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Ohio State among leaders for nation’s No. 1 recruit

Buckeyes making quick work with the nation’s top prospect and strong-side defensive end in 2023

2023 strong-side defensive end Lebbeus Overton
via Rusty Mansell/247Sports

Another Monday is in the books. The Buckeyes had a busy start to the week, and in case you did as well, Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered with the latest in Ohio State recruiting.

Leading for next year’s No. 1 recruit

Ohio State does not yet have any commitments in its 2023 recruiting class, but that may changing soon as it seems the Buckeyes are making headway with the best of the soon-to-be junior class on a daily basis. This momentum carried into Monday, they learned they are sitting pretty with one of their top targets.

Five-star strong-side defensive end prospect Lebbeus Overton spoke with Adam Friedman of Rivals.com recently and went in-depth into where his recruitment currently sits. In the conversation, Overton listed the schools he is in contact with most. Included on the list were Texas A&M, Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State, with USC being mentioned as being just behind the other four.

Additionally, Overton also spoke further on his impressions of Ohio State with Friedman.

“Seeing Ohio State and the players they developed over they years like Chase Young, the Bosa brothers, you see them transferring to the NFL and it’s just like ‘wow’,” he said. “They make sure they get it done. It’s one of the top schools and programs in the country. They stay in contact and make sure they know what I’m looking for. It’s just awesome. Adding in the basketball offer, their basketball program is amazing too. I’m planning on visiting.”

Overton is expected to be one of, if not the best recruit in the 2023 class. 247Sports currently has him listed atop their rankings and on Monday, Rivals also announced he was their No. 1 recruit and is officially listed as a five-star prospect.

With the recruiting dead period finally expected to come to a close, expect Overton to begin scheduling visits sooner than later, and as he mentioned, Ohio State will likely be on the schedule. However, the football facilities will not be the only place he will want to look at.

Overton is also a blue-chip basketball prospect and is one of the rare athletes to hold offers from Ohio State in both football and basketball. Ohio State offered him with a dual-sport scholarship back in February.

Basketball Bucks make use of transfer portal

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann has already proven in his time in Columbus that he is one of the nation’s top recruiters. However, he has also seen success using the transfer-portal, with current Buckeyes like CJ Walker, Justice Sueing and Seth Towns all joining the team via the transfer portal.

Holtmann and the Buckeyes are once again making use of the portal, as the team has been linked to multiple transfers as of late. The most time-sensitive news involved Marshal grad-transfer Jarrod West, who will be announcing his decision Wednesday and will be choosing between Pittsburgh, Louisville and Ohio State.

West spoke with DuShawn London of 247Sports Monday on his three finalists, where the point guard spoke highly of Coach Holtmann and the Buckeyes:

“Obviously coach Holtmann is a really good coach. He was really good at Butler and obviously now at Ohio State. Ohio State is also another winning program that was the number two seed in the NCAA tournament this year. They’re really good and not too far from home. The coaching staff is really good and showed their interest. I think they also have the type of situation where they feel like they can be successful not just next year but for the years to come.”

The aforementioned Walker has already stated he will be foregoing the extra year of eligibility due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will deplete Ohio State’s depth at point guard next year. The team will have Meechie Johnson and Jimmy Sotos both returning, but the pair have limited experience and adding one more point guard will open up room for Dwayne Washington Jr. to strictly play shooting guard — his natural position.

West was not the only potential transferee to be talked about in relation to Ohio State. Both Seton Hall transfer guard Shavar Reynolds and Penn State transfer guard Jamari Wheeler were linked to the Buckeyes.