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Four-star safety from California includes Ohio State in his top group

The Buckeyes are among the seven programs still in play for one of the top 50 players in next years cycle.

Peyton Woodyard

While it was a very forgettable weekend in Columbus after falling short yet again to Michigan, the Buckeyes still saw some positive developments on the recruiting trail with a top safety target. Plus, the latest on the three prospects that secured an offer from Ohio State in recent days.

Woodyard trims list, sets announcement date

After jumping into the mix way back in June of last year when Ohio State offered, the program now knows where they stand in their pursuit of 2024 four-star safety Peyton Woodyard of St. John Bosco (CA). The Polynesian Bowl pledge decided to narrow down his recruitment on Sunday, and will move forward focusing on the likes of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, and USC.

According to Andrew Nemec, the director of recruiting for SBLive Sports, Woodyard will be making his decision on Jan. 7 at the All-American Game. The Bulldogs are the lone program with the benefit of having a Crystal Ball forecast for Woodyard.

The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder and longtime Buckeye target currently grades out as a top 50 prospect in next years class. Woodyard also slots in as the fourth-highest graded safety that the class has to offer, and is a top-five player from the state of California.

The Buckeyes hand out three new offers

Despite the loss on Saturday and the season likely all but over, Ohio State still remains active on the recruiting trail as they sent out a few new offers over the last three days.

Despite excluding the Buckeyes from his list of finalists last month, 2024 four-star athlete Boo Carter of Brainerd (TN) was on campus this weekend, and the outcome was an offer from Ohio State. While the Chattanooga native doesn’t equip the most impressive of rankings as a prospect for the time being, Carter is currently listed as the No. 5 player from Tennessee in next years class.

With one target in Tyseer Denmark now off the board and headed to Oregon, it isn’t all that surprising that the Buckeyes dropped an offer to 2024 three-star wide receiver Elijah Moore of Good Counsel (MD) after his visit to Columbus. Ohio State joined Florida State, Kentucky, Maryland, USC, and West Virginia on the early offer sheet for Moore.

Lastly, Ohio State got a significantly early jump into the recruitment of 2026 wide receiver Malachi Toney of American Heritage (FL) with his weekend offer from the program. Toney, who is already at double digit offers, looks to be well on his way to being one of the top ranked players in his entire class with the programs making it a priority to get involved in his recruitment this early.

Quick Hits

  • According to Jeremy Birmingham of Dotting The Eyes, Ohio State hosted 2023 four-star safety Ben Minich of Lakota West (OH) on Saturday for the game against Michigan. The No. 5 prospect in Ohio is currently pledged to Notre Dame and has been since August.
  • The Buckeyes saw a pair of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions go in favor of the program landing 2023 four-star defensive end Joshua Mickens of Lawrence Central (IN), an LSU commit, on Sunday courtesy of Bill Kurelic and Steve Wiltfong. The Indianapolis standout currently graded out as the top prospect in his respective state.
  • Tennessee picked up a commitment from 2023 four-star defensive lineman Daevin Hobbs of Jay M Robinson (NC) on Friday evening. While the Buckeyes weren’t in serious contention to land the Concord native, Hobbs technically chose the Volunteers over Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio State.
  • The Buckeyes saw a pair of visitors in 2023 three-star cornerback Cameron Calhoun of Winton Woods (OH) and 2024 four-star offensive tackle Luke Hamilton of Avon (OH) commit to Michigan since the conclusion of the game. While this isn’t the greatest look for the Buckeyes, it is worth mentioning that while Calhoun and Hamilton were targets of Ohio State, they had yet to garner an offer from the program to this point.