she works with. After she got off the phone, I finally got it on speaker phone (with Coach Stud), and my mom, as he told her he was offering me, her knees buckled. She almost fell. It was crazy.

He has also been seen chopping it up with 2021 Ohio State RB commit TreVeyon Henderson on Twitter in the past.

There is still likely a long way to go in this recruitment, but the addition of Rice to the 2022 class would be an absolutely monumental get for Studrawa and the Bucks.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State offered five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary on Nov. 5, and the elite DB prospect has had nothing but good things to say about the Buckeyes since. Speaking to Joseph Hastings of Buckeye Grove, Singletary says that he and the OSU staff are in constant contact, and he acknowledged Ohio State as ‘DBU’ for their ability to put guys in the league at his position. The Florida native is the No. 4 CB in the nation, and the No. 9 player overall in the 2022 class.