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A top remaining 2023 defensive target sets commitment date, includes OSU among top schools

Ohio State is hoping to land another Maryland native in its 2023 recruiting class along the defensive line.

Desmond Umeozulu

Sometimes you wouldn’t think Ohio State currently has the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class with what you see online. Sure, the Buckeyes missed out on both of their top linebacker targets in the last week, but it’s important to remember there’s a long time before Signing Day.

Of course, Jim Knowles and crew would have loved nothing more than a different outcome with both Tackett Curtis and Troy Bowles, but seeing the current young linebacker depth in Columbus should ease any real pain from these two misses on the trail. Not to mention, there’s still talents such as Ohio native Arvell Reese, who the Buckeyes are also in a great spot for.

That said, Ohio State is still heavily in the mix for other players on the defensive side of the ball in this current cycle. There’s still plenty of good news that could very well be on the way for Ohio State in the near future. Until then, this class is currently the nation’s best with plenty of room for more additions.

Hoping for a Maryland double-dip

When Ohio State landed the commitment of four-star defensive lineman Jason Moore, they got the top player in Maryland for the 2023 class. A huge addition for Larry Johnson’s defensive line, his verbal hinted that once again, Johnson would be able to put together one of the top position groups in the country with his recruiting efforts, much like he’s done almost every year since being at Ohio State.

With a couple more guys out there the Buckeyes would love to add to that group, Maryland continues to be an area of priority for Ohio State, and they’d love nothing more than to double-dip in the 2023 class by adding another player from the DMV courtesy of Desmond Umeozulu, a four-star edge rusher with nearly 40 offers to his name.

The No. 163 player nationally, Umeozulu is also the 19th best edge rusher in the country and the third best player in Maryland for the 2023 class per the 247Sports Composite. Having long been one of the top targets for Ohio State, Umeozulu was another premier visitor during one of the big recruiting weekends in June for the Buckeyes. That visit clearly went well enough that shortly after Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, Steve Wiltfong, put in his Crystal Ball prediction for Ohio State to land his commitment.

On Wednesday, the Buckeyes got one step closer to his addition to the class becoming a reality, when Umeozulu took to his Twitter account not only to release a list of four schools he is down to considering, but also to set his commitment date for Aug. 29.

Down to Pitt, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Ohio State, the Buckeyes just have to wait over a month to see if they’re the last ones standing. Until then, surely Johnson and the rest of the staff will be doing their best last minute recruiting pitches to ensure that another top defensive lineman from Maryland ends up in Columbus. It’s seemed to work out pretty well before.

Quick Hits

  • Per Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts, the Buckeyes have hit the ground running and have done everything and more when it comes to impressing 2025 linebacker, Jadon Perlotte. The 6-foot-4, 205 pound Buford native went as far to say “it’s the perfect fit for me” in terms of how he sees Ohio State in his recruitment.

Sure to be one of the top players in the 2025 class when the rankings are available, it looks as if Ohio State will be in a great spot early on for Perlotte, with plenty of time to further grow and strengthen the relationship.