Ohio State is one of two teams in the country whose season is not quite over, but that doesn’t mean there is any less work being put in towards building for the future. The Buckeyes are busy preparing for an exciting national title matchup with Alabama on the field, but off the field Ryan Day and the staff continue to make headway with some of the nation’s top talent in the upcoming recruiting classes.
After landing a five-star corner from Florida over the weekend, Ohio State got one step closer to hauling in yet another highly-regarded prospect from the Sunshine State on Tuesday night, as four-star safety Markeith Williams listed the Buckeyes in his top three.
My Official Top 3 @OhioStateFB @AlabamaFTBL @FloridaGators @EvanshsFootball @CertifiedDawgAG @247Sports @Rivals pic.twitter.com/smTHnCvmqN— Markeith Williams #1 (@MarkeithWilli10) January 6, 2021
Williams is currently listed as the nation’s No. 14 safety, coming in as the 27th-best player in Florida and the No. 224 recruit in the 2022 class according to the 247Sports Composite. With at least 20 official offers to his name, the Evans High School product has narrowed his search down to just Alabama, Florida and Ohio State.
In speaking to 247Sports Florida recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins back in November, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound defensive back lauded the Buckeyes’ success at getting players into the league at the position in recent years as well as the strong coaching staff as the big reasons for his interest in the program.
“They sent some dudes to the league,” Williams said referring to Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette and Jordan Fuller. ”(The) Buckeyes. (Ryan Day), (Tony Alford) – it’s all them.”
Ohio State pulled in an impressive haul of safeties in the 2021 class, including a pair of four-star prospects in Andre Turrentine and Jantzen Dunn. You don't become DBU by taking your foot off the gas, however, and so they will look to add even more talent at the position in 2022. They are currently in the top schools list for four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa — the nation’s No. 7 safety — and in seemingly good position with five-star safety Keon Sabb — the No. 1 safety in 2022 — as well. It will be interesting to see where Williams fits in the mix as those other recruitments wind down.
- If you’re worried the Longhorns’ coaching change will have any impact on Ohio State’s five-star commits from the state of Texas — don't be. In speaking with Lettermen Row, both Caleb Burton and Quinn Ewers reaffirmed their commitments to the Buckeyes. Burton and Ewers both said the hiring of Steve Sarkisian has no impact at all on their recruitment, with Burton going as far as to say, “I am locked in with Ohio State. I don’t think anything can change my mind.”
There is a chance the Sarkisian hire actually helps the Buckeyes in another regard, as 2021 defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau had the Crimson Tide among his top schools with Sark being the coach at Alabama he was closest with. It doesn’t guarantee an Ohio State victory in that recruitment, but it can’t hurt!
- We spoke yesterday about the pending commitment of five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice. Despite officially dropping a top eight in November, he is now apparently down to just three schools — Notre Dame, UNC and of course Ohio State. Rice is the No. 1 OT in the 2022 class and the No. 21 prospect in the country overall.
TOP 3 ♀️ https://t.co/HvS5S0K2rU— ZACH RICE (@od_zach) January 5, 2021