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Top safety sets official visit with Ohio State, Buckeyes makes the cut for top-10 receiver

The Buckeyes will host Caleb Downs in June as they look to land the five-star top safety.

5-star, Caleb Downs
247sports

Thursday was yet another solid day on the recruiting front for Ohio State. After seeing some more positive momentum for the 2023 class in terms of visit dates being scheduled and making a top schools list, you get the feeling the next couple of months are going to be pretty exciting times for this class and the Buckeyes overall. Without further hesitation, here’s a look at yesterday’s happenings.

Official visit set for nation’s best safety

Ohio State currently has two safeties committed in their 2023 recruiting class. Thanks to commitments from both Cedrick Hawkins and Malik Hartford, position coach Perry Eliano is off to a really solid start in his short time with the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail. Still, with the defense that Coach Knowles runs, Ohio State is still actively pursuing elite safeties to join the fold, and are fortunate enough to be in the mix for some of the top guys this cycle has to offer.

On Thursday, the top target on Ohio State’s board at the safety spot gave the coaching staff some good news for later this summer. The nation’s top safety and the 10th best player overall per 247Sports, Caleb Downs took to his Twitter account to share that his official visit with the Buckeyes was locked in for June 24-26, which is already shaping up to be one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the summer for Ryan Day and his crew. Having Downs on-hand for this visit will be a major opportunity for the Buckeyes, and hopefully can put them over the top as he continues his recruitment process.

At 6-foot, 185 pounds, Downs has every intangible and asset any college program is looking for in their safety prospects. The Georgia native has range, ball skills, and the ability to come downhill in run support with the best of them. At nearly 40 offers to his name from every major program in the country, it’s easy to see why Downs is considered the top player at his position in the 2023 class and a unanimous five-star target.

Getting him back to Columbus is everything the coaching staff wants and certainly the red carpet will be rolled out in full display as they look to land their top guy on the board.

Bucks make the cut for top-10 receiver prospect

If you watched the recent NFL Draft, it didn’t take long for Brian Hartline to further be cemented as the nation’s best receiver coach. His recruiting is off the charts and the development he’s provided has followed suit. Sure, he’s had some incredible players to work with, but nobody can deny what Coach Hart is doing in Columbus for his group of players year in and year out. As long as he’s at Ohio State, the receivers are going to be at or near the top of the college landscape.

In the 2023 class, the Buckeyes currently have one receiver committed in Bryson Rodgers. The first of what could be three to even four receivers in this class, Hartline is very keyed in on a few names right now and looking to be in great position for each of them. Guys such as Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, and Noah Rogers are among the top players in the country at their position, and while none of the three have given the verbal yet, it’s not out of context to believe Ohio State and can land all three of those guys, which would be yet another epic haul.

On Thursday, the Buckeyes did make the cut for another top-10 receiver when the nation’s seventh best player at the position, Jalen Hale, trimmed his list to a top six schools that still remain for his services. The 40th best player nationally has nearly 40 offers so getting down to single digits couldn’t have been easy, but fortunately for the Buckeyes, they join the likes of USC, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Texas to still be in the running.

The Texas native does have one Crystal Ball prediction submitted, but that pick is for Oklahoma, and with them not making his top six it’s a little bit more clear that this recruitment is still there for the taking. As mentioned, Ohio State has some other names they have been more closely linked to, but this talent would be too good to pass up if Hale was that serious about what’s going on in Columbus.

Quick Hits

  • 2024 Virginia native tight end prospect Luca Puccinelli has plans to get to Columbus and camp at Ohio State on June 6. A 6-foot-7, 225 pound tight-end, Puccinelli is currently the 12th best player at his position per the 247Sports Composite rankings and a three-star prospect. Offers from Virginia Tech and Duke have come so far, but him hitting the camp circuit shows he’s looking to get a little more exposure to his name.