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Five-star RB from Florida includes Ohio State in top group

A long-time target at tailback for the Buckeyes narrows down his list of possible suitors.

Richard Young
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

It was a good weekend for one specific coach on the Buckeyes football coaching staff, as running backs coach Tony Alford has the Buckeyes firmly in the mix for a pair of running backs — one of which could be coming off the board sooner rather than later.

Seven remain for Young

It has been no secret for Ohio State at the tailback position that the top guy is none other than 2023 five-star running back Richard Young of Lehigh Senior (FL). The Buckeyes have targeted the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder for quite some time, as the program offered Young back in December of 2020 and have had him on campus numerous times already.

On Sunday, Ohio State learned that their efforts have pay dividends for the time being, as the Lehigh Acres native decided to narrow down his list of finalists for his highly-coveted pledge.

Ohio State making this list comes as a surprise to no one familiar with the happenings in this recruitment. Perhaps the biggest piece of information that Young provided to the Buckeyes was the competition that they will have to outlast if they want to welcome the elite Florida standout.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas A&M all provided plenty for Young to like. The Buckeyes will certainly have their work cut out for them, but their chances certainly seem to be more favorable than a few others on the list.

If Alford and Ohio State could find a way to pull out a win of this magnitude on the recruiting trail, it would go a long way in helping round out what Ryan Day hopes to be another highly skilled and talented class in Columbus.

Young is currently graded as the No. 19 overall prospect in the his class. The Lightning’s standout running back also slots in as the second-highest graded player at his position, and the sixth best prospect that the state of Florida has to offer in this cycle.

Fletcher sets decision date

Sticking with the theme of running backs, Ohio State 2023 target and four-star running back Mark Fletcher of American Heritage (FL) looks to be nearing the end of his recruitment.

Fletcher will put the bow on his recruitment on Tuesday,as the Fort Lauderdale native is prepared to make his pledge between the likes of Miami (OH), Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. The announcement is scheduled to take place at 6:30 PM ET, and it is certainly a decision that Buckeye fans should be playing close attention to.

Fletcher was on campus last week and briefly after the visit to Columbus concluded, he was ready to reveal what his next step is. Whether that is a good indicator of what is to come on Tuesday remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the Buckeyes hold a sizeable lead over the Hurricanes on the 247Sports Ball, which favors Fletcher to pick Ohio State in just a couple of days.

If that is indeed the case, it will mean that Alford and the program would be adding a Top 10 prospect at the position, as the Floridian currently stands at No. 8 overall among all running backs. Fletcher also finds himself just outside of the Top 150 in the 247Sports Composite Score as he comes in at 153rd overall. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder is also graded as the 29th best player in Florida which goes to show you the amount of talent that is produced in that state.

With the expectation being an Ohio State victory here, it is worth mentioning that Fletcher is currently teammates with another top target in the class; 2023 five-star wide receiver Brandon Inniss — the No. 1 pass-catcher in the country.

Quick Hits

  • 2023 four-star shooting guard Rayvon Griffith of Taft (OH) revealed the current finalists in his recruitment on Sunday. The No. 42 player in the class and top-ranked prospect in Ohio announced that he is down to Alabama, Cincinnati, Kansas, Ohio State, and UCLA.
  • The Buckeyes welcomed a pair of blue-chip prospects in 2023 to campus this past weekend with four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan of Brookwood (GA) and four-star wide receiver Rico Flores of Folsom (CA) visiting campus.
  • According to Greg Biggins of 247Sports, 2024 five-star safety Peyton Woodyard of St. John Bosco (CA) is set to visit Ohio State later this month. Biggins mentions that Woodyard, who visited Oregon this weekend, will also make stops at Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame as well.
  • On Sunday, 2023 four-star quarterback Christopher Vizzina of Briarwood Christian (AL) took to Twitter that he will be making his decision on Tuesday. While the 6-foot-4, 207-pounder included the Buckeyes in his graphic, the current expectation is that the No. 7 signal-caller in the class heads to Clemson.