There may not be another commit in Ohio State’s current class that has seen the uptick in rankings like Jermaine Mathews. The Cincinnati native is shooting up the lists for nearly every recruiting service, showing how valuable he is to the Buckeyes and their 2023 class. Being an in-state player is surely one major importance he carries, but playing the cornerback position is the biggest factor considering the current state of play in the secondary on Ohio State’s roster.
While other programs try to swoop in late and pry Mathews away from the Buckeyes, the coaching staff is doing all they can to prevent that from being the case. He’s now starting to prove to people why he was so sought after by this Ohio State coaching staff.
On Wednesday, as if the latest rankings boots weren’t enough, the accolades continued to come in for Mathews, as he was named Ohio’s Division 2 Defensive Player of the Year. A tremendous honor for one of Ohio’s top players regardless of position, Tim Walton has to be thrilled for what is coming to Columbus soon. In the mean time, the work is not done trying to keep the poachers away from the No. 135 player nationally, 15th best corner and second best player in Ohio per the 247Sports Composite.
Winton Woods senior cornerback Jermaine Mathews (@OhioStateFB verbal commit) named the Division II state defensive player of the year. Western Brown senior quarterback Drew Novak named the Division III state offensive player of the year. @WCPO— Mike Dyer (@MikeDyer) December 7, 2022
2023 running back target flips commitment
The running back recruiting situation in Columbus seems to ebb and flow. Depending on the year, the Buckeyes are either in a spot that seems too good to be true, or on the flip side, could certainly be better. Position coach Tony Alford has done a pretty solid job all things considering, but like any coach, there’s wins and losses on the recruiting trail regardless how stable the program is.
In the current class, Ohio State isn’t desperate by any means thanks to their current roster depth, but a running back in this class is of course desired by the coaches. Seeing Mark Fletcher de-commit from the Buckeyes just last month, it’s been a few wild weeks on the running back side of things as the staff tries to land one this late in the game for 2023. Old and new names have surfaced in terms of potential additions, but right now it’s looking like February’s signing period rather than December’s is the route being taken.
One the few names that have been linked as targets to Ohio State, none is bigger than Texas native, Reuben Owens. The No. 23 player nationally, Owens is the second ranked running back in the class per the 247Sports Composite rankings and had been committed to Louisville since June of this year, but yesterday stepped back from that pledge and reopened his recruitment. Taking to his Twitter to announce his de-commitment, Owens being back on the market quickly sorted itself out.
Shortly after Owens released the latest update in his recruitment, a flurry of 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions started to roll in. The favorite, in-state Texas A&M seemed to have gained all of the momentum in this recruitment, and when considering the location, NIL possibilities and more, the two do seem to make sense. Shortly thereafter, Owens announced his new commitment to the Aggies, putting an end to any hopes of the Buckeyes flipping the talented back.
Moving forward, guys such as Ohio native Trey Cornist will continue to be on Ohio State’s radar, and certainly recent offer Jamarion Wilcox is another name worth watching closely. The staff and Alford have earned the right to be trusted and fans just need to hope that continues to remain the case even if much of the happenings lately don’t seem all that positive.
- Though game planning for the College Football Playoff is at the forefront of the staff’s minds, recruiting never stops. This close to the December signing period, Day and his crew are making their rounds to their current commits before they lock in with their signatures.
Brandon Inniss, the top ranked receiver in Ohio State’s class, had his in-home visit last night with both Coach Day and Coach Hartline. The No. 26 player nationally, Inniss is the top ranked player in the Ohio State class and with all of the programs who’d love to have him in the fold, the Buckeyes are taking the time to continue recruiting him even with him being committed for several months now. The best part, it looks like any worry of his pledge to the Buckeyes can be forgotten about.