As Ohio State prepares for their weekend tilt against Maryland, they found themselves once again slotted as the No. 2 ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings. While finishing the regular season on the right note is at the forefront for the Buckeyes, they are also looking to put the finishing touches on their 2023 recruiting class, and they may have some work to do at the running back position. Plus, one of the top 2025 offensive tackles is set to make a trip to Columbus next weekend.
Fletcher considers more visits
It’s been over seven months since Ohio State dipped into the state of Florida to reel in 2023 four-star running back Mark Fletcher of American Heritage (FL) as he pledged to the Buckeyes over Miami (FL), Michigan, Penn State and more. But as things currently stand, concerns are beginning to arise as to Fletcher ultimately being in the class when all is said and done.
The Fort Lauderdale native has pieced together an impressive senior campaign and it comes as no surprise that programs across the country are still pursuing the blue-chip back. In recent weeks, Fletcher has taken visits to both Florida and Miami (FL) and it seems as if more visits could potentially be coming down the line.
According to 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins, Fletcher is “not ruling out more visits” after spending his weekend in Gainesville to watch the Gators blowout win over South Carolina.
While there is still over a month to go until the early signing period, all hope is not lost. But it seems as if the Buckeyes must get the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder back on campus for their lone remaining home game this season — next weekend against their arch-rival and No. 4 ranked Michigan. The expectation is that the visit will happen for now, but in the mean time, Ohio State might want to warm up to some other names at the position so that they don’t get caught empty handed in the class.
A loss of Fletcher for the Buckeyes would unquestionably be a tough one to cope with. The Sunshine State standout currently ranks as a top ten running back in the class and has the physical makeup to succeed like many other Ohio State backs in recent years.
Short set to visit next week
One prospect who will certainly be on campus next weekend, according to Garrick Hodge of Eleven Warriors, is 2025 four-star offensive tackle Mason Short of Evans (GA).
Aside from the Buckeyes, the massive 6-foot-7, 280-pounder has already garnered double digit offers as a prospect including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Penn State, Tennessee, and more. Short will be at Clemson this weekend for a visit and it would not come as a surprise if an offer from the Tigers soon followed.
While it’s well too early not to expect drastic movement in the rankings going forward, Short currently slots in as a Top 40 player in his class at No. 38 overall. The Georgia offensive tackle also comes in as the second best player at his position and the sixth highest graded player in the Peach State.
- Ohio State hosted 2025 four-star tight end Ethan Barbour of Alpharetta (GA) this past weekend and he described the trip to Columbus as a “great” one to Eleven Warriors on Tuesday. “They literally discussed everything from what it means to be a Buckeye, how they help you manage your academic schedule, nutrition, and they even discussed how they prepare you for life on and off the field. The level of detail was incredible,” Barbour told Hodge.