After escaping with a narrow — and at times ugly — victory against Northwestern this weekend, the Buckeyes were also gathering some positive momentum on the recruiting trail. A longtime target along the interior defensive line narrowed down his recruitment and the Buckeyes were a beneficiary in that update. Plus, a top linebacker in next years cycle plans a visit to Columbus later this month.
Hall down to five
Fresh off of landing a pledge from 2023 four-star defensive lineman Kayden McDonald of North Gwinnett (GA) earlier this week, Ohio State also found themselves among the finalists for another blue-chip prospect along the defensive interior. On Friday evening, it was 2023 four-star defensive tackle Jordan Hall of Westside (FL) who narrowed down the programs in the running for his coveted commitment.
BREAKING: Elite DL Jordan Hall is down to 5️⃣ Schools!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) November 4, 2022
The 6’5 308 DL from Jacksonville, FL is ranked as a Top 30 Player in the ‘23 Class (No. 4 DL)
More Here (FREE): https://t.co/oTrInseRYv pic.twitter.com/lNcjINRij7
The Jacksonville standout accumulated over 30 offers as a prospect and will now focus on the likes of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State going forward. As things currently stand, the Bulldogs are the current favorite to land the No. 52 overall prospect on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Nonetheless, the good news right now for defensive line coach Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes is that Hall, a top 15 player from Florida, is currently scheduled to make an official visit to Columbus later this month when Ohio State looks to get their revenge on Michigan inside of Ohio Stadium.
When speaking with Hayes Fawcett and On3, Hall briefly discussed the five schools still in the running. When talking about the Buckeyes, the All-American Bowl selection had this to say:
“Ohio State is the one out of the five I haven’t been to, but I’m really the most interested in seeing what they have to offer. They are always a good offense for me to compete against in practice. Coach Johnson is one of the best ever at what he does. I’ll be in a new environment for me to grow as a person, and I really feel like I’ll be able to grow and thrive there as a D-lineman. The SEC has a lot of people like me in it, but the Big Ten doesn’t, so I’ll come in and be developed and have a very good impact as soon as I get there I believe.”
While it certainly seems as if Ohio State is playing catch up in the race for Hall, if they are able to make that visit later this month come to fruition, you never know what could come about. Until then, the Buckeyes just have to remain afloat with a quartet of SEC powerhouses in hot pursuit for the No. 7 defensive lineman in this years class.
Jones set to visit this month
Much like the aforementioned Hall and numerous other prospects across the country, 2024 four-star linebacker Kristopher Jones of Mountain View (VA) is another recruit that will be in Columbus later this month. According to Garrick Hodge of Eleven Warriors, Jones is planning on visiting Ohio State near the conclusion of the month for the Buckeyes game against Michigan.
Jones may be a relatively unfamiliar name among Buckeye fans for the time being but perhaps it is a name to get familiar with. The Stafford native is one that Ohio State has already offered dating back to June when he impressed at a camp setting in Columbus.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder also has already garnered scholarship opportunities from programs like Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, and more.
The visit from Jones, which is now just a few weeks away, will be the second stop in Columbus for the blue-chip defender and it’s a visit that the Buckeyes won’t take for granted. Jones currently grades as a Top 150 prospect in next years cycle. The Virginia standout also grades out as the sixth highest graded linebacker in the class and the third best prospect overall in his state.
- According to Hayes Fawcett of On3, Ohio State target and four-star quarterback Colin Hurley of Trinity Christian Academy (FL) has committed to LSU and is also reclassifying from the 2025 recruiting class to 2024. With the Jacksonville native now off the board, 2025 quarterback Ryan Montgomery of Findlay (OH) is the lone signal-caller in the class with an offer from the Buckeyes, paving the way for him to be the clear-cut top target at the position.