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Four-star cornerback from Georgia includes Ohio State as finalist

The Buckeyes are well-positioned for the coveted pledge of a four-star defensive back from the peach state.

Ethan Nation
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Ohio State and newly hired cornerbacks coach Tim Walton saw a positive development in their pursuit for a blue-chip defensive back from Georgia over the weekend. Plus, a new 2023 prospect emerges as a target for the Buckeyes after the program heads to Maryland to deliver their latest offer.

Four-star CB reveals finalists

After initially jumping into the mix for 2023 four-star cornerback Ethan Nation of Roswell (GA) back in May of last year, the Buckeyes are now aware of where they stand just a full calendar year later. On Friday evening, Nation revealed on Twitter that he narrowed his recruitment down and will begin focusing on eight schools in particular.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder did include Ohio State in the group of finalists for his coveted pledge. The Buckeyes will look to outlast the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan, Oregon, Texas A&M, and USC if they want to push themselves to the front of the pack for Nation.

Nation currently slots in as the No. 178 prospect overall in this year’s recruiting class. Additionally, the peach state defensive back slots in as the 22nd highest graded cornerback in the class and the 15th best prospect from the talented state of Georgia.

While their is no known timetable on a decision for Nation, it is worth mentioning that the Buckeyes currently hold pledges from three 2023 prospects in the defensive secondary with a trio of four-stars in Malik Hartford of Lakota West (OH), Cedrick Hawkins of Cocoa (FL), and Dijon Johnson of Wharton (FL) already on board.

Babalade lands Buckeye offer

Ohio State and offensive line coach Justin Frye had their eyes on the state of Maryland this weekend as 2023 three-star offensive tackle Oluwatosin Babalade of DeMatha Catholic (MD) was on the receiving end of an offer from the Buckeyes.

Ohio State’s offer to Babalade pushes the 6-foot-5, 296-pounder closer to 25 offers as a prospect thus far. The Buckeyes joined Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and many more as programs that have sent a scholarship offer to Babalade.

The Stags standout offensive lineman is currently graded as the No. 549 overall prospect in the 2023 class. While the overall grade might not be the most appealing to Buckeye fans, Babalade is consider a Top 10 prospect in the talent-rich state of Maryland. Plus, a big senior season for Babalade could be cause for a big jump in the rankings.

Aside from his latest offer from Ohio State, Babalade also spent the weekend in Chapel Hill as the Hyattsville native took a visit to North Carolina.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State played host to 2024 four-star defensive lineman Xadavien Sims of Durant (OK) on Friday morning. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has yet to receive an offer from the Buckeyes but is currently pegged as an early Top 60 prospect in the class by 247Sports.
  • According to Griffin Strom of Eleven Warriors, 2023 three-star shooting guard Lawrent Rice of Wayne (OH) is planning to make another visit to Ohio State “soon.” Rice currently slots in as the No. 6 player in Ohio and is just one spot behind Buckeye pledge and four-star center Austin Parks of Memorial (OH).
  • After initially including Ohio State as a finalist in April, 2023 four-star offensive tackle Chase Bisontis of Don Bosco Prep (NJ) narrowed his list even further on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, Bisontis will move forward focusing on the likes of Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Rutgers, and Texas A&M.