Like most people around the country, you probably spent the majority of your weekend glued to the TV watching the NCAA Tournament. March Madness has certainly lived up to the billing thus far, and it is a welcomed addition to our lives after more than a year since the last big dance.
As such, there’s a chance you missed all the latest Ohio State recruiting news. Don't worry, Land-Grant Holy Land has got you covered as always on this fine Monday morning.
Trio of tackles
Do you like offensive tackles? If so, then boy do I have the recruiting update for you.
Over the weekend, Ohio State made the top schools lists for three of its most coveted offensive tackle targets in the 2022 class. A huge position of need for the Buckeyes in these next few cycles, Ryan Day and position coach Greg Studrawa would love to haul in two or more of these edge protectors as they look to keep the most important offensive line position stocked for the future.
The first of the trio to include the Buckeyes on his list this weekend was Ohio native Aamil Wagner. A four-star prospect, Wagner comes in as the No. 13 OT in the country, and the No. 134 player in the nation overall as the No. 5 in-state prospect. With over 30 offers to his name, the Dayton native cut his list down to a top six on Friday morning, which included Auburn, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford and of course Ohio State.
Ohio State only officially offered Wagner on March 9, but they have quickly become the favorite in this recruitment. The Buckeyes are in possession of the lone Crystal Ball for the Wayne product, coming from Ohio State insider Bill Kurelic. Already at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds as a high school junior, his impressive measurables combined with his athleticism as well as his academic profile make him a highly desirable prospect.
Later that same Friday, fellow four-star offensive tackle target Kiyaunta Goodwin dropped his own top five. A name those who follow Ohio State recruiting are likely very familiar with at this point, Goodwin checks in as the No. 5 OT in the country and the No. 47 player in the 2022 class overall. Holding a ridiculous 63 offers, Goodwin has cut his list down to just five schools, including Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky, Michigan State and OSU.
Goodwin is another really intriguing player. Hailing out of Indiana, he has put in a ton of work this past year-plus to cut off a bunch of weight and get down to a surprisingly athletic 6-foot-7, 300 pounds. Goodwin has shot up the recruiting boards in recent months, and Ohio State got in there before the hype to give themselves an edge in this recruitment as well. The Buckeyes currently hold all three Crystal Balls for Goodwin, and this one appears to be a battle between Alabama and Ohio State with the Big Ten program in the lead.
Last, but certainly not least, is five-star offensive tackle Zach Rice. The nation’s No. 1 OT and the No. 21 player in the 2022 class overall, Rice holds over 35 offers, but cut his list down to just five schools on Sunday afternoon. A native of Lynchburg, VA, the five programs still competing for the country’s top edge protector include Alabama, Notre Dame, Virginia, UNC and Ohio State.
TOP 5 the official Visits I will be taking also ! Thank u God pic.twitter.com/csyiwGgqxB— ZACH RICE (@od_zach) March 21, 2021
Ohio State offered Rice all the way back on April 29, 2020. The offer was big for Rice and his family at the time, as his mother was reportedly in tears when she heard the news. While the five-star prospect is by far the least likely of this trio to end up in Columbus, I wouldn’t count the Buckeyes out entirely in this one. Day and his staff have had some recent success in the state of Virginia, most notably hauling in TreVeyon Henderson and Tyleik Williams in 2021, and so they definitely have a shot to haul in the region’s No. 2 recruit in 2022.
Rice plans to visit all five of his top schools before making a final decision. There are currently no Crystal Ball predictions for the top tackle.
- In addition to making all these top schools lists over the weekend, Ohio State also sent out a new offer to 2023 strong-side defensive end Vic Burley. The No. 7 SDE and the No. 33 player overall in the class according to 247Sports, Burley already holds over 12 offers from some of the nation’s top programs, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame and others. Ohio State, as is usually the case, has been busy checking in on some of the top talent the Peach State has to offer, and Burley is the latest example.
- Ohio State basketball commit Malaki Branham had himself a weekend. Dropping 37 points in his last ever high school game, he helped St. Vincent-St. Mary to a state championship . With his team trailing in the third quarter, Branham scored 16 points in the final six minutes to put SVSM up by 12, and from there they never looked back. Branham is the No. 6 shooting guard in the 2021 class, and the nation’s No. 29 prospect overall. He has been committed to Ohio State since July.
Final: St. Vincent-St. Mary 72, DeSales 50— Matt Goul (@mgoul) March 21, 2021
Malaki Branham exited the court with 37 points, hugging his coaches and shedding tears. He finishes his career as a state champion once more.