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Ohio State dishes out two new offers to 2023 prospects

The Buckeyes were active on the recruiting trail on Tuesday as they sent out two new offers for next year’s cycle

Rico Flores
Brandon Huffman, 247Sports

While the basketball Buckeyes were gearing up for their contest against No. 1 Duke on the hardwood in which they would ultimately pull off the massive upset by a final count of 71-66, the football staff was putting in work on the recruiting trail. Ohio State dished out a pair of new offers for next year’s class, and had coaches across the country checking in on two key targets for this year’s recruiting cycle.

Flores, Culliver add Buckeye offers

The pair of 2023 prospects that were on the receiving end of Buckeye offers on Tuesday were four-star athlete Rico Flores of Folsom (CA) and three-star wide receiver Chris Culliver of Maiden (NC).

Flores, who is profiled by 247Sports as an athlete, is listed on the consensus rankings as a pass-catcher, and the latest offer from Ohio State puts the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder up to 26 scholarship offers already. The Buckeyes now put themselves into the mix for the No. 12 prospect in California along with programs such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC, and many more.

As for Culliver, he currently shows as an unranked prospect on the composite scale. However, 247Sports lists the 6-foot-3, 174-pounder as their No. 66 prospect overall and the 10th-highest graded player from the Tar Heel State. While Culliver has already surpassed the double-digit mark for offers, the offer from the Buckeyes on Tuesday looks to be the biggest one to date for the Blue Devils receiver.

The next step in these respective recruitments for Ohio State will be the most important step, as they will aim to build a relationship with the two prospects and bring them to Columbus to get a first hand look at what the program has to offer.

Coaches visit two key targets

As the early signing period inches closer and closer, the Buckeyes have their sights set on putting the finishing touches on their 2022 recruiting class and on Tuesday, Ohio State coaches were out on the West Coast to check in on four-star safety Zion Branch of Bishop Gorman (NV) and four-star defensive lineman Hero Kanu of Santa Margarita Catholic (CA).

The Branch family welcomed in Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and secondary coach Matt Barnes who finished the season as the Buckeyes defensive play-caller. It has been no secret throughout this entire recruiting cycle that program wants the Top 50 prospect, as he is just one of two prospects that the university is targeting at the safety position. The in-home visit from the two coaches also comes as an added bonus as Zion is the older brother of 2023 four-star wide receiver Zachariah Branch — a key target for Ohio State next year.

As for Kanu, the Buckeyes had head coach Ryan Day and defensive line coach Larry Johnson out in Cali to check on the blue-chip defensive tackle. As a team that had major struggles on the defensive line this season, Kanu is likely one of the most important prospects that Ohio State is pursuing in the class as the finish line creeps closer.

Of course both 2022 prospects are two names to watch closely as USC, fresh off of the hiring of Lincoln Riley, looks to be a major factor going forward.

Quick Hits

  • 2023 four-star defensive lineman Keith Sampson of New Bern (NC) revealed on Tuesday that he will be releasing a top five list “soon.” The No. 4 ranked player in the state has already picked up an offer from Ohio State and camped in Columbus earlier this summer. The expectation is that the Buckeyes will be included on the list for the 6-foot-3, 285-pounder.