The Buckeyes will look to get back on track against Tulsa this weekend after last week’s devastating Oregon defeat. Though that game won’t be an easy one to forget, the best way to bounce back in a positive way is to get back on the field. Fortunately, Ohio State gets to do just that in a little over 24 hours.
Odds are it’s been a pretty intense week for the Buckeyes as the staff and players alike have to be chomping at the bit to right the ship, but the wait to start correcting mistakes is nearly over. Tulsa may not be the toughest test Ohio State could face this week, but it’s still a chance to improve from the week before and get back to playing more of an elite caliber style of football on both sides of the ball.
Last week was one of the bigger recruiting weekends Ohio State will have this season, but the Buckeyes will be playing host to one of their top targets in the entire 2023 class this Saturday.
Bowles ready for game day visit to Columbus
Ohio State will be playing host to more than just the visiting Golden Hurricanes. Four-star 2023 target Troy Bowles (Tampa, Florida/Jesuit) will be in attendance for Saturday’s game, and he is easily the staff’s most desired prospect that will be on campus for this non-conference slate. In addition, he’s climbed the ladder the last several weeks and is arguably one of their top targets in the 2023 class. Not the traditional primetime type of environment for hosting a top tier recruit, but regardless of the opponent, Ohio State getting Bowles on campus for a game is huge.
The son of current defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Bucs, Todd Bowles, Troy comes from a true football lineage with an obvious pedigree, and his father has been impressed with what Ohio State does for development and also how they run their program in general under Ryan Day. The Buckeyes having his approval certainly bodes well for their chances, and is why as of late most of the rumblings surrounding Bowles and his recruitment have a solid Ohio State vibe. The 247Sports Crystal Ball also thinks so, as both of the predictions for Bowles have the Buckeyes in the driver’s seat.
Currently, Bowles is ranked as the 52nd best player in the country per the 247Sports Composite. Probably even more importantly, Bowles is also regarded as the fourth best linebacker in the class, which after watching last week’s game, you see why Ohio State needs to reload like never before at the position of great importance. Specifically, Bowles is being recruiting as the “Will” or middle linebacker, and that’s where the Buckeyes believe the most talented linebacker in the system plays. With over 30 offers to his name, it’s easy to see why he’s so highly touted and why he’s a huge priority for this staff.
In all, this weekend is where Ohio State will look to make their biggest push with Bowles. Having been a top target on their board for some time now, this visit is just another chance to continue growing the relationship with the Bowles family as a whole and also further prove why their the best fit for Troy. So far, so good.
OSU target starting to trend elsewhere?
Ohio State’s class of 2022 isn’t exactly hurting by any means, but if there’s one position group that really could use a shot in the arm it’s the defensive line. Ohio State has yet to land a player of that position group, and that can probably be most attributed to a lot of their top targets taking their time with the recruiting process because they are of a more national brand. Still, the Buckeyes typically don’t have to wait this long, but odds are they still end with more than just a couple of dynamic playmakers in the trenches.
One of the more interesting recruitments in this class is the status surrounding Oklahoma native Chris McClellan. On Thursday, McClellan was mentioned due to his visit this to Gainesville for the Florida-Alabama game. In regards to this update, the news isn’t very positive concerning Ohio State and their realistic chances of landing him — at least with how the current trends are going.
At one time, McClellan was the odds on favorite to be the first of his position group to commit to Ohio State in the 2022 cycle. Coming off of an incredible visit this summer, McClellan almost looked like a sure thing and the biggest benefit to it all was that the home state Sooners had slow-played him at the beginning of his recruitment, which made the Buckeyes seem like they were pushing the hardest. Fast forward to present day, and it looks like McClellan and the Sooners have made up for lost time.
On Thursday, Bill Kurelic made an appearance on Bucknuts’ Morning 5’s daily show, and he made it very clear that while Ohio State at one time was the favorite, the feelings now are that McClellan is leaning towards staying at home and committing to Oklahoma. Many reasons are probable, but per Kurelic, the main aspect is how comfortable he is with Oklahoma and the fact that many of the people he is close with either have ties or even currently play or will play for the Sooners at the next level. Simply put, this might just be one of those easy decisions to stay at home.
Regardless of what is said, it’s not over yet, and the Buckeyes can still certainly continue to make their case. Whatever he decides, Ohio State will absolutely have other options thanks to Larry Johnson. Right now, it really does seem as if this train has left Columbus for Chris McClellan to be a Buckeye.