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Column: Has Ohio State identified their top quarterback target in 2024?

QB coach Corey Dennis and the Buckeyes seem hopeful that a blue-chip from Arizona ultimately claims the QB spot in 2024.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

There is a belief by many people that follow college football recruiting, including myself, that programs should take a shot on a quarterback in every class. Ohio State likely feels similarly as the last cycle in which a quarterback wasn't signed was all the way back in 2010. So each year, it's not really if the Buckeyes will take a signal-caller in the class, but which quarterback it will be.

While Ohio State's main focus as it pertains to quarterbacks is understandably in the 2023 group, the Buckeyes are leaving no stone unturned. Head coach Ryan Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis are already in pursuit of their guy in the 2024 class as well.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Entering today, Ohio State has offered just three quarterbacks in the 2024 recruiting cycle. The trio that has already been awarded a scholarship offer from the Scarlet and Gray is five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis of Providence Day (NC), four-star quarterback Adrian Posse of Columbus (FL), and five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola of Chandler (AZ).

All three are highly-coveted prospects as evidenced by their impressive offer sheets thus far. So make no mistake, Ohio State would love to add any of the three to the QB room in Columbus.

However, if Saturday was any indication, it seems as if Raiola is now the clear-cut favorite to ultimately claim the all-important quarterback spot that programs typically fill annually. For the Buckeyes specifically, the reason is that the aforementioned Davis, who was scheduled to visit Ohio State for the spring game, reportedly ended up not making the trip to Columbus.

If Davis was given word that Raiola had silently committed — or was going to over the weekend — that could explain why he decided to cancel his trip to campus.

Of course, we don’t yet really know why Davis ultimately decided to cancel the trip, but what we do know is that Saturday's visit by Raiola is his second visit in the month of April alone and his third stop on campus overall as he also took in the Buckeyes contest against Penn State which resulted in a 33-24 win and his offer. Since he is still a high school sophomore and not eligible for official visits, all three of these trips to Columbus from Arizona have been unofficial, and therefore paid for by his family.

We also know that Raiola arrived in Columbus with family on hand and spent plenty of time with his potential future QB coach and was also seen chatting with former Buckeye and current Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields at the spring game on Saturday. We've additionally seen crystal ball movement on 247 Sports in recent weeks that features two highly-respected analysts forecasting the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder to choose the Buckeyes.

Nonetheless, Ohio State will look to close the door on this recruitment but will need to outlast the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Miami (FL), Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, and many more for the Polynesian Bowl pledge.

If the guy in 2024 ends up being Raiola, as many are speculating, it would be a home run for Ohio State. The Grand Canyon State standout is currently graded at the top spot across the board. He's regarded by 247 Sports as the No. 1 player in the class, at the quarterback position, and obviously in the state of Arizona.

According to MaxPreps, Raiola threw for 3,341 yards this past season at Burleson (TX) before transferring. The former Texas District 5-5A-II offensive MVP also tossed 32 touchdowns and threw just five interceptions.

While Raiola, a Nebraska legacy recruit, has yet to reveal a timetable for his decision, this recruitment is certainly one to monitor closely for Ohio State. If this does pop soon — which it very well might — one would expect it to pay major dividends for the Buckeyes in the 2024 class as they will have their leader, an elite one, in the fold early.