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Tim Walton, Ohio State reel in four-star cornerback from Cincinnati

The Buckeyes picked up pledge No. 16 over the weekend as a Queen City standout announced his pledge on Friday.

Jermaine Mathews
Mick Walker, 247Sports

Another weekend in the books and another Ohio State pledge into the fold as newly hired cornerbacks coach Tim Walton was able to keep an in-state blue-chip prospect at home for the scarlet and gray. Plus, a pair of four-star Buckeye targets on the defensive side of the ball narrowed down their respective recruitments in recent days.

Buckeyes add in-state corner

Friday was a good day for defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, cornerbacks coach Tim Walton, and the Buckeyes as a whole, as the program picked up their 16th pledge in the class when 2023 four-star cornerback Jermaine Mathews of Winton Woods (OH) announced his commitment to Ohio State.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder ultimately picked the Buckeyes over Cincinnati, Jackson State, LSU, Oklahoma, and Penn State.

The pledge to the scarlet and gray comes as no surprise as Mathews, a Cincinnati native, was just a couple of weeks removed from an official visit to campus, which quickly transitioned into a commitment date being set shortly after.

Mathews is currently graded as the No. 355 prospect in the country, and with his senior campaign still ahead of him, look for the Ohio standout to make a charge in the rankings. The Warriors standout defensive back also slots in as the No. 8 prospect in the state, which now gives the Buckeyes five of the top eight prospects from within its own borders.

With Mathews now in the fold, the likely expectation is that the program is done at the cornerback position in the class. Mathews joins a now loaded cornerback quartet that already includes Dijon Johnson (No. 95 overall), former Georgia pledge Kayin Lee (No. 145), and one-time Texas Tech commit Calvin Simpson-Hunt (No. 173).

Two OSU targets reveal top schools

The pledge of Mathews wasn’t the only positive news the Buckeyes received this weekend in regards to defensive prospects in the class. Ohio State also saw a pair of standout defenders narrow down their respective recruitments, and the Buckeyes found themselves firmly in the mix for both.

Four-star linebacker Tackett Curtis of Many (LA) and four-star defensive lineman John Walker of Osceola (FL) are nearing the conclusion of their recruitments, and Ohio State is fully aware of the programs they will have to outlast if they want to bring the two to Columbus.

Curtis, the No. 7 LB in the class, is now focused solely on the likes of Ohio State, USC, and Wisconsin going forward. The Buckeyes and the aforementioned Knowles have made the Louisiana defender a priority and are currently the favorite on the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Keep an eye on Wisconsin in this race, however, as the Badgers could be making a push.

As for Walker, who is fresh off of an official visit to Columbus late last month, the Buckeyes will have to outlast Central Florida, Florida, Miami (FL), and Michigan if they want to welcome the Top 100 prospect to the fold. While revealing the programs still in the hunt for his services, the Kissimmee native also announced that he will make his commitment later this month. Much like Curtis, the Buckeyes are also out in front for Walker on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Quick Hits

  • 2023 four-star defensive lineman Darron Reed of Carver (GA) will announce his commitment at 2pm EST today. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder named a top six of Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Ohio State, and Texas A&M back in May, but is widely expected to wind up in either Baton Rouge or Columbus.
  • Ohio State took aim at the state of Louisiana on Sunday when they delivered an offer to 2025 running back Harlem Berry of St. Martin’s Episcopal School (LA). The Buckeyes join LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and more on the early offer sheet for the Metairie native.
  • A trio of prospects that included Ohio State as a finalist in their recruitment decided to pledge elsewhere this weekend. On Friday, the Buckeyes saw 2023 four-star cornerback Daniel Harris of Gulliver Prep (FL) pick Georgia and 2023 four-star tight end Riley Williams of IMG Academy (FL) land with Miami (FL). Yesterday evening, the program also saw 2023 four-star wide receiver Rico Flores Jr. of Folsom (CA) pledge to Notre Dame — the Buckeyes week one opponent this season.