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Ohio State still chasing four-star offensive line target despite commitment elsewhere

After deciding in favor of Kentucky back in April, it seems the Buckeyes aren’t slowing their pursuit for one of Indiana’s best.

Kiyaunta Goodwin
Mike Schaefer, 247Sports

Despite Ohio State being locked in on preseason camp and getting ready for their week one tilt against Minnesota, there was no shortage of news on the recruiting front this weekend. Land-Grant Holy Land breaks down the latest happenings on the trail for the Buckeyes in recent days.

Buckeyes tracking Kentucky pledge?

Back in April, Ohio State took a tough loss on the recruiting trail when they missed out on the commitment of four-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin of Charlestown (IN). The 6-foot-7, 300-pounder was a player that the Buckeyes undoubtedly were hoping to land, and at one point many considered them the favorite for the All-American selection. Unfortunately for offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and the Scarlet and Gray, Goodwin would announce his pledge to Kentucky.

As months came and went, many thought Ohio State should continue their pursuit of the Louisville native despite his verbal commitment to the Wildcats, and that seems to be exactly the case. According to Chad Simmons of On3 Sports, Ohio State is “still in the mix” for Goodwin along with Alabama, Kentucky, and Michigan State. Goodwin is currently graded as the No. 6 offensive tackle in the class and is slotted just outside of the top 50 prospects.

Jackson down to three

Ohio State’s third-ranked recruiting class in the country is still left without any prospects along the defensive front. But one player that Larry Johnson could potentially be adding to his room is four-star edge defender Kenyatta Jackson of Chaminade-Madonna Prep (FL) — a long-time Buckeye target.

In order for that to ultimately happen, Ohio State will have to beat out two of the top programs in the country for his services. According to Andrew Ivins of 247Sports, Jackson is down to three schools in his recruitment, and the Buckeyes unsurprisingly made the group along with Alabama and Oklahoma. While the task to outlast the Sooners and Crimson Tide won't come easy, the Buckeyes do have the benefit of Jackson being current high school teammates with four-star cornerback pledge Ryan Turner.

Pope set to decide

It is decision day for three-star safety Jake Pope of Buford (GA), as the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder will put an end to his recruitment on Monday. The Peach State prospect has received a bevy of high-profile offers throughout the process despite holding a ranking that might not standout out to some.

Pope will be deciding on one of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Ohio State later today. Despite the Buckeyes being included in the group and even bringing the versatile athlete on campus for an official visit this summer, I wouldn’t expect Pope to be playing in Columbus. Nick Saban and Alabama currently come in as the favorite to land Pope on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Quick Hits

  • Five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers of Southlake Carroll (TX) has officially enrolled at Ohio State. Ewers, the former headliner of the 2022 recruiting class, completes his reclassification and will now turn his focus to the Buckeyes’ ongoing starting QB competition.
  • Ohio State “officially” welcomed a trio of 2020 signees to the program this weekend as three-star punter Jesse Mirco, five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimoloau, and four-star running back Evan Pryor had their black stripes removed.
  • Former four-star Ohio State running back commit Sampson James, formerly of Avon (IN), announced his transfer from Indiana to Purdue. James was previously a member of the Buckeyes 2019 recruiting class before ultimately deciding to decommit and sign with the Hoosiers. The former top 10 back accumulated just 32 carries last season, and is now headed to West Lafayette for a fresh start with the Boilermakers.