On Monday of this week Ryan Day, hinted during his press conference that the Buckeyes would start to see some positives going their way in recruiting. On Wednesday, Ohio State landed their top remaining in-state target for the current cycle when 2023 safety Malik Hartford announced his commitment, making him the sixth member of the class. A major win on the trail, this defensive back addition moves the Buckeyes’ group to the current seventh-best class nationally. More so, this looks to be just the start of what could be some major momentum.
The nation’s 11th-best safety prospect, Hartford is also considered to be the 147th best player nationally and the fourth-ranked player in Ohio. Now the second safety to commit to the Buckeyes, an exciting aspect to Hartford is his desire to now peer recruit the best talent in the country of the same position to join him and Cedrick Hawkins.
Mentioning shortly after his commitment, Hartford went as far to say that he would be in the ears of both Caleb Downs and Joenel Aguero. Some elite company, Downs is currently ranked as the nation’s best safety and 11th best player nationally. In addition, Aguero is the country’s second best safety right behind Downs, and checks in as the 20th best player nationally per 247Sports.
Obviously either one of these two players would be massive additions and give the Buckeyes the best safety haul in the nation for 2023, but regardless what happens, Ryan Day, Jim Knowles, and position coach Perry Eliano are elated to have another top player on the back end now in the fold.
H⭕️ME‼️ pic.twitter.com/EdO4KvlNwB— Malik Hartford (@MalikHartford) April 6, 2022
In-state lineman trims top schools list to three
Staying right in line with in-state targets and the class of 2023, the Buckeyes also received some good news Wednesday from the other Lakota school when four-star prospect Austin Siereveld (Middletown, OH/Lakota East) took to his Twitter account to release a list of top schools, narrowing it down to a final three. A bit of a surprise in timing, in February Austin trimmed it to a top six, but just under two months later he’s now cut it in half, clearly showing his mind is getting closer to a decision.
Making the cut for Siereveld includes Notre Dame, Alabama, and Ohio State. Not a shock by any means, the likely candidate to win out in this recruitment is the home state Buckeyes, but the Irish and Crimson Tide certainly can’t be discounted as these two programs are often in the mix with Ohio State. Per the 247Sports Crystal Ball, the lone prediction is in favor of Austin staying at home for his college career.
The 6-foot-5, 315 pound interior offensive lineman has 16 offers to his name, and like his final three, some of the best programs in the country are involved. If Ohio State does win out in the end, they’ll add the 27th best interior lineman in the class and the seventh best player in Ohio for the 2023 class. Making a living off of Ohio native offensive lineman in this cycle already, Siereveld would be a welcomed addition to the crew that already has Luke Montgomery and Joshua Padilla committed as in-state guys.
FINAL THREE!!! pic.twitter.com/YZ2QAWX8XY— Austin Siereveld (@SiereveldAustin) April 6, 2022
Class of 2024/2025 prospects enjoy visits to OSU
Recruiting wasn’t the only thing going on for Ohio State yesterday, as the staff and players were back on the field again for another spring practice. Wednesday was another day for the Buckeyes to continue their development towards the 2022 campaign. The staff seems overly pleased with where this roster is currently at, and that bodes well for a successful season come this fall. Until then, there’s plenty more work to get done before this is a finished product that’s poised and ready to make a national title run.
While the Buckeyes were on the field, it was another day that saw multiple recruiting prospects in attendance to see practice and check out the rest of the program with all Ohio State has to offer. Looking at two future classes in both the 2024 and 2025 cycles, the staff was able to have two guys at positions of importance take in the sights, and all looks to have gone very well.
Aidan Steinfeldt: A three-star tight end in the 2024 class, Steinfeldt was in town to see the Buckeyes. An Indiana native out of Bloomington, Steinfeldt as only a high school sophomore is already an incredible 6-foot-5, 235 pound prospect. Ranked early on as the 16th best player at his position for the 2024 class, 247Sports also grades him out as the sixth best player in Indiana. Currently, the in-state Hoosiers just down the road from him are his only offer, but it’s just a matter of time before other suitors come calling.
Thank you @OSUCoachKDub for having me on campus today! Can’t wait to be back this summer @OhioStateFB @ryandaytime #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/92rMtICma5— Aidan Steinfeldt (@AidanSteinfeldt) April 6, 2022
Mason Short: Looking farther ahead into the future, the 2025 prospect Short was also in Columbus yesterday to see Ohio State. A high school freshman, Short — like the aforementioned Steinfeldt — is also an impressive 6-foot-7, 280 pounds already. An offensive tackle, Short does not yet have a 247Sports ranking due to his class status, but with his college-ready frame already, he’ll likely be one of the top tackles in his class.
The Georgia native does have four offers to his name right now, the biggest being from Minnesota and Louisville. But again, this is one recruitment where it’s evident other big time programs will soon come into play.
What a amazing day at The Ohio State. Thank you @OhioStateFB for the experience. Unbelievable facilities, staff, and coaches #Gobuckeyes @CoachM_Patrick @CoachJFrye @ryandaytime pic.twitter.com/rhAL5Mfceq— Mason Short ✞ ♹ ♷ (@MasonShort_) April 6, 2022
- Since Jim Knowles arrived at Ohio State, his top linebacker target has been Louisiana product Tackett Curtis. Ranked by 247Sports as the sixth best linebacker in the 2023 class, Curtis also checks in as the 84th best player nationally. Ohio State got some good news on Wednesday courtesy of Curts, when he set his plans in place for his three final official visits.
Also seeing Wisconsin and USC, Curtis will check out Ohio State one last time during the last weekend in June. The Buckeyes will be getting the last official visit on his timeline, and as it’s been said before, being the last school to host a top target can go a long ways into being in the front of their mind before committing. As it stands, the Buckeyes do look to be in solid shape for one of the top guys on their recruiting board.
- In some basketball news, five-star Mackenzie Mgbako on Wednesday told On3 that he was down to a final four schools. Making the cut for the third best player nationally and the top small forward in the country included Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, and Ohio State.
Shortly after his final four became public information, Mgbako took to his Twitter account to announce that he was set to commit to the school of his choice this coming Friday. With every prediction on the 247Sports Crystal Ball being in favor of Duke, it would be a shock if any of the other three programs landed his commitment, but Ohio State being in the running at the very least shows Chris Holtmann and staff can recruit with the best of them. All signs though unfortunately point towards the Blue Devils being the likely call.
Committing Friday 9pm EST… Stay tuned— Mackenzie Mgbako (@MackenzieMgbako) April 6, 2022