Yesterday didn’t do the Buckeyes any favors — or anyone for that matter — in regards to recruiting. Once again, the NCAA extended the recruiting dead period, this time through May 31st, and it is unfortunate for all parties involved. It’s going to be 15 months and maybe more since anyone could host recruits on campus. Having completed an actual season now, you would think the NCAA would give these kids the opportunities to check out their future schools, but then again, here we are without a solution and another prolonged dead period.
For Ohio State specifically, the once thought to be “quiet period” looked like the real shot at getting J.T. Tuimoloau on campus. Tuimoloau, of course, is the No. 1 player in the country per 247Sports for the 2021 class, and the final target the Buckeyes are looking to add to their incredible haul. With yesterday’s news, it really is anyone’s guess what Tuimoloau will do from here. If he were to come to Ohio State, it would be without the chance to visit with the staff or see the facilities, and coming from thousands of miles away that may not be a super viable option.
If the Buckeyes do land J.T., it will simply be because of Larry Johnson and his incredible track record with defensive linemen. Since Tuimoloau has never been to Ohio State, this recruitment is seemingly one of the more interesting ones to follow. The dead period doesn’t kill Ohio State’s chances of landing the elite five-star, but the staff would have loved the opportunity to host him and his family. This dead period being extended mainly impacts the Buckeyes with this desired final piece, but of course it hurts players in the 2022 and beyond classes as well.
It’s really not fair, but here’s to hoping this is the last of the extensions.
Latest offer goes out to 2023 tight end
It still may be early on in the 2022 class, but Ohio State is already finished when it comes to recruiting at the tight end position for this upcoming cycle. After only taking one at the tight end spot in the 2021 class, the Buckeyes wanted two in 2022 and have done just that. With both Bennett Christian and Benji Gosnell already committed, it gives Ohio State the 21st-best tightend in the class as well as the 12th-best at a position of need. With the 2022 cycle locked up, the staff can now focus their attention to future classes.
Yesterday, Ohio State began their planning ahead when they went into Tennessee and offered tight end target Ty Lockwood. Announcing via his Twitter account, Lockwood is the latest to receive a Buckeye offer, and another 2023 prospect as that class is really seeing an increase in attention. A 6-foot-5, 220-pound high school sophomore, Lockwood has an incredible frame that will help him at the next level. Still, with two more full prep seasons under left to go, by the time his recruitment is over, Lockwood looks like he could be one of the top players at the position not only in Tennessee, but nationally as well.
Very blessed to be offered by THE Ohio State University! @IndyFootball_TN @CoachTBarr @BuckFitz @CSmithScout @NatlPlaymkrsAca @d1highlights @CadillacJBlack @DreamTeam7v7 @MglTraining @CoachByrd84 @ChadSimmons_ @CoachTonyAlford pic.twitter.com/UIr5fP2O9x— Ty Lockwood (@TyLockwood7) February 17, 2021
Lockwood does not currently have a ranking via 247Sports due to his class status, but with double digit offers from the likes of Penn State, Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, and more alongside Ohio State, it’s clear others will follow suit in the near future. Not to mention, in looking through his sophomore film, Lockwood is the perfect combo at the tight end spot. Whether it’s in the passing game as a receiver or in the run game blocking, Lockwood shows he really can do it all. In fact, on several occasions he is even split out wide as a true deep threat, which gives a great comparison to current Buckeye Jeremy Ruckert.
It’s obvious this will be a player that position coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson stays on for the long haul. Seeing his abilities at this early stage in his career, it’s exciting to think about how polished he will be when he’s ready to play at the next level. Moving forward, Ohio State will be one worth watching as they get more familiar with Lockwood and begin developing the relationship that this staff seems to do so well.