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Nation’s top safety announces commitment date for next Wednesday

The Buckeyes are doing all they can to land another elite defensive playmaker for their 2023 class.

Caleb Downs

The 2022 season is quickly approaching for Ohio State, and while the current team is the first priority, the coaching staff is still hard at work doing everything they can on the recruiting trail. With spots still up for grabs and a handful of their top targets still uncommitted, the Buckeyes are hoping they can continue strong while looking to lock up the rest of the 2023 class.

Decision date set for nation’s top safety prospect

It’s no secret that the top safety target on the board for not only Ohio State, but seemingly all of the other premier programs in the country for the 2023 class, is Georgia native, Caleb Downs. The No. 12 player in the nation, Downs is the top player at his position and the top player in Georgia, all per the 247Sports Composite. A consensus five-star, Downs has nearly 40 offers to his name and is getting down to the final hour.

A recruiting battle that has included mainly Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State for the longest time, the Buckeyes have always been heavily in the mix thanks to their efforts on the trail. But prying any top player out of SEC country isn’t a small task. Though the coaching staff has had success in basically every recruiting class doing so, the job is never easy.

The latest in the Downs sweepstakes, on Thursday Downs took to his Twitter account to share that he’s set his commitment date for next Wednesday, July 27, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Ohio State among his final schools.

Per the 247Sports Crystal Ball, Alabama has the upper hand with the lone submission in their favor, but coming from Steve Wiltfong it certainly holds enough weight to be respected. At any rate, the Buckeyes are hoping they can continue to be a player in the mix, but time is clearly running thin. Whether or not Alabama is the leader in this recruitment or not, both Perry Eliano and Tim Walton aren’t satisfied with only two safeties currently committed, and are definitely going to continue giving their all until Downs signs on the dotted line. The wait is almost over.

Quick Hits

  • As 2023 defensive recruiting continues, linebacker of course with the last week is still up in the air. The Buckeyes do have in-state four-star Arvell Reese still out there, but another name that continues to pop up lately is Texas native, Derion Gullette.

The No. 145 player nationally, Gullette is the 17th best player at his position per the 247Sports Composite, and with Texas A&M, Texas, and Ohio State the only three schools with a “warm” heading on his interests, the Buckeyes may be trying to make up for some lost time. For now, the two Texas schools may be in a better spot.

Yesterday, Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts shared that though Derion has already made an official visit to Ohio State in early June, there’s still interest in making a return trip to Columbus. If that were to happen, it would be pretty safe to say the Buckeyes are very much in the mix. With a need for at least one linebacker in the class, Jim Knowles and crew have some work to get done.