Like most of the talk going on around the 2023 recruiting class for Ohio State, this update also concerns the defensive line position group. The last real pressing need for the Buckeyes in the current cycle, coach Larry Johnson has been working tirelessly to finish the 2023 haul with a bang. The three names worth mentioning have been uttered numerous times already and while the decisions for these top players are getting closer, the job is still not done for any of them and that’s the main aspect as to why Matayo Uiagalelei, Keon Keeley, and Damon Wilson are in the news seemingly every chance available
Speaking solely on Uiagalelei here, the five-star defensive end has visit plans this weekend, and it’s not exactly a program that’s been linked closely to his recruitment, as Ohio State, Oregon and USC continue to be the main schools associated with the St. John Bosco product. At any rate though, Matayo will be in South Bend this weekend checking out Notre Dame. Of importance, Clemson is the opponent for the Irish, and seeing his quarterback brother is likely the main rooting interest for this weekend’s trek.
Not close to a decision, Uiagalelei has been rumored to take his recruitment the distance and potentially sign to the school of his choice much later than the December signing period allows. Focusing mainly on his prep season, much of the buzz surrounding Matayo will likely come at the close of his season and when recruiting can once again take priority.
The No. 33 player nationally, Uiagalelei is the sixth best edge rusher in the class and the fourth best player from California for the 2023 class per the 247Sports Composite, he is very much still considering the Buckeyes, and by some accounts Ohio State is ahead in this one. Patience will have to be a key here for all parties wishing to see him become a member of the class, but with Johnson doing the heavy lifting in this recruitment, you have like the chances of landing Matayo or at least another top elite edge rusher for this class finish.
- The chances of Ohio State taking two running backs in the 2024 class seems like a pretty safe assumption. After only taking one in the 2022 and 2023 class, the Buckeyes can afford to restock the shelves a bit, but also have the luxury of being pretty picky too as they appeal to several top players at the position across the country. That said, there’s in-state Ohio players that are on the staff’s radar already. With a common theme of taking a top national product and an in-state guy to compliment, that sort of equation for the 2024 cycle doesn’t seem too far off base.
Per Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts.com, one in-state native that is highly interested in Ohio State and not shy about it, Sam Williams-Dixon (Millersburg, Ohio/West Holmes) has expressed his feelings about the Buckeyes, and is an option the staff is paying attention to as he’s already been on campus this fall for game day visits.
The No. 512 player nationally, Williams-Dixon is the 35th ranked running back in the class and the 20th best player from Ohio per the 247Sports Composite. Without an offer from Ohio State yet, Sam does hold offers from the likes of Tennessee, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, and Penn State among others. If the two parties continue the interest, it’s not out of the question to see the Buckeyes get a little more serious about Williams-Dixon and the potential to keep him at home for his college career.