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Ohio State makes the top group for the No. 3 player in the country in 2023

The Buckeyes remain well-positioned in their pursuit for one of the top players in the 2023 recruiting cycle.

David Hicks
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

While the contest in Lincoln on Saturday didn’t go exactly how head coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes had hoped, Ohio State was able to cap off their weekend with an optimistic update regarding their efforts for an elite prospect in 2023. Plus, another gridiron standout and a player that gets it done on the hardwood include the Buckeyes in their top groups.

Hicks down to 11

After piling up over 30 offers on the recruiting trail thus far, 2023 five-star defensive lineman David Hicks of Allen (TX) decided on Sunday afternoon that he was ready to narrow things down. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is being chased by programs scattered throughout the nation, including powerhouse Power 5 schools and just about any other program you could think of.

For the Buckeyes specifically, they began their pursuit of Hicks back in mid-June when they offered the Lone Star State standout. Fast forward five months later, and it seems as if Ohio State and defensive line coach Larry Johnson have done enough to impress Hicks, and in return be included in his new top school reveal.

In a brief discussion with On3.com, Hicks talked about why he is considering each school. When asked about the Buckeyes, the top player in Texas stated, “Coach (Larry) Johnson and their willingness to win stands out to me.”

Ohio State will have to outlast the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Grambling, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Texas A&M if they want to ultimately be the program that adds Hicks to the fold. Hicks is currently graded as the No. 3 overall player in the class and the second-best defensive lineman in the entire country.

McClain reveals top schools

Much like the aforementioned Hicks, 2023 five-star cornerback Cormani McClain of Lake Gibson (FL) also decided to cut down his list of schools in the running for his services on Sunday.

The Lakeland native, who Ohio State offered all the way back in February, is similar to Hicks in the fact that the very best in the country want him inside of their building. That’s why it was good news when the Buckeyes were placed inside of the top five for the blue-chip prospect.

As you can see above, Ohio State will have their work cut out for them in this recruitment with Alabama, BYU, and the in-state programs of Florida and Miami (FL) being in the running as well. McClain previously revealed a top five group back in August, and the only change that was made was Florida State being removed from the group and replaced by the Cougars.

As of today, McClain is listed as the very best cornerback that his class has to offer — above two other prospects that the Buckeyes have offered in five-star cornerback Tony Mitchell of Thompson (AL) and five-star cornerback A.J. Harris of Glenwood School (AL). McClain is also slotted in as the No. 10 overall prospect in the entire class and the fourth-highest graded player in the state of Florida.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State was included in the top six for 2023 four-star combo guard Stephon Castle of Newton (GA), he revealed on Twitter on Sunday. Auburn, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, and Georgia Tech were the others that Castle include in the group.
  • 2024 four-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, who Ohio State offered last month, of Burleson (TX) picked up a new offer from Arizona on Sunday. Raiola is currently one of three signal-callers in his class that have received an offer from the Buckeyes.
  • Just one week after picking up an offer from Ohio State, 2023 three-star interior offensive lineman Austin Siereveld of Lakota East (OH) picked up an offer from Notre Dame on Saturday after visiting the campus in South Bend. The Buckeyes already have a few ongoing battles with the Irish on the recruiting trail for a couple of Ohio guys in next year’s class, and now they may have another battle brewing.