With the recruiting dead period now a thing of the past, top high school talents flooded to Columbus this past weekend for the first of four big weekends of visits scheduled for the month of June. Ohio State saw nine of its 12 current 2022 commits make the trip to campus in these last few days, as well as handful of other four and five-star uncommitted prospects.
Let’s take a look as some of the biggest names that were in attendance and what we have heard about their visits with the Buckeyes. We won’t get to touch on everyone, as there were quite a few guys in town, but these prospects had the most buzz after the dust had settled.
The nation’s No. 1 QB and No. 1 overall prospect in 2022 felt right at home as he got to mingle with the majority of his future teammates over the weekend.
— Quinn Ewers (@QuinnEwers) June 6, 2021
Caleb Burton/Kyion Grayes
Ewers’ future targets and the next members of Zone Six were in attendance as well. Burton (right) is the No. 1 WR in 247Sports’ rankings, while Grayes (left) is the No. 14 pass-catcher.
A new teammate of Ewers’ at Southlake Carroll, Burton is locked in to Ohio State.
5 star WR Caleb Burton’s recruitment is officially shutdown, he tells me— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) June 7, 2021
He’s All Buckeye pic.twitter.com/6lgB63P4BS
Ohio State’s first commit in the 2022 class finally got to hang out with position coach Kerry Coombs. The four-star corner committed to the Buckeyes all the way back in April 2020.
As one of the newest members of Ohio State’s class, the three-star athlete and his family seemed to really enjoy their time with the coaching staff in Columbus.
Another early commitment for Ohio State, joining the class one day after Brown, Tshabola expressed his appreciation for his time on campus and really exemplified not only the type of player, but the type of person Ryan Day and has staff are looking for with his fantastic attitude and maturity.
Here’s a quick thank you for ya Buckeye family. Thanks for having me. Gobucks‼️ pic.twitter.com/Q9sdoh99Ex— Tegra Tshabola (@tshabola_tegra) June 6, 2021
What a happy and great looking Buckeye family!
CJ Hicks/Gabe Powers
The future of Ohio State’s linebacker room made the short trip to Columbus as well. Captain Buckeye (right) himself made sure to be in attendance for such an important weekend, as he and Powers (left) are two very crucial and active members of this 2022 class.
One of the two Ohio State tight end commits in 2022 made the trip from Georgia to join his fellow classmates. Christian has been another active member of this group on social media.
Switching gears to some of the uncommitted recruits on hand, Wagner is a big one for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are looking for another big tackle or two to join Tshabola in 2022, and Wagner certainly fits that bill as the No. 10 OT in the country and the No. 3 in-state prospect in the class. He already has one Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State, and he is certainly a guy to keep a close eye on this summer for a potential commitment.
A name you’ve likely heard a million times by now if you follow Ohio State recruiting, priority safety target was one of two heavy hitters at the position in attendance this weekend. The nation’s No. 5 safety and No. 71 player overall, Nwankpa’s only current Crystal Ball is in favor of the Buckeyes.
Bye Ohio— Xavier “X” Nwankpa (@xaviernwankpa01) June 6, 2021
see you soon? pic.twitter.com/AbPYyEaskx
Looks like Xavier Nwankpa and Jyaire Brown are having a good time at the WHAC pic.twitter.com/lYNxLnRooZ— The Victory Bell (@VictoryBellOSU) June 6, 2021
A four-star corner, Pride just wrapped up a visit to Ohio State, and following a visit to Clemson next weekend will likely come to a decision between the two schools. The No. 22 cornerback and a top-200 player in the 2022 class, Pride currently has two Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Tigers.
One of the biggest names in town over the weekend, both in terms of recruiting rankings and in physical stature, was the five-star OT out of Virginia. Ohio State would love to finally land that blue chip national offensive tackle, and the No. 5 overall prospect in 2022 and No. 1 OT in the country is at the top of their list. There are not currently any Crystal Balls in for Rice.
The other big five-star prospect in town plays on the other side of the line, as the Texas-native defensive end had nothing but good things to say about his trip to Ohio State. Abor is the No. 5 DL and No. 21 overall player in the 2022 class, and he came away from his visit very impressed with Larry Johnson and the opportunities the Buckeyes have to offer in terms of NIL and other things of the nature. He currently has three Crystal Balls in favor of Oklahoma, but they are low in confidence and from no more recently than February.
One of the nations top defensive prospects @BigSmooth___ (Omari Abor) on official visit to #OhioState ... Elite DE prospect that has a state championship ring in hoops at Duncanville pic.twitter.com/sjI7nHBhVA— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) June 5, 2021
Finally, one of the visitors with the most buzz around him after this weekend’s festivities was the four-star safety out of Bishop Gorman — the home of legendary Ohio State quarterback Tathan Martell [sarcasm] as well as 2020 defensive MVP Haskell Garrett [actually]. Branch is the No. 4 safety in the country and a top-50 national recruit in the 2022 class. While there wasn’t a whole lot of smoke talk connecting him to the Buckeyes prior to his visit, he received three Crystal Ball predictions in favor of OSU on Sunday.
Nwankpa has been the safety on many peoples’ radars for a long time now, but it may be Branch who pulls the trigger first. Obviously, Ohio State would love — and likely needs — both, so one committing certainly does not rule out the other.
A new offer
In addition to Ohio State seemingly gaining steam with the elder Branch, his younger brother Zachariah Branch walked away from the visit to Columbus with an offer of his own. A new face to add to Brian Hartline’s radar, Zachariah is the No. 5 WR and the No. 46 player overall in the 2023 class according to 247Sports’ own rankings. With the two brothers being elite prospects on either side of the ball, I'm sure Ryan Day would love to bring them in as a package deal, especially as Ohio State searches for its first commitment in 2023.
After an amazing talk with Coach @brianhartline l am extremely blessed and humbled to say that I have received an offer from THE Ohio State University!! #GoBucks @ryandaytime @OSUCoachKDub @OhioStateFB @bangulo @adamgorney @GregBiggins @BrandonHuffman @BishopGormanFB pic.twitter.com/d4IsxyD8Y6— Zachariah Branch (@zachariahb03) June 6, 2021
Something is clearly on the horizon in terms of a new commitment, as a number of Ohio State’s current commits began teasing a new BOOM on Sunday afternoon...
BOOM INCOMING !— Kyion Grayes II (@KyiongrayesII) June 6, 2021
BOOM COMING !— Ryan Turner (@RyanTurner_20) June 6, 2021
Buckeye fans y’all really for another BOOM⁉️— Tegra Tshabola (@tshabola_tegra) June 6, 2021
If a new commitment is coming in the near future, the smart money would be on either Aamil Wagner or Zion Branch. However, it could also be a little while before any of these guys make a commitment official, as I'm sure most would like to take advantage of this summer and make a few visits before locking themselves in to one school.
Recruiting is always a rollercoaster, and you never really know for sure what is going to happen until it happens. The 2022 guys seem pretty confident something is coming down the pipe here soon, and we will just have to wait and see for ourselves. These next few months are going to be full of swirling rumors and new commitments, so buckle up!