Monday was a somewhat slower day for Ryan Day and the Ohio State football team when it comes to recruiting, but it may have just been the calm before the storm. The Buckeyes will see multiple targets commit this week, including the team’s top safety target.
Downs to commit Wednesday
Ohio State has shifted the majority of its focus in recruiting towards the defensive side of the ball. While defensive line and linebacker appear to be the biggest needs to close out the class, the Buckeyes are hoping their next commitment is at safety.
2023 five-star safety Caleb Downs (Hoschton, GA / Mill Creek) is set to announce his commitment Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Downs has long been associated with the Buckeyes, and it appears that Alabama and Ohio State are his final two schools.
The Crimson Tide are currently pegged as the favorites to land Downs, but the Buckeyes will not be going down without a fight. Not only is the Ohio State coaching staff going to remain in constant contact with him this week, but current members of the Buckeyes 2023 class are also doing their best to sway him to choose Columbus. Both five-star WR Brandon Inniss and four-star OT Luke Montgomery took to Twitter Monday to show Downs some love.
Downs has taken four official visits to Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame and Georgia. He visited Columbus on June 24 for one of the program’s summer camps, and the visit appeared to go as well as possible. This was also his final official visit. Despite this, Alabama is still viewed as the favorites to land him. The Crimson Tide holds the only 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction, which was submitted by 247Sports Director of Football Recruiting Steve Wiltfong. The prediction was made just weeks ago, but no other recruiting experts feel confident enough to cast a prediction.
Downs recently spoke with Wiltfong regarding his top schools and had the following to say about Ohio State:
“The visit went well,” Downs told 247Sports. “Was great to spend time with the new defensive staff and learn more about the system and see what it brings to the table.
“Highlights were hanging with players and other recruits and going out in the city of Columbus.”
“What they bring outside of football,” Downs said. “Like internships, mentoring, and what they have done with NIL with their players.”
Downs is the No. 1 safety in the 247Sports Composite Rankings and is also the No. 12 overall prospect. He is also the No. 1 recruit from the state of Georgia.
- Ohio State’s men’s basketball team learned on Monday that it moved one step closer to securing a commitment from four-star forward Xavier Booker. The Buckeyes were one of 10 programs listed in his top schools announcement Monday. For more on Booker’s recruitment and what a commitment to Ohio State would mean for the team, Land-Grant Holy Land’s own Connor Lemons has you covered.
- Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State men’s basketball team continued to make recruiting headlines Monday, as the team offered 2023 four-star small forward Mouhamed Dioubate.
- The aforementioned Downs is not the only Ohio State prospect set to commit this week. Four-star defensive tackle target John Walker has a commitment scheduled for Thursday, and will be deciding between Ohio State, UCF, Florida, Michigan and Miami. Ohio State has done an incredible job at building a relationship with Walker, but it will be tough for the Buckeyes to steal him from his home-state of Florida.
Ohio State views Walker as one of their top targets along the defensive line, but what may come as a surprise to most, UCF is viewed as the favorites to land him, largely due to his family. If he does spurn Ohio State in favor of UCF or one of the other schools in Florida, it would be a pretty significant recruiting loss for the Buckeyes.