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Buckeyes make the cut for a top 2022 defensive tackle and a 2023 QB

Ohio State is starting to make some moves in important areas on the recruiting trail

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

Wednesday kicked off the start of fall camp for Ohio State — the ultimate sign that Buckeye football is officially back. These next couple of weeks will be critical for the team as they gear up for their opponents, but seeing the intensity already on multiple updates from the Buckeyes’ social media outlets should give you insight that the staff will have this group ready when the time comes.

Surely one would think that with the start of preseason camp now the staff would be fully devoted to spending their time solely working towards the 2021 campaign, but Wednesday saw two players in the 2022 and 2023 class trim their lists of top schools, and the Buckeyes made the cut for both. Yes, recruiting will take a bit less of the staff’s time, but the pursuit to finish their 2022 class and start their 2023 cycle is still in gear as time and time again this program proves that recruiting is at the forefront of the team’s overall success.

2022 defensive lineman down to a final six

The Buckeyes have yet to land a defensive line commitment in the class of 2022, and while that is certainly a bit unusual for a program who recruits at the rate Ohio State does, it’s not anything fans should worry about. One player who has been thought of as likely the first in line is Oklahoma native Chris McClellan. A 6-foot-3, 295 pound defensive tackle, McClellan has been very upfront about his love for Ohio State, and has shared that the staff has vocally expressed that they would love for him to be one of the first commits in the class and that his skillset is perfect for how he’d be used under Larry Johnson.

In reality, after his very successful visit to campus in June and his glowing remarks about Ohio State, it’s almost a bit of a surprise that he hasn’t made a commitment to the Buckeyes with all the momentum the staff seems to have. In several occasions he hinted that a commitment may be coming, but he’s seemed to slow the process down a little bit lately. Still though, the staff will continue to recruit him intensely as he’s clearly one of their top guys on the recruiting board.

On Wednesday, the latest update in McClellan’s recruitment came when he released a list of top schools still in the mix for his commitment. Proof that his process actually has slowed down and the momentum behind a rumored Ohio State pledge has simmered a bit, there are still six programs still in the fold for McClellan. Making the cut included Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, USC, LSU, and Ohio State for the nation’s 17th ranked defensive lineman and the 90th best player nationally per the 247Sports Composite.

In regards to Ohio State, the Buckeyes are still in very good shape with McClellan and may still be the true leader for his services. When looking at the 247Sports Crystal Ball, seeing the Buckeyes having all but one prediction in their favor from guys in the know such as Steve Wiltfong, the Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, as well as both Oklahoma and USC insiders, it does seem like the momentum is still there for the Buckeyes. Larry Johnson is rarely defeated on the recruiting trail, and he’s made it known that McClellan is a priority. A top six has been named, but this one is trending well.

2023 signal caller places Ohio State on top schools list

With Ohio State having their 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers technically joining the 2021 class, the Buckeyes and their QB recruiting plan certainly will be changing for Ryan Day and the staff. Where and who to recruit and how many guys to look at are the questions everyone will have, but in the midst of all the changes, it’s key to remember how well Ryan Day has done with the quarterback position in his tenure with the Buckeyes. Regardless of the recruiting shake-up, the position room is in great hands and full of elite talent.

As the 2023 class becomes more and more of a priority, looking at the quarterback recruiting scene will be a topic of heavy interest. Who the starter is in 2022 could play a big role in what the staff chooses to do, but you’d have to figure they’ll take a guy at the position — especially since it’s unlikely they take a 2022 QB now that Ewers is enrolling early for this fall. Again, with Ryan Day, the Buckeyes will have multiple elite options thanks to his development and the offensive success he has helped to create for this program.

On Wednesday, one of the 2023 QBs with an Ohio State offer updated his recruitment and narrowed down his sights on 12 schools he is still considering. Dylan Lonergan, a Georgia native who received a Buckeye offer after a great camp performance on June 9, listed Ohio State as a part of his trimmed schools list. Rounding out the remaining schools for the nation’s sixth best QB in the 2023 class and 49th player nationally included Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Penn State, South Carolina, Auburn, LSU, and Mississippi State.

Also a stellar prep baseball player, Lonergan may look for a chance to play both at the next level, and while the QB position isn’t short of requirements, Lonergan looks to have all it takes to at least give it a shot. Until then, the Buckeyes are still in the mix, and Ryan Day along with Corey Dennis will have their best plans in place to keep the position success continued under their leadership.

Quick Hits

  • As part of 247Sports’ recruiting rankings update, one player who is worth mentioning due to his interest level in Ohio State is Florida defensive line target Derrick LeBlanc, who has now achieved five-star status in the composite rankings. After his most recent visit to campus — his third trip this summer alone to Columbus — LeBlanc has made it very clear the Buckeyes are the top school to beat for his commitment. A potential huge addition, it may just be a matter of time before the Buckeyes have a five-star in the fold for 2023.