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In-state target hints at recruiting update while a top defensive lineman keeps the Buckeyes in the running

It was a busy Wednesday for Ohio State with a handful of updates on the recruiting trail.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Utah at Ohio State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

You’d hardly know it was the offseason for Ohio State with all of the news that seems to happen on the daily. On the recruiting trail, the Buckeyes look to be making some major progress with many of their top targets, and while the current players are going through the grueling mat-drills, the coaching staff is also staying on the grind.

Buckeyes trying to lock up another in-state target

As the 2023 class becomes the main priority for the staff, the Buckeyes will start to see some serious momentum sooner than later. Earlier this week, in-state target Luke Montgomery shared his commitment date, and it coming much earlier than expected shows the Buckeyes may see some major impact to their class that currently holds four commitments. This early on, Ohio natives tend to lock their spots in, and while the staff is hopeful Montgomery is next in line, he’s not the only one that’s been sharing news regarding their recruitment process.

On Wednesday, another top in-state target for Ohio State shared via his Twitter account that an update would be coming. Lakota West product Malik Hartford has plans to release some sort of news this coming Friday. Whether that be a commitment or just an updated top schools list is still to be seen, but Hartford has been not only one of the fastest rising players in Ohio, but nationally as well.

The 6-foot-3, 175 pound athlete has seen his recruitment really take off these past few weeks. In January alone he added offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Boston College, and of course Ohio State, among others. Ranked as the fourth best player in Ohio for the 2023 class, Hartford also checks in as the 18th best player at the athlete position and the 216th ranked prospect in the country per the 247Sports Composite.

Projected to play safety at the next level, that’s obviously a position of importance, and as Hartford continues to rise in the rankings, Ohio State definitely wants to keep him home and fend off the other national suitors that have also taken notice of his talents. Hartford did release a tweet in late January that read, “about time I start narrowing it down” with a graphic that included the logos of the many programs who have offered him, so this Friday update could again just be a top schools list, but if a commitment is coming, it bodes fairly well that Ohio State would come out on top.

Fortunately, there’s not much longer of a wait to see where this recruitment is heading either way.

Buckeyes make the cut for a top defensive lineman

Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Ohio State made the cut once again for another top national defensive line target thanks in large part to Larry Johnson, who slays everything on the recruiting trail. On Wednesday, four-star Tomarrion Parker (Phenix City, AL/Central High School) released a list of five schools he is still considering before making the final call. Including Ohio State in the running, Parker also listed Penn State, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

A 6-foot-4, 255 pound defensive lineman, Parker checks in as the nation’s 88th ranked player and the 13th best prospect along the defensive line for the 2023 class. Having well over 20 offers to his name, trimming the list to a final five schools shows how far along he is in the recruitment process, but the fortunate news of course is seeing Ohio State still in the mix for the Alabama native.

As it stands right now, there are two Crystal Ball submissions in regards to Parker, with both predicting Georgia as the favorite. One of those projections coming from Director of Recruiting for 247Sports Steve Wiltfong should give a pretty good insight to who really does have the inside track to his pledge right now, but with Larry Johnson, anything is possible.

A planned spring visitor not coming alone

Sense the sarcasm here, but shame on Brian Hartline for not getting the top receiver this past cycle in the 2022 class. Having been able to land the top receiver in 2020 courtesy of Julian Fleming and then again in 2021 thanks to Emeka Egbuka, you’d think he would have been able to pull that incredible feat three times in a row. Amazingly enough, at one time, 2022 receiver signee Caleb Burton was the top ranked receiver, so I guess that just further cements the notion of Hartline as the best receivers coach in the country.

Earlier this week, news surfaced that the Buckeyes would be playing host this coming April to the top receiver in the 2023 class, Brandon Inniss. A one-time Oklahoma commit, the American Heritage product has sense re-opened his recruitment thanks to the move to USC by Lincoln Riley. Wonderful news of course to Ohio State, this offers a second chance for Hartline and the Buckeyes to become a serious player in his recruitment, and as you’d expect, have another realistic shot at landing the top receiver in the country.

While this visit in April will be huge for Ohio State, yesterday the visit got that much more important when news popped up that Inniss won’t be making the trek alone. In addition to Brandon, 2023 safety prospect Daemon Fagan, also of American Heritage, will make the trip to Columbus in April.

The 6-foot-2, 180 pound safety is currently ranked as the 23rd best player at his position and the 243rd best player nationally per the 247Sports Composite. With nearly 30 offers to his name, Fagan definitely fits the bill to his four-star status. Ohio State was thrilled to know they’ll have Inniss on campus this spring, and having another player from a powerhouse prep program in Florida with him allows the staff to continue having a strong presence in the Sunshine State, where some of the best talent in the country resides.

Quick Hits

  • On the hardwood, there was a bit of Ohio State hoops related news on Wednesday when 6-foot-9, 240 pound center target Austin Parks set a date for his commitment. An in-state prospect for the Buckeyes, Parks is listed as the sixth best in-state player and the 18th best center in the country per 247Sports. With a final three of Indiana, West Virginia, and Ohio State, Chris Holtmann and crew are hoping they’ll be the pick this coming Sunday afternoon.