Fresh off of a weekend that featured numerous blue-chip prospects stopping in Columbus to visit the Ohio State campus, the Buckeyes are set to welcome a pair of blue-chip standouts from Georgia on Wednesday. Plus, an in-state safety that included the Buckeyes as a finalist is set to make his decision.
Georgia standouts set to visit
Ohio State is back on the grind again, as they are now set to welcome a pair of standout prospects from the talent-rich state of Georgia — both of which already secured offers from the Buckeyes thus far.
2023 four-star linebacker Raul Aguirre of Whitewater (GA) is one of the prospects that revealed on Tuesday evening that he would be making a visit to Ohio State today.
The other is none other than four-star cornerback Kayin Lee of Cedar Grove (GA), a prospect that has long been on the minds of the Buckeyes.
Aguirre is a Fayetteville, Georgia native that is slotted as a top 10 linebacker in this recruiting cycle. The standout defender is being courted by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State, and more. Aguirre also comes in as the No. 121 overall prospect in the class and the 13th highest graded player in Georgia.
As for Lee, there was once a time in his recruitment in which many believed that Ohio State came up just short in the race that eventually led to Lee verbaling to Georgia. However, the MaxPreps Junior All-American second team selection has since backed away from his word to the Bulldogs. With the Buckeyes presumably coming up just short for Lee initially, perhaps today's visit could be something that swings the tide back in favor of Head Coach Ryan Day and Ohio State.
Will it be the Buckeyes for Hartford?
The big day has arrived for 2023 four-star safety Malik Hartford of Lakota West (OH), as the Buckeye target is all set to reveal his commitment later today. The West Chester native will be choosing between the likes of Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia.
Hartford has seemingly become a focal point for the Ohio State coaching staff as the program would love to keep him home. Newly hired safeties coach Perry Eliano has prioritized Hartford, the No. 4 prospect in Ohio, even dating back to his days at the University of Cincinnati, and today his efforts could pay dividends.
Taking a look at the 247Sports Crystal Ball would leave one to believe that the Buckeyes are the expected pick going into the ceremony today. It's a perfect 100% across the board for Hartford to chose the scarlet and gray, with notable picks from respected analysts like Kurelic, Allen Trieu, and Steve Wiltfong.
If the Buckeyes are the pick for the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder, it would be pledge No. 6 for the 2023 recruiting class. Hartford would also join four-star offensive tackle Luke Montgomery of Findlay (OH), four-star interior offensive lineman Joshua Padilla of Wayne (OH), and three-star defensive lineman Will Smith Jr. of Dublin Coffman (OH) among the group of Ohioans set to ink with the Buckeyes.
Hartford, the No. 11 safety in the class, is set to announce his decision at 3:30 p.m. ET, and will be streamed live on CBS Sports Network.
- After a positive weekend visit at Ohio State for 2023 four-star wide receiver Jalen Hale of Longview (TX), it looks as if it won't be the last time the No. 40 overall prospect makes a stop in Columbus. In a piece by Garrick Hodge of Eleven Warriors detailing the visit, Hodge wrote "Hale’s first visit to Ohio State won him over enough to ensure he will return for an official visit, though he has not yet determined a visit date."
- 247Sports' Bill Kurelic delivered a Crystal Ball prediction in favor of 2024 four-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith of Chaminade-Madonna Prep (FL) to wind up at Ohio State. The No. 2 pass-catcher in the class is fresh off of a visit to the program, and is former teammates of current Buckeyes Kenyatta Jackson and Ryan Turner.
- Aside from the aforementioned visits from Aguirre and Lee, Ohio State is also set to host 2025 offensive tackle Mason Short of Evans (GA) today. The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder already holds offers from Louisville and Minnesota.
- According to Andrew Slater of ProspectiveInsight.com, Ohio State is among the many hoops programs that has reached out to Oregon transfer center Franck Kepnang since announcing his entry into the transfer portal.