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Ohio State makes top eight for DE target

The Buckeyes also sent out another pair of new offers on Tuesday, while the OSU-Clemson rivalry got even more interesting.

Three-star 2022 WDE Jihaad Campbell
via @RealJihaadC on Twitter

As the calendar turns to March, Ohio State is already up to 11 total commits in its 2022 class. This time of year is when we really begin to see a bunch of the nation’s top prospects start to cut down their hefty offer lists to their final few schools, as well as new offers flying out to recruits in both the 2022 and 2023 classes. On Tuesday, we saw a little bit of everything as the Buckeyes continue to hit the trail hard.

Making the cut

For starters, Ohio State made the top eight for three-star weak-side defensive end Jihaad Campbell. Playing his first three years of high school ball in New Jersey before transferring to IMG Academy this January, Campbell is the No. 20 WDE in the country, and the No. 52 prospect in Florida in the 2022 class. In addition to the Buckeyes, the 6-foot-4 edge rusher is still looking at Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Penn State, Rutgers and Texas A&M.

Holding nearly 30 offers before trimming down his list, Campbell is a highly sought after prospect despite his three-star rating. With another year of high school football still to be played, especially now at a premier prep program like IMG Academy, his ranking will likely only continue to rise. Ohio State is recruiting Campbell as a hybrid LB/DE type of player, and both Larry Johnson and Matt Barnes have made a positive impact on him thus far in the process.

“I like their culture,” Campbell told Bill Kurelic of 247Sports. “I like how they play as a team, how they come together, and how they win games. I definitely want to get out there and visit when everything clears up.”

Ohio State has had a ton of success recruiting in Florida over the years, already holding a commitment in the 2022 class from Jacksonville’s own Jaheim Singletary — a five-star corner and the state’s No. 2 player. They’ve even snagged a player from IMG as recently as 2020, with Lejond Cavazos making the jump to Columbus from the powerhouse football program. Campbell is another player from the region that the Buckeyes would love to add to their already No. 1-rated 2022 group as the spots continue to fill up fast.

A pair of new offers

While continuing to strengthen old relationships, Ohio State set out to start some new ones with a pair of new offers early this week. One of those went out to four-star defensive tackle Jamari Lyons. The Buckeyes are a bit late to the party for the 2022 prospect, but they are still throwing their hat in the ring for the nation’s No. 28 DT, who also just so happens to be a Florida native.

Lyons already holds offers from at least 23 others programs, including some big names among the likes of Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Penn State and Miami. Unsurprisingly, the Gators appear to have the upper hand at this point in this recruitment, holding both of the two Crystal Balls for Lyons’ services. Still, if anyone is going to come from behind and steal a defensive lineman that he likes late in the process, it is going to be the legendary Larry Johnson.

Ohio State does not yet have any defensive line commits in its 2022 class, and they will likely look to sign at least one defensive tackle after getting two in the 2021 class. Lyons is an intriguing prospect that the Buckeyes clearly have some interest in with this latest offer, but we will have to wait and see if things materialize any further.

In addition to Lyons, Ohio State also sent out an offer to 2023 tight end Duce Robinson. Looked at as the No. 9 TE and No. 70 overall player in 247Sports’ own rankings, Robinson becomes the third prospect at the position that the Buckeyes have offered this week, joining Jaxon Howard and Mac Markway.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound stud out of Phoenix, AZ has become a hot commodity as of late, picking up at least four new offers in the last few days to go along with dozen or so he held prior. One of those offers came from Florida State, where his father Dominic Robinson played under Bobby Bowden from 2001-04. A two-sport athlete, Robinson also has double-digit offers to play baseball.

With a pair of tight ends committed in 2022 in Bennett Christian and Benji Gosnell, Ohio State is making sure the position group stays loaded for years to come. With still two years of high school football left to play, Robinson could easily become one of if not the top player at the position once signing day rolls around. The Buckeyes are in on this one early, and with some recent recruiting success in Arizona landing Kyion Grayes this past weekend, they may be looking to keep the ball rolling in that region.

Quick Hits

  • On Tuesday, 2022 quarterback Cade Klubnik committed to Clemson. Why am I telling you this? Well, because it was Klubnik who defeated Ohio State QB commit Quinn Ewers in the Texas Class 6A State Championship this past season. Think the rivalry between the Buckeyes and the Tigers is going to lose some of its juice with Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence off to the NFL? Think again!