While the Ohio State coaching staff would typically spend this weekend in Indianapolis in hopes of winning another conference crown, it wasn’t in the cards this season thanks to the loss to Michigan to conclude the regular season. So the Buckeyes staff would instead use their free time on the recruiting trail, as they offered a few prospects and found themselves in the top group of two others.
Greene down to four
As we continue to inch closer and closer to the early signing period, Ohio State was able to get some positive news from one of their top remaining targets in the class on Friday. That’s when 2022 four-star interior offensive lineman Earnest Greene of St. John Bosco (CA) revealed his top four schools still in the mix for his coveted commitment.
Top 4…— Earnest Greene lll (@EarnestGreene_) December 3, 2021
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The Buckeyes will have to outlast the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and Texas if they want to welcome the 6-foot-4, 330-pounder to Columbus. Greene is currently graded as the No. 46 prospect overall and the No. 2 interior offensive lineman in the class. Ohio State and head coach Ryan Day, who had an in-home visit with Greene on Wednesday, likely have to make up some ground in the coming weeks, as it seems as if the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are trending.
Hale focused on 12
The 2022 class wasn’t the only class that welcomed the Buckeyes to some optimistic news this weekend. Ohio State was also gifted a beneficial update when it comes to their pursuit of 2023 five-star wide receiver Jalen Hale of Longview (TX), as he narrowed down his recruitment to 12 programs for the time being.
@Hayesfawcett3 all glory to god - My recruitment is still 100% open till I decide but here is my top 12 pic.twitter.com/ImaMqF5zU8— Jalen Hale (@JalenHale8) December 5, 2021
The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder from the Lone Star State is currently ranked as the fourth-best pass-catcher in his class, and with the programs included in his top group, that should come as no surprise. Wide receivers coach Brian Hartline is leading the charge for the Buckeyes in their chase of Hale, and one thing that previous recruiting classes has shown us is that Hartline should not be counted out regardless of the competition.
Three prospects add OSU offers
Aside from being included in the top groups for the aforementioned Greene and Hale, Ohio State was also busy sending out three new scholarship offers this weekend. In the 2023 class, Ohio State officially jumped into the picture for four-star safety Peyton Bowen of Guyer (TX) when they offered the Denton, Texas native on Friday. Bowen, who has one 247Sports Crystal Ball forecast to Notre Dame, is pegged as the No. 5 safety in next years class.
The Buckeyes also dropped a pair of early offers to 2024 prospects in four-star wide receiver Jonathan Paylor of Hugh M Cummings (NC) and unranked cornerback Bryce West of Glenville (OH).
Paylor, who 247Sports currently slots in as a top-10 prospect in their class rankings, is now over a dozen offers despite still being in the beginning stages of his recruitment. I briefly caught up with the 5-foot-9, 175-pounder after the offer from the Buckeyes and Paylor noted that, “the offer to play for a great school like Ohio State is amazing”.
As for West, his opportunity to play for the Buckeyes is the first for a Tarblooder since Ohio State offered, and eventually signed, the trio of Marcelys Jones, Marshon Lattimore, and Erick Smith back in 2014. While the expectation is that the Buckeyes may be hard to beat in this race, the 5-foot-11, 177-pounder also holds early offers from Boston College, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Toledo.
- 2022 four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa of Southeast Polk (IA) is expected to announce his collegiate decision on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EST and will choose between Iowa, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.
- According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo, former five-star Ohio State quarterback Quinn Ewers made a visit to Texas Tech on Sunday and will make a stop to TCU later today. Ewers also received a visit from Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian since entering his name into the transfer portal on Friday.
- 2023 four-star defensive lineman and Buckeye target Keith Sampson of New Bern (NC) announced on Friday that he will reveal his top five schools on Jan. 15, 2022. The No. 4 prospect from North Carolina currently holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, and more.
- After backing off of his Ohio State pledge in late July, 2022 four-star tight end Benji Gosnell of Carroll County (VA) announced his commitment to Virginia Tech on Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is currently graded as the No. 15 prospect in the class at his position.