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Ohio State’s big targets heading into Signing Day

National Signing Day begins Wednesday, and the Buckeyes are still targeting multiple recruits to close out the 2023 class.

2023 five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagaleleivia 247Sports

This is a busy week for college football recruiting, as the early signing period begins tomorrow. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and his staff are busy with all things recruiting, and in this new recruiting atmosphere, the staff is likely the busiest it has ever been this time of year. The Buckeyes are still targeting multiple recruits and athletes in the transfer portal as well, and below is just a few of the team’s priority recruits heading into the big day.

Closing out the 2023 class

Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class is already one of the best in the nation. Currently, the class sits at No. 7 in the 247Sports Class Rankings and sits atop the Big Ten. While this is already quite the accomplishment, the Buckeyes are far from finished in this class. With just one more day left before recruits are able to sign their National Letter of Intent with their school of choice, the Buckeyes will be looking to bolster their class.

Heading into tomorrow, three names sit atop the list for recruits to watch for the Buckeyes. 2023 five-star defensive end targets Matayo Uiagalelei and Damon Wilson both have Ohio State listed among their final schools, and both are expected to announce their decisions tomorrow. Additionally, the top offensive tackle in the transfer portal, Ajani Cornelius, is also scheduled to make his announcement tomorrow as well.

Ohio State has long been recruiting both Uiagalelei and Wilson, and has appeared as the favorites for both at different times. Georgia seems to be the last remaining competition for the Buckeyes when it comes to Wilson, and the Bulldogs seem to hold a slight advantage over the Buckeyes before his recruitment comes to an end. The Buckeyes are far from out of it, and they have done all they can to make a finishing blow, but Georgia remains the favorite to land Wilson tomorrow.

The Buckeyes also sit well with Uiagalelei, who the team has also long been associated with. Ohio State has been viewed as the favorites in this one since the summer, but Uiagalelei has seen a strong uptick in contact with both Oregon and USC since then, and have established themselves as true contenders in this one. Ohio State still holds the advantage in the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions, but this is far from a guarantee. The Buckeyes chances appear to be stronger with Uiagalelei than the aforementioned Wilson, but either USC or Oregon could easily steal him from Ohio State and keep him out west.

The final name to keep an eye on for tomorrow is the top-viewed offensive lineman in the transfer portal, Cornelius. A rather new aspect related to signing day, and definitely added pressure on the coaching staff, the transfer portal has taken on a new life this year. Ryan Day and the Ohio State coaching staff are having to exert effort in not only keeping kids committed to the program that are already enrolled, but the staff is also recruiting kids who have decided to move on from their original school of choice.

The team has identified multiple targets, but none is bigger than Cornelius, who impressed at Rhode Island this past season. Tennessee is Ohio State’s biggest competition in this one, as he has officially visited with both schools since entering the portal on Dec. 1.

It is incredibly unlikely Ohio State lands all three of the above mentioned recruits, but it looks to be just as unlikely that they miss on all three. Even landing a commitment from just one of them would be a win for the program, as the class is already ranked in the top 10.

Make sure to follow Land-Grant Holy Land as we will keep you up to date on how the above recruitments play out.

Quick Hits

  • Ryan Day and the Ohio State football team are not the only coaching staff actively recruiting this time of year. Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State men’s basketball team are constantly hitting the recruiting trail as well. Holtmann has brought in multiple stellar recruiting classes in his six-year tenure at Ohio State and he is looking to build on the momentum.

On Monday, it was reported by Jake Weingarten of that Ohio State was one of two programs to reach out to four-star shooting guard, and top-50 overall prospect Rakease Passmore. The other program to make contact with him was Oklahoma. Passmore (who has an incredible name for a guard) currently holds scholarship offers from the likes of Indiana, Kansas, Memphis, Oregon, NC State, etc. and will hope to add Ohio State to that list after speaking with the Ohio State coaching staff.