It was a bit of a slow news weekend for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail but they did see one of their top defensive line targets receive a new ranking after making the jump to the 2022 class. Plus, an in-state defensive back that holds an Ohio State offer received a major honor before entering the weekend.
Overton still among the elite
Perhaps the biggest news that came about last week was when Lebbeus Overton, a five-star defensive lineman from Milton (GA), revealed that he would be reclassifying from the 2023 recruiting class and would become a member of the 2022 class. Amid the change for the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder, he also announced the five finalists in his recruitment. For Overton, the focus turns to a handful of powerhouse programs including Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas A&M for his services.
On Friday, just one day after the news broke, Overton saw an update to his 247Sports composite score. While a member of the 2023 class, the Alpharetta, Georgia native was slotted as the No. 3 prospect in the country and the top graded defensive lineman overall. Now, as a member of the 2022 cycle, Overton comes in as the No. 18 overall player in the class, the fifth best defensive lineman, and the third highest graded prospect from the state of Georgia.
While Overton is down to five programs, 247Sports' Rusty Mansell did forecast a crystal ball prediction for the elite defensive lineman to wind up an Aggie. It is worth mentioning that his father, Milton Overton, is a former defensive lineman for Oklahoma, but he also spent time as an Associate Athletic Director at Texas A&M for ten years.
According to Hayes Fawcett of On3.com, Overton becomes to second prospect to reclassify from the 2023 class to become a member of the 2022 class. The only other prospect to make the move was five-star safety Sonny Styles of Pickerington Central (OH), who has since signed with the Buckeyes.
Hartford earns All-American honor
A name that has quickly emerged as an important piece in the 2023 class for Ohio State comes in the form of in-state four-star athlete Malik Hartford of Lakota West (OH). The Buckeyes jumped into the mix for the West Chester native late last month after the hiring of former Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano, who had Hartford as arguably the Bearcats top target overall.
After seeing more offers pour in from programs including Michigan, Notre Dame, and Tennessee since the Buckeyes got involved, Hartford also got some more good news that was came to light thanks to 247Sports' Allen Trieu on Friday.
Hartford received an invite to the All-American bowl on Thursday night. The event is an annual game played at the beginning of each year and it features a large portion of the top prospects in the country. The 2023 event is currently scheduled to take place on January 7th and will be televised of NBC.
Hartford is currently graded as the No. 217 player in the class. The blue-chip prospect also comes in as the No. 17 athlete overall despite being recruited as a safety for Ohio State. Finally, Hartford also finds himself as the fourth highest graded player that the stat eof Ohio has to offer.
While the recruitment of Hartford for the Buckeyes is rather fresh, one would have to think Ohio State has more than a punchers chance to this battle.
Now former Buckeye target and 2023 four-star safety R.J. Jones of St. John Bosco (CA) announced his pledge to California on Friday evening. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder chose the Golden Bears despite offers from the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oregon, USC, Washington, and many more.
The Buckeyes extended a preferred walk-on offer to 2022 running back Preston Alford of Dripping Springs (TX) on Friday afternoon. According to his 247Sports profile, Alford has full ride offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Columbia, Dartmouth, and Eastern Kentucky. Land-Grant Holy Land's Charles Doss caught up with the lone star state prospect to discuss the opportunity from Ohio State and where things stand in his recruitment.