As you’ve seen all week, the Ohio State coaching staff has been all over the country doing their recruiting work for both the current 2022 class and the next cycle in 2023. Whether it be offering new players or conducting in-home visits with many of their top targets, Ryan Day and his crew have had little to no down time. All positives on the recruiting side of things, the unfortunate aspect is this effort on the trail comes because the Buckeyes aren’t prepping for the Big Ten Championship Game. Something the staff has grown quite used to, this extra time spent on the road isn’t what they hope to be doing next season at this time, but right now the staff will certainly make the most of it.
With the early signing period right around the corner in the 2022 class, it’s down to crunch time for many of the top targets still available that the Buckeyes are hoping to land. Like it’s been the rest of the week so far, Wednesday was yet another busy day as the Buckeyes continued to be hard at work offering new names and getting in touch with the guys they hope to see in Columbus when all is said and done.
MASSIVE BOOM for Ohio State’s 2022 class
The biggest news of the day, Ohio State landed a major boom for their 2022 class as quarterback target Devin Brown committed to the Buckeyes just a week after de-committing from USC. The player Ryan Day and position coach Corey Dennis zeroed in on down the stretch, this is a major get for Ohio State for one, but really shows their chops on the recruiting trail as this late in the game they came out on top. Whether it was his official visit for the Michigan State game that set the Bucks over the top or the in-home visit this week, Ohio State now has their guy.
Some may be thinking what this could mean for Ohio State and their current quarterback situation. In reality, it probably should be be summed up like this; Ryan Day has continuously said he wants the QB room to be healthy with depth. Maybe not taking a signal caller in every cycle, but from the moment Quinn Ewers reclassified to the 2021 class it was clear the staff wanted to add another guy. In addition, with the news this week of Jack Miller entering the transfer portal, the commitment of Brown makes that much more sense.
The fifth-ranked quarterback in the class, Ohio State has done an incredible job bringing in yet another elite player at the most important position in Brown. Thanks to his addition, the Buckeyes now boast the nation’s fourth-ranked class, surpassing Notre Dame. The 2022 class is taking shape down the stretch rather quickly, and this is a huge get.
Buckeyes dish out offer to 2023 Notre Dame commit
With the coaching carousel that is going on, the college football landscape has arguably never been more up in the air. It’s wild to see all of the changes that are seemingly happening every time you blink, but that’s the world we live in. One movement that is sure to come from all of these coaching changes and openings is the poaching of recruits that are committed to certain programs going through these said changes.
Ohio State, and every other program too for that matter, would be crazy not to shoot their shot and at least try for some of these kids who may look to re-open their respective recruitments with the uncertainty around their current situations. Whether it be at one or multiple programs, top suitors are going to look to make a statement at a moment of weakness.
On Wednesday, that looked to be the case when Ohio State dished out a new offer to five-star 2023 Notre Dame commit Keon Keely, per Tom Loy of 247Sports. One of the early crown jewels and the top ranked commitment for Irish in the cycle, Keely has been committed to Notre Dame since June, but the Buckeyes are making their presence known now that the Irish are in search of a new head coach. Regardless of who that could be — and it looks like it will be defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman — Ryan Day isn’t going anywhere, so the stability for the Ohio State program could be an advantage.
A 6-foot-5, 230 pound edge rusher out of Tampa, Florida, Keely is currently ranked as the third-best player at his position and the No. 23 player nationally in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite. An incredible talent that any program would love to have at the center of their recruiting class, Keely will be one the Buckeyes look to gain some ground on even with his commitment status to Notre Dame still in tact. Ohio State has a great track record of landing and developing elite defensive ends, making this worth the pursuit.
I'm told #OhioState is the latest school to offer five-star defensive end and #NotreDame class of 2023 commit Keon Keeley. https://t.co/67gRHR27VE@Bill_Kurelic @Bucknuts247 @Andrew_Ivins @247Sports pic.twitter.com/fVQ1t7imTR— Tom Loy (@TomLoy247) December 1, 2021
- Ohio State receiver target in the 2023 class, Zachariah Branch (Las Vegas, Nevada/Bishop Gorman) released the latest update to his recruitment when he announced his list of four schools he is still considering before making a final decision. The 15th-best player nationally and the second ranked receiver for his class, Branch is now down to Oklahoma, Alabama, USC, and Ohio State.
Just last week, Branch was pegged to Ohio State with multiple Crystal Ball predictions submitted in favor of the Buckeyes, but Lincoln Riley taking the job at USC has the Trojans likely back in the driver’s seat for his services, as well as his older brother, Zion Branch, in the 2022 class, who both Brian Hartline and Matt Barnes were in to see this week for an in-home visit.
- In addition to the many in-home visits the Buckeyes have conducted this week, 2022 offensive line target Earnest Greene was another on the agenda to see. The second-best interior lineman in the class, Greene has been linked to Georgia as of late, but he himself as well as his family are pretty impressed with the fact that Ryan Day took the time to visit Earnest, who continues to be a player Ohio State would love to have in the fold. We’ll see if these efforts pay off in the end, but Day being included in every recruitment is a major reason for why this staff does so well on the trail.