Ohio State’s 2021 season kicks off against conference foe Minnesota in just a week. With camp winding down quickly, the Buckeyes have to be ready to get after it and prove why they are yet again among the nation’s elite programs. Ryan Day and staff have voiced that they’re pleased with what they’ve seen so far at numerous positions, and with how well they’ve recruited, it gives off a pretty strong vibe that Ohio State will be more than ready and just as talented as they usually are even after losing some key guys from last year’s run.
Speaking of recruiting, most understand why it is a little but more quiet than normal this time of the year. Coaching staffs all around the country have their priorities set on the start of their respective seasons, and that leaves recruiting not as a bystander, but a little less of a focus. No, the Buckeyes certainly don’t take any days off. Thanks to Mark Pantoni, who always has recruiting as his top priority, the Buckeyes continue to be in great spots in both the 2022 and 2023 classes.
Wednesday proved that to be the case, as they saw their name as a finalist for one of the most elite talents 2023 has to offer.
Buckeyes make the cut for top 2023 target
It should be considered a massive feat when any staff lands the nation’s top-ranked player. Before he reclassified, the Buckeyes had exactly that in their current 2022 class thanks to Quinn Ewers. Any time a program is able to bring in a guy who’s ranked as the top player in the country it of course speaks volumes to how well the staff is recruiting. While rankings aren’t entirely the story, it was Urban Meyer who once said “if they’re keeping score, (in terms of recruiting rankings) then we want to win.” The Buckeyes win because they have top notch players year in and year out.
On Wednesday, the Buckeyes took a step in the right direction if they want to land the top player in the country in back-to-back recruiting cycles. Lebbeus Overton, the top-player in the nation in 2023 per 247Sports, took to Twitter to update his recruitment as he narrowed down his offer list to a top 12 schools he is still considering. A 6-foot-5, 264 pound defensive lineman, Overton has nearly 30 offers to his name and is clearly ready to start making some headway towards a final decision. The Georgia native is a obviously a special athlete, but what makes him even more of a phenom is that at his size, he’s still receiving offers to play college basketball too. In fact, in February, it was Ohio State who offered Overton for both football and basketball.
Making the cut for Overton included USC, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Ohio State. The Buckeyes are in it right now, and have what anyone could want as a recruiting pitch with Larry Johnson at the helm of the position group and his track record of development. Being the son of a former Oklahoma star though, it’s easy to see why the Sooners have the momentum in the Crystal Ball predictions. It will be interesting to see how important basketball is to Overton as this recruitment goes on, but certainly football will be his top priority. As this continues, Ohio State will do what they can to remain a serious player with the nation’s top player.
- It certainly took longer than most would expect, but Ohio State is finally on the board in 2023 with their first commitment. Coming last week, Ty Lockwood, a four-star tight end out of Tennessee, was the first to join the ranks for the Buckeyes. Of course the staff loves the talent he is going to bring to the class, but in this instance, his leadership is the focus.
Looking very much like he will be a vocal leader in this class early on, Lockwood already has everything the staff wants from a commitment. In his own right, Lockwood will become a recruiter himself as he looks to help build the class and get some momentum rolling with commitments from other top targets Ohio State is in on.