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Buckeyes wasting no time after offering a handful of prospects at Wednesday’s football camp

Ohio State is finally able to evaluate in person and did so with a bang at yesterday’s one-day camp

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

June is definitely here for Ohio State and their recruiting efforts. Only two days into the calendar month, the Buckeye coaching staff is putting in overtime on the trail while they play host to countless top targets from both in-state and nationally. After a loaded Wednesday of offering five different players, one could say this month is off to a hot start.

It is important to note this is the first time in a year the coaches have been able to evaluate recruits in person, which makes it easier to see why offering this many players at the first camp of the month isn’t totally unexpected. Look for much of the same in the coming days and weeks.

Pair of 2023 QBs receive Ohio State offers

One of the best parts of camping on a college campus as a recruiting prospect is the chance to impress the various coaches with a solid performance. For both the player and the coach, in-person evaluating is key. For the coaching staff specifically, it’s an opportunity to test the oil a bit for what the prospect can do and if they’ll be able to perform under pressure with the eyes right on them. On Wednesday, two 2023 signal callers did enough to land the coveted Buckeye offer, and now the recruiting scene for landing a 2023 quarterback is off and running.

First up, Nicholaus Iamaleava earned his offer after impressing the staff with his big-time arm and ability to hit receivers in stride downfield. A 6-foot-5, 195-pound California native, Iamaleava is currently ranked as the fifth-best quarterback in the country in the 2023 class and is also considered to be the fourth-best player in California and the No. 50 player overall per the 247Sports Composite rankings. At nearly 20 offers to his name from the likes of USC, Georgia, Oregon, Texas A&M and a host of others, it’s not hard to see why he’s as highly sought after this early on, and why the Buckeyes came with an offer in hand after his performance yesterday.

Coming all the way from California is certainly nothing to ignore, but after receiving this offer from Ryan Day himself, obviously the trip was more than worth it. Ohio State has had success stealing quarterbacks out of California before thanks to CJ Stroud, who is arguably the leader in the clubhouse to win the job this coming fall. If that does happen, it’s a nice recruiting pitch to Iamaleava to show him that coming from the West Coast to Columbus is a great path to the ultimate goal of playing at the highest level.

In addition to Iamaleava, a second quarterback from the 2023 class did enough yesterday to earn the Buckeye offer. Next on the list, Eli Holstein was on the receiving end of good news from Ohio State and is now the third overall quarterback in the 2023 class to have an offer from the Buckeyes. A Louisiana native, Holstein currently checks in as the seventh-best quarterback in his class, the seventh-best player in his home state, and the No. 124 player nationally per the 247Sports Composite.

At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds, Holstein looks like the prototypical pocket passer even with two full prep seasons still to play. In addition to his impressive rankings, Holstein also boasts an impressive offer list of nearly 20 schools from the likes of LSU, Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia, and now Ohio State among others. A top talent in this class, Day wasted no time in getting into the thick of things. As stated, this is now the third signal caller of the 2023 class the Buckeyes have extended an offer to, and with a loaded room and the best player in the country in 2022 coming in next year thanks to Quinn Ewers, Ohio State has plenty of time and the ability to be very selective as they look to add their guy for this upcoming 2023 cycle.

Bucks dish out new offers to three defensive players

Not only was the Ohio State offensive staff busy on Wednesday, but the defensive coaches offered their fair share of players as well in two different classes. Starting in the current 2022 class, Indiana native Kenneth Grant earned an Ohio State offer after his strong camp performance going through defensive line drills. A 6-foot-4, 330-pound defensive tackle, Grant already has the frame of the perfect three-technique to plug up the holes in the run game at the next level. With another year to build himself up, it’s not out of the question to see more top programs get involved in his recruitment.

A bit of an under-the-radar prospect in terms of his ranking, Grant currently checks in as the 13th-best player in Indiana and the 112th-best defensive line prospect in the country per 247Sports’ own rankings. At double-digit offers to his name from the likes of several MAC schools and Big Ten programs such as Purdue, Michigan, and Nebraska, this Ohio State offer should be a big time injection towards getting the dominos to fall as surely more teams will be in the mix shortly.

Moving on to the 2023 class, a pair of defensive backs left camp yesterday with more than just a t-shirt and sore legs. First on the docket, Georgia product Kayin Lee picked up a big time offer from the Buckeyes. A 6-foot, 160-pound cornerback, Lee possesses that long frame the Buckeye coaching staff loves on the outside against receivers. With two full seasons still to play, Lee’s size and abilities are only going to improve — which is scary considering how well he performed yesterday.

Currently ranked as the No. 10 cornerback in the 2023 class, Lee is also considered to be the 13th-best player in Georgia and the No. 109 player in the country per 247Sports. Already with double-digit offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and more, the latest offer coming from the Buckeyes does feel like the biggest one yet, and sure to help Lee see the recruiting scene continue to include his name with other top national programs wanting to throw their hat into the ring.

Of all the aspects that Lee did well on Wednesday to earn this offer, none may have been more impressive than his two 40-yard dash times of 4.41 and 4.46. Likely hand-timed, this is still a blazing speed and a heavy indication that Lee can easily keep up with the offensive skill guys across from him. These next two years will be fun to see his skill development, and the Buckeyes are fortunate to already be in the mix after this latest camp.

Last but not least, the final prospect the Buckeyes offered on Wednesday was Missouri’s Christian Gray. Out of St. Louis’s DeSmet prep program, Ohio State has been the beneficiary of receiving the school’s top guys after landing Jakailin Johnson in the 2021 class. Clearly impressed with what they’re seeing out of DeSmet, the Buckeyes are now involved once again after Gray’s camp performance, which saw him leave with an Ohio State offer.

A 6-foot, 175-pound corner, Gray is another one of the prototypical athletes Ohio State loves to field in their defensive secondary on the outside. Ranked currently as the No. 21 corner in the class, Gray also checks in as the No. 6 player in Missouri in 2023 and the 206th0best player nationally. Maybe a bit under-the-radar or as a result of his age, Gray only currently holds four offers, and this Buckeye offer — like mentioned with the other prospects — is easily the biggest offer he has to date.

Ohio State has done a terrific job recently recruiting the St. Louis area, and after another offer in the 2023 class, the Buckeye flag is still planted firmly in Missouri’s top talent rich region. The smile in the photo from his visit says all you need to know about the excitement Gray had after his big day in Columbus.

Quick Hits

  • Arguably the most important player in the 2023 class for the Buckeyes to land, in-state legacy Sonny Styles looks like he had a solid trip to Ohio State on Wednesday. Making the short commute from Pickerington, Styles is currently graded out as the top player in Ohio for the 2023 class, the best safety, and the 15th-best player nationally. A can’t-miss prospect for Ryan Day and his crew, they’ll be working non-stop to keep Ohio’s very best at home for his college career.
  • Set to be on campus Thursday, 2023 Michigan native Dante Moore of Detroit King High School will be visiting Ohio State. A 6-foot-2, 195 pound five-star quarterback, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Buckeyes made Moore the fourth 2023 signal caller to pick up an OSU offer. Right now, Moore is ranked as the No. 3 QB in the class and the 14th-best player nationally, in addition to being Michigan’s top-ranked prospect.
  • In hoops news, below are several of the top prospects scheduled to visit Ohio State over the month of June. Not only a big month for the football Bucks, Chris Holtmann and his crew are hoping to continue building on their top-ranked 2022 class.