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Column: Alabama prospect emerges as candidate for Ohio State’s 2023 quarterback spot

As the Buckeyes aim to fill their quarterback vacancy in the 2023 class, a new name surfaces.

Christopher Vizzina
Jason Caldwell, 247Sports

While Ohio State enters the day with the seventh highest graded haul in the country for 2023 featuring a handful of pledges thus far, the program is still on the prowl for the coveted quarterback to claim a spot in the class.

It is a pursuit that has already seen three Top 75 prospects overall that have secured Buckeye schloarship offers ultimately head elsewhere. Four-star quarterback Jackson Arnold of Guyer (TX) is now off to Oklahoma, four-star quarterback Eli Holstein of Zachary (LA) decided on Texas A&M, and five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos (CA) pledged to USC after the hiring of Lincoln Riley.

Despite the misses that have already taken place, Ohio State does have a quartet of signal-callers that remain in play to fill the void. Three names that have been potential options for quite some time include five-star quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava of Warren (CA), four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan of Brookwood (GA), and five-star quarterback Dante Moore of Martin Luther King (MI). However, in recent days, a new name has since emerged on the board for the Buckeyes at the position.

On Thursday, Ohio State welcomed four-star quarterback Christopher Vizzina of Briarwood Christian (AL) to campus for a visit. In the end, the 6-foot-4, 207-pounder departed Columbus with an offer from Head Coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes in hopes of potentially adding him to the quarterback room of Corey Dennis when all is said and done.

As noted by Vizzina above, the trip to Columbus was a "great" one for the Birmingham native and kicks off a recruitment worth keeping an eye on going forward. Vizzina revealed to Bucknuts' Bill Kurelic following his visit that he is "super interested" in Ohio State and that it is "great talking on the phone all the time" with quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis. Now from here, the Buckeyes will look to continue to build their relationship with the latest offer and let the chips fall where they may.

Vizzina has already garnered an impressive list of offers thus far therefore Ohio State will have their work cut out for them in this race. Aside from the Buckeyes, the Cotton State standout is also being chased by Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and a host of other respected programs.

Interestingly enough, 247Sports national recruiting analyst Cooper Petagna compares Vizzina to a quarterback that was previously on the Buckeyes radar way back in the 2013 recruiting class in Mitch Trubisky, a Mentor (OH) alum and current NFL Free Agent, and touches on what Vizzina brings to the table.

Possesses adequate size and frame for the position, verified at 6-foot-3 and 200-pounds plus. Has the frame to add additional weight to his body at the next level. Displays good athleticism in the pocket and above average mobility as a runner. Appears to have a loose compact throwing motion. Shows the ability to get the ball out from a variety of angles. Exhibits good foot quickness and the ability to reset his feet in the pocket. Has the tendency to play rushed at times in the pocket but flashes good play tempo and ability to extend plays with his feet. Possesses good arm strength and velocity. Ball pops off his hand. Excels throwing the deep ball with touch and accuracy. Needs to continue to add some polish in the short to intermediate part of his game, but flashes the accuracy to be a consistent passer at the next level. Above average passer that has the ability to develop into a good passer at the next level. Provides a threat with his legs, not only as a runner, but with his ability to extend plays outside the pocket and throw off platform. Projects to a multi-year Power Five starter at the next level. Will need two years to develop before seeing credible playing time."

Of course, Ohio State would instead pull in J.T. Barrett in the class and Trubisky would make his way to Chapel Hill to suit up for North Carolina. Nonetheless, Vizzina being compared to an NFL quarterback and a likely highly sought after free agent this offseason is certainly not the worst thing in the world.

Vizzina is currently graded as the No. 57 prospect overall in this year's recruiting class. The Lions signal-caller is also slotted as the seventh highest graded quarterback and the seventh best prospect from the state of Alabama.

Despite the depth that the Buckeyes already have in the quarterback room, you can never count out any quarterback that Day and Dennis are after. As evidenced by the duo playing major roles in Ohio State being able to land Devin Brown, Quinn Ewers, Justin Fields (transfer) Kyle McCord, Jack Miller, and CJ Stroud in recent years.