The beat goes on for Ohio State, as Thursday presented some major shakeup in regards to Ohio State’s defensive coaching staff. The Buckeyes under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles made two major moves by bringing in Perry Eliano from the Cincinnati Bearcats and Tim Walton of the Jacksonville Jaguars to coach the defensive secondary. Two guys in their own right who fit the bill perfectly for what the Buckeyes are trying to get back to, whether it’s success in development, recruiting, or NFL pedigree, Ryan Day is all in on turning the defense around.
On the recruiting front of these coaching changes, right away you have to look at Eliano coming from Cincinnati. It’s already been a theme that his work in the southern part of the country is very successful, and from a development standpoint, look no further than the incredible cornerback duo for the Bearcats this year. Having the Thorpe Award winner Coby Bryant as well as All-American Sauce Gardner under his leadership, that isn’t a detail you look past.
In regards to Walton, he’s a Buckeye. After playing for Ohio State in the early 1990’s, Walton has had a career all over the map that includes a stint under Saban and years in the NFL as both a coordinator and position coach. From his resume to players such as Jalen Ramsey giving him the stamp of approval, it’s clear this hire is another big one for the Buckeyes and brings an alumni back home.
On the surface, both coaches look to be great hires by Ryan Day for this revamped defense. If they are, the recruiting too could see a boost in production, and the possibilities there should have Buckeye fans full of excitement for what’s to come.
Four-star tight end receives Ohio State offer
Staying active on the trail, Ohio State was back on the grind Thursday in pursuit of more young talent on the offensive side of the ball when they offered their latest target in the 2024 class. Georgia native Landen Thomas was on the receiving end of the Buckeye offer, and wasted little time in making it public. The Colquitt County product still has two full seasons of prep football to play and develop, but his recruitment is already taking off in addition to his player status, which makes him one of the better players in the country already.
A 6-foot-4, 210 pound tight end, Thomas is very highly regarded, as he currently grades out as the 18th-best player nationally for his class per 247Sports. As if that’s not impressive enough, he also is considered as the top tight end in the nation and the fifth-best player in a loaded state of Georgia. Add this to his offer list of nearly 20 schools, and you see why the Buckeyes came knocking at his door to enter the mix. With other suitors such as Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, Florida, LSU, and others, Ohio State certainly didn’t want to waste any more time.
Ohio State and position coach Kevin Wilson have had elite talent at the tight end position before thanks to guys like Jeremy Ruckert, but obviously besides Ruckert there’s hasn’t been that top national caliber of player in the room. They have been able to bring a few guys who are no slouches in their own right, but landing a guy like Thomas would put the tight end position back to elite status. The Buckeyes may need to finally prove the utilization of that spot before they stand a real chance here. However, the Buckeyes are now certainly in the mix after their offer.
- Just yesterday, newly named offensive line coach Justin Frye was discussed in regards to hitting the ground running when it comes to the recruiting efforts for the Buckeyes. On Thursday, Frye was back on the trail again making the best of his time by getting in touch with Florida offensive tackle, Payton Kirkland.
The 201st best player nationally and the 15th ranked offensive tackle in the 2023 class per 247Sports, Kirkland isn’t a new name by any means to Ohio State recruiting followers, so seeing Frye now in touch with Kirkland makes a ton of sense. It’s only been a couple of days, but coach Frye seems to be right in alignment with how much this staff prioritizes recruiting.