Though it’s already been a busy week for Ohio State’s coaching staff after hosting their first football camp of the summer and offering a variety of prospects, this weekend is really when the fireworks are set to go off as it’s the first of many major visit weekends in the month of June. With a solid group of commits and top targets set to arrive in Columbus as early as Friday, Ryan Day, Mark Pantoni, and the rest of the staff will certainly have their work cut out for them. Fortunately, Ohio State has just as much if not more success than any other program in the country when it comes to recruiting.
This weekend should be a fun one.
Current commits to do some recruiting of their own
One thing Ohio State does so well on the recruiting trail is having their own players sell the program. Whether it’s current Buckeye players or their commits, the coaching staff has said time and time again that one of the best approaches they can have is the buy in from their guys already locked in doing work for them. Building a class of elite talent has seemed almost easy thanks to both the staff and player efforts. This weekend will be just another opportunity for this group of 2022 commits to be on campus with some high profile targets, and the staff would love nothing more than to add to their second-ranked national class.
In regards to the commits that will be on campus this weekend, basically every 2022 commit will be there to help create the atmosphere the staff is looking for. The top player in the country and Ohio State’s 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers will be a headliner of the weekend, but fellow Texas native and top 247Sports receiver Caleb Burton will also make the trek to see his future school. In addition, “Captain Buckeye” CJ Hicks, as well as Bennett Christian, Benji Gosnell, Jyaire Brown, Kye Stokes, Gabe Powers, Kyion Grayes, and Tegra Tshabola will all be there this weekend.
The Buckeyes will certainly be doing their best to show not one, but two safety targets why they’re the perfect fit for Ohio State’s defensive secondary. Coming from Iowa to Columbus and arriving Friday, the top safety in the country per 247Sports, Xavier Nwankpa, will be one of the biggest priorities for everyone involved this weekend. Clearly one of the most sought after defensive players in the entire class, Ohio State has made it very obvious how much they want him in the fold. Nwankpa can do it all, and would be the perfect true safety Ohio State desperately needs.
In addition, the nation’s third-best safety prospect, Zion Branch, will also be in town this weekend. The Las Vegas Bishop Gorman product has been climbing the ranks as a priority for Ohio State’s staff, and after having success recruiting the Gorman program in year’s past, the Buckeyes have enough of an advantage to show why coming from that far will be the best decision he could make. Having their top two safety prospects in-house will be the perfect chance to make a lasting impression, and if you’re curious if it’s one or the other, Ohio State has already made it clear that both have their own roles and won’t conflict at all.
Sticking on the defensive side of the ball, the nation’s fourth-ranked defensive line prospect, Omari Abor — arguably the biggest target for Ohio State on the defensive line — will be in Columbus Friday afternoon. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, the five-star holds nearly 30 offers and is sticking around for a multiple-day stay. Look for Larry Johnson to use every pitch he has in his tenured arsenal to show Abor exactly why the Buckeyes are the best choice for him. Johnson’s track record speaks for itself, and they’ll be using it to further target Abor.
As it stands right now, it’s Oklahoma that has a few Crystal Ball predictions in their favor, but Ohio State is certainly near the top of the pecking order. If this visit can go as planned with the Buckeyes able to stand out, the momentum could help put them in a great spot moving forward. Again, having Larry Johnson along with his accolades and past success of putting players in the NFL should give Abor plenty to consider before his visit concludes.
Moving on to the offensive side of the ball and on the offensive line specifically, Ohio State will have two guys visiting that will likely garner most of the attention considering their current 2022 class status. The Buckeyes only have one lineman committed in their class so far, and while they are in the running for several top prospects, this weekend could be a shot in the arm for momentum and help pave the way to sealing the deal with at least one target.
In-state offensive tackle Aamil Wagner will make the short trip from Dayton this weekend and as the eighth-best tackle in the country per the 247Sports rankings. Keeping Wagner at home for the next several years has been a priority since the day he was offered. Of course with an in-state player being coveted by Ohio State, and one who comes from a prep program that has produced several Buckeyes over the years, it’s easy to see why most think he’s a lock to end up in the class. Still, this weekend is a chance to reinforce why he’s a priority and what their plans are for him if he does in fact choose to stay home.
On the national perspective, the Buckeyes also will host Virginia native Zach Rice. The top offensive tackle in the country and the fifth-ranked player regardless of position per the 247Sports Composite, Rice would be an absolute monster addition for Ohio State and their 2022 class. Zach has an offer from any and every top program in the country, but getting him in the first weekend of June has to show his interest is solid in what Ohio State has to offer. A bit of a hit in the recruiting for the Buckeyes has been their misfortune in trying to land a top national offensive tackle in multiple cycles, so they’ll hope this weekend can make an impact with the stud edge protector.
- 2023 five-star linebacker Jaiden Ausberry has plans to visit Ohio State later this June for a multiple-day stay. In town for the 21st through the 23rd, the Buckeyes and Al Washington will have a major chance here to impress the second-ranked linebacker in the 2023 class per the 247Sports Composite. A Baton Rouge native, Ohio State has not always had a ton of recruiting basis in Louisiana, but they’d certainly love to change that with Ausberry. Fortunately, position coach Al Washington knows what he’s doing when it comes to recruiting.
5 LB Jaiden Ausberry tells me that he will take the following visits this summer:— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) June 3, 2021
Florida- June 1 ✅
ND- June 4-6
Texas A&M- June 11
Texas- June 12
LSU- June 18
Ohio State- June 21-23
Alabama- June 26
The 2023 Prospect from Baton Rouge, LA is Ranked as the #2 LB in 2023. pic.twitter.com/HMutikgwrR