First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving, Buckeye Nation. With so much going on this week including The Game, it can almost get lost in the shuffle. There’s a lot to be thankful for, but in this regard, the focus on Ohio State and their recruiting efforts offers plenty of reasons to give thanks.
Ohio State behind the leadership of Ryan Day and the rest of his crew are consistently doing a swell job in that department, and the proof is in the recruiting classes they are bringing in each cycle. Elite talent after elite talent, both in state and nationally, the Buckeyes just continue to reload their roster, and do so with guys that are some of the most coveted prep stars in the country.
There’s been some positive rumblings the last few days too that seem to point towards the Buckeyes doing what they do best, which is adding top players to their classes. If those rumblings are true, it’s going to be a fun ride the rest of this 2022 cycle as they approach the early signing period, and certainly in the 2023 class as well as it’s already off to a great start.
Yes, there’s a lot to be thankful for today, and one of those as an Ohio State fan is how incredible the recruiting is that leads to the program’s overall success.
A massive step in the right direction
The current quarterback room in Columbus has an embarrassment of riches, but that hasn’t stopped Ryan Day from wanting more. Knowing the college football landscape today, coach Day understands that you certainly can’t bank on your roster never changing, and that in many reasons is why he along with Corey Dennis and Mark Pantoni have worked tirelessly for another QB in this current cycle.
Sure, the Buckeyes had the top guy in the fold with Quinn Ewers, but his reclassification obviously reshuffled the thought process. Thanks to Penn State extending James Franklin, the Buckeyes and their pursuit of in-state QB Drew Allar has come to pass. But that’s okay, because Ohio State has had their eyes set on Utah product Devin Brown as of late.
Fresh off of Brown being on campus last weekend for an official visit, the four-star came away very impressed with the Buckeyes, and it makes sense considering what he saw current signal caller CJ Stroud do in just one half of football in a shellacking of Michigan State.
On Wednesday, the biggest step towards Ohio State being a legitimate contender for Brown took place when he took to his Twitter account to announce that he had officially de-committed from USC. Maybe it’s a mere coincidence, but this decision coming not even a full week after he left Columbus, you just have to think the Buckeyes did enough to show Brown why they’re the best fit for him, and specifically the development they offer at the quarterback position.
Thank you USC for everything. No lost love. pic.twitter.com/ZLwvaH5iSc— Devin Brown (@dbrownqb33) November 25, 2021
Brown has been the most talked about and probably the fastest rising player this late in the cycle, but Ohio State is looking pretty solid as it stands right now. It’s not a sure thing by any means, as Brown also recently visited Texas, but again, the decision coming now does give the notion that things went very well while he was on his official visit. He’s made it clear that competition brings out the best in him in regards to how full the Buckeyes quarterback room is currently, and seeing his performance at the Elite 11 and his senior highlight tape, this kid is the real deal.
The nation’s fifth-best QB in the class has already heard from the leader in the 2022 class, C.J. Hicks, last night on Twitter, and if it says anything more, Director of Player Personnel Mark Pantoni shared Hicks’ tweet. It’s not over, but this looks to be trending in a positive manner.
Bucks hoping for another major win thanks to the portal
Last year Ohio State, was linked to LSU star defensive back Eli Ricks numerous times as he was rumored to be a transfer portal candidate, but it never came to fruition. This week, it was almost as if it was déjà vu had set in, because this time around, the Ricks transfer portal rumblings actually took place. Sure enough, the Buckeyes are once again in the mix for the one-time five-star cornerback, and so too are the usual suspects of Alabama and Georgia, who seemingly always tend to pop up for big time players look for a new home.
Of note, Wednesday night Ricks had a scheduled call with Kerry Coombs, and from what he said about the effort coming from the Buckeyes, you have to think they’re going to go down to the end in the fight for his services. Ricks made it clear that Stroud is recruiting him to Ohio State right now, and it makes sense as the two played pee-wee football together as kids and also attended the same high school. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have also made the case for the Buckeyes with Ricks, and with Ohio State being the runner-up in his original recruitment, the staff would love to see him wind up on their roster the second time around.
A secondary with both Denzel Burke and Eli Ricks would be a nightmare for opposing teams, and though Ohio State has several top young guys that will be poised to compete for real playing time this offseason, the chance to add the one time 14th ranked player in the country for the 2020 class isn’t something you pass up. News could break at any time, but it looks as if Ohio State and Alabama are the early favorites as potential landing spots, with Georgia and USC also in the mix.
Former #LSU DB Elias Ricks went in to the transfer portal earlier in the week and talked about why he made the decision, the schools currently on his short list and his timeframe for making a decision https://t.co/PNTLjsoC90 pic.twitter.com/gYr9xaleXH— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) November 24, 2021
- In addition to the other big news on Wednesday, the Buckeyes received two Crystal Ball predictions in their favor for 2023 target, Zachariah Branch. The fifth-ranked receiver in the country for his class, Branch is also the 34th-best player nationally as well as the top player in Nevada. With one of the submissions coming from Director of Recruiting for 24Sports, Steve Wiltfong, you have to feel really good about the Buckeyes and their chances of bringing another Bishop Gorman star to Columbus.
Also the younger brother to current 2022 safety target, Zion Branch, seeing the Crystal Balls rolling in gives you the feeling that not only one, but both could end up in Columbus. The duo would give Ohio State two of the best players not only in Nevada, but the entire country as well. Currently, this is trending in a great direction for the Buckeyes.