Thursday proved to be another big day for Ohio State on the recruiting trail as several top targets were on campus for unofficial visits. Much like the rest of this spring so far, the Buckeyes are constantly seeing new names added to their overall guest list, further confirming how important spring football is not only for their development of the current roster, but also for both the 2023 and 2024 classes.
With plenty of opportunities left to see their momentum continue, the rest of March and April are shaping up to be some of the most valuable months on the recruiting calendar.
New offer goes out to 2023 edge rusher
A ton of the attention this spring goes to the many top players that are visiting the Buckeyes, but Ohio State is also staying active in the recruiting world by continuing to offer players that they feel are both talented enough to play in Columbus and also good fits for the program. On Thursday, the staff backed that up when they sent their latest offer out to elite edge rusher, Jaquavious Russaw.
A 6-foot-2, 230 pound athlete out of Montgomery, Alabama, Russaw is currently ranked as the fourth best player at his edge rusher spot and the 39th best player nationally regardless of position. Obviously a dynamic playmaker, Russaw in addition to all of his accolades also holds nearly 30 offers to his name. With basically every major school in the mix already, it was only a matter of time before Ohio State joined the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and several more by offering. Now officially in the fold, the Buckeyes and Larry Johnson can get to work.
As an Alabama native, it’s pretty easy to guess that the Tide have the upper hand right now, but if there’s anything that’s true when talking about defensive line recruiting, it’s to never count out Larry Johnson and Ohio State. With the track record the Buckeyes have on the defensive line and especially at defensive end, Russaw isn’t taking this latest offer lightly, and that should get the ball rolling towards making up for any lost time.
Big time tight end target set to see OSU in April
On Wednesday, we discussed 2023 receiver target Rico Flores Jr. announcing his plans to visit Ohio State during spring football practice. Becoming more of a player for the Buckeyes as his recruitment gets farther along, Flores isn’t the only California native and Folsom High School product Ohio State is really hoping to land in this current cycle. Thursday saw good news on that front, as their other target from Folsom shed some light on an upcoming visit to Columbus.
Announcing his intentions to visit in April, the other priority for the Buckeyes is four-star tight end Walker Lyons, who has long been on Ohio State’s radar. With the position becoming a real need for the Buckeyes, position coach Kevin Wilson is doing his best to land not only one, but two guys for 2023. Fortunately, the class already has Ty Lockwood committed, however the depth of the position will certainly be addressed in this current class for the future of Ohio State’s offense.
The fourth best tight end in the class, Lyons is also the 72nd best player nationally regardless of position per the 247Sports Composite. Having over 30 offers to his name from the likes of Alabama, USC, Stanford, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, and several more, getting Walker to Columbus isn’t going to be an easy ask for anyone, but having him on campus in April is certainly a step in the right direction and a big opportunity for the staff to show him why he’s a perfect fit in the 2023 class.
Ohio State gains traction with in-state players
As mentioned, Thursday was another very eventful day for Ohio State as they played host to numerous recruits on campus. Here’s a quick rundown on just a couple of the guys that were in Columbus yesterday checking out what the Buckeyes have to offer both on and off the field.
Staying in-state, 2024 offensive tackle target Luke Hamilton (Avon, OH/Avon) made the trek down to Columbus and spent the day taking in all the sights and more around the Buckeye football program. Becoming one of the names discussed more in his class, at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, Hamilton is already a massive offensive line target. With two more seasons to develop and improve his game, it’s easy to see why Ohio State and position coach Justin Frye are making him an early priority. Unranked as of now, odds are he’ll be one of the top players at his position when 247Sports has their next rankings update. All things considered, it looks like the visit went very well.
Thank you to @CoachJFrye and @etwill21 for a awesome unofficial visit. Had a great time watching Ohio State football #GoBucks @OhioStateFB @ryandaytime @markpantoni @AllenTrieu @Rivals_Clint @Bill_Kurelic @JaredLuginbill @Birm pic.twitter.com/xTlNhbRWqP— Luke Hamilton (@Hammy07422) March 24, 2022
In keeping with the trend, the Buckeyes also played host to another in-state product on Thursday in quarterback Landon O’Connell. A 2024 signal caller from nearby Pickerington North, O’Connell is becoming a more well-known name after a stellar sophomore campaign. Another player with two more prep years under his belt, it’s clear he could be a big time quarterback if the development continues. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds already, the size is certainly already there, and the Buckeyes are taking notice.
With only one offer to his name right now from Bowling Green, it feels like just a matter of time before a domino effect is in play where several more schools get in the mix. Also unranked right now, this feels like another opportunity that 247Sports will have him graded out well in the future.
- Another name added to the guest list for Ohio State, the Buckeyes received word on Thursday that Michigan Quarterback Bryce Underwood (Belleville, MI/Belleville) would be making the trip down to campus next week to check in on the Buckeyes. One of the top young players in the country, Underwood is a 2025 target and both Ryan Day and Corey Dennis are wasting no time getting familiar with the youngster.
- Headed to campus this weekend, 2023 edge rusher Caleb Herring is making his way to Columbus. Ranked as the sixth best edge rusher in the class, Caleb is also the 73rd best player nationally per the 247Sports Composite grades. The Tennessee native does have one Crystal Ball prediction submitted for the home state Vols, but the Buckeyes are making their best pitch and have another chance this weekend.
- Fresh off his trip to Columbus, Notre Dame commit Keon Keeley looked to enjoy his time seeing Ohio State. The top ranked edge rusher in the 2023 class, Keely is the 10th best player nationally and a five-star target the Buckeyes would love to steal away from the Irish. Doing his best work to sway him, Buckeye class leader Luke Montgomery is doing some recruiting work of his own to show why Columbus is the move and not South Bend.