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Buckeyes picking up steam on the hardwood, football still recruiting at linebacker

Both Ohio State football and basketball are working hard on the recruiting trail.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

We’re nearly a week removed from Ohio State’s massive football recruiting weekend thanks to last Saturday’s battle with Penn State. With how many elite targets were on campus, it should just be more of a matter of ‘if not when’ the Buckeyes will see their hard work and efforts pay off in terms of commitments. Whether it’s the current 2022 class or the future cycles, Ohio State is ready to start adding guys to these classes and keep its name atop the recruiting rankings.

As the early signing period nears, surely some events will start taking place, but until then, Ohio State and its staff will continue pressing the issue with relentless effort on the trail until the 2022 class is all locked up.

Basket-Bucks feeling some momentum

Typically most of the recruiting news concerns the football Buckeyes, but the Ohio State hoops program is certainly no slouch of their own when it comes to the efforts on the trail. The Buckeyes boast the fourth-best class in the nation per the 247Sports rankings thanks to five current commitments in 2022. Holtmann and crew have worked tirelessly to build a strong cycle, and they’ve done so with a national approach as well as landing in-state talent. As this class comes to an end, they can shift the focus to 2023 and beyond.

In case you missed it, the Buckeyes did just that when they landed their first commitment in the 2023 cycle thanks to Kentucky native, George Washington III. Now having a top-50 national player in the fold for 2023, Ohio State can continue building their depth in hopes that the momentum continues. Whether it’s for the 2023 class alone or even looking ahead to 2024, the hoops staff clearly has done a great job of identifying players they want, but also have a real chance of landing. Wasington’s commitment being further proof, other targets have expressed interest in the Buckeyes as a potential landing spot.

Four-star shooting guard Jahnathan Lamothe (Baltimore, Maryland/St. Frances Academy) took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to show off some Ohio State-themed photos. While not hinting at a commitment, he still clearly likes what he’s seen in Columbus and what the Buckeyes have to offer. Ohio State dished out the offer to Lamothe this past June, and having him already on campus is a huge step in their realistic chances of landing him. Holtmann and his staff will continue to be in the ear of 90th-best player in the country per 247Sports as they look for the next member of the 2023 cycle.

OSU not done at the linebacker spot?

On the defensive side of the ball in the 2022 class, it’s the linebacker position that has been set in stone for what seems like since the very beginning. Two guys in the fold, C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers, have been staples in the class and have never waivered in their pledges to the Buckeyes. With Hicks being the more vocal leader of this group and Powers more of the quiet type, Ohio State is getting big time players at a position that could use key depth coming in. Fortunately, they’re getting just that and more with this dynamic duo.

Originally a trio, one-time commit Dasan McCullough was the cherry on top to the linebacker commits, but when he decided to stick to his family roots and flip to Indiana, it looked as if the Buckeyes would be content and stand pat with the two linebackers they still had committed. A third could be necessary considering Powers may not be done growing and eventually may slide down to the first line of defense. That, of course, is only potential, but additional depth at this position wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Lately, it does seem like Ohio State isn’t completely finished with recruiting the linebacker spot. Yes, for months it looked as if the secondary and defensive line would be the last two areas of additional players being brought in, but now a name that continues to surface is 2022 prospect Jimmy Rolder — an Illinois product who earned a Buckeye offer just last month.

The four-star was a bit of an under-the-radar guy for a while, but offers from LSU, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio State coming in just the last month show that this diamond in the rough was just a bit of a late bloomer. As the 2022 cycle moves on we’ll have to see how serious the pursuit is, but analysts such as Jeremy Birmingham of Lettermen Row have made it pretty clear that the staff is definitely recruiting Rolder, and he’s a real possibility as a late addition to the 2022 class.

Buckle up. Though it’s close to the early signing period, plenty of news, developments and commitments can still come to light.

Quick Hits

  • Like others in this 2022 Ohio State recruiting class, current offensive tackle commit George Fitzpatrick received his All-American Bowl jersey on Wednesday. One of the more special honors a prep player can receive, this is just further proof that the Buckeyes are getting a great player in Fitzpatrick that will enroll early and begin developing under the coaching staff.