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Two more blue-chip defensive prospects will take in Ohio State’s contest against Notre Dame

The Buckeyes’ big recruiting weekend grows even more as a pair of defensive targets announce their plans to be in Columbus.

Keon Keeley

It is officially game week in Columbus, and to the surprise of no one, more prospects emerged this weekend as visitors for the contest against the Irish. Plus, a Maryland defensive lineman that included the Buckeyes as a finalist in his recruitment is set to announce his commitment to the program of his choice later today.

Keeley, West to visit next weekend

As the contest against Notre Dame inches closer and closer, the Buckeyes’ mammoth recruiting weekend seems to grow by the minute. This weekend was no different on that front.

According to On3, 2023 five-star defensive end Keon Keeley of Berkeley Prep (FL) will be making an official visit to take in the action this Saturday. Keeley, a long-time target for defensive line coach Larry Johnson, was formerly committed to the Irish but has since re-opened his recruitment.

Keeley, a Tampa native, is currently graded as the No. 7 overall prospect in the class and the weekend visit with the Buckeyes is one to monitor closely as Ohio State has been in pursuit since December of last year and refused to let his pledge to Notre Dame push away their efforts.

Another prospect that revealed his plans to be inside of Ohio Stadium on Saturday is 2024 four-star cornerback Bryce West of Glenville (OH).

West is an in-state prospect at a premium position, so it is no surprise that the Buckeyes would want to keep him home to suit up for the Scarlet and Gray. West, who is teammates with 2023 four-star linebacker commit Arvell Reese, slots in as the No. 2 player in the state for next year’s cycle and Ohio State is the favorite for the Cleveland native on the 247Sports Crystal Ball with a big visit on tap.

Not to be forgotten, Joe Tipton of On3 reports that 2023 four-star combo guard Bronny James, son of LeBron James, of Sierra Canyon (CA) is eyeing a Buckeye visit with this weekend’s game against Notre Dame being the likely bet. 2024 three-star tight end Aidan Steinfeldt of Bloomington North (IN) will also be in attendance, according to a tweet from Bucknuts.

Decision day for Umeozulu

After narrowing down the list of potential suitors for his pledge earlier this month, 2023 four-star defensive end Desmond Umeozulu of Charles Herbert Flowers (MD) is set to reveal his commitment to his future program later today.

The 6-foot-6, 239-pounder will be selecting between the likes of North Carolina, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and South Carolina. While it is yet to be seen if the door will stay slightly cracked opened for the Buckeyes to circle back to Umeozulu at a later date, the expectation is that the Maryland standout will chose the Gamecocks today.

The 247Sports Crystal Ball favorites the SEC program unanimously, with four analysts expecting an impressive pickup on the recruiting trail for South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer. Despite the Buckeyes not expected to be the pick for Umeozulu, Larry Johnson still has targets at the position to potentially fill the void, including the aforementioned Keeley.

Quick Hits

  • On Sunday, Ohio State became the latest program to send out an offer to 2025 four-star offensive tackle David Sanders of Providence Day School (NC). The 6-foot-6, 255-pounder, who has already eclipsed 20 offers, is currently graded by 247Sports as the No. 1 player in the country for his respective class.
  • Buckeye commit and 2023 four-star running back Mark Fletcher of American Heritage (FL) put together an impressive performance on Saturday in the Patriots’ 56-27 victory over Los Alamitos (CA). Fletcher, a Fort Lauderdale native, tallied 224 yards rushing on 19 carries and added two touchdowns in the win.
  • Chris Holtmann and the hoops program will welcome a pair of unofficial visitors on campus next month. According to Jake Weingarten of, the Buckeyes will host 2025 combo guard Jalen Haralson of Fishers (IN) on Sept. 10 and 2025 shooting guard Trey McKenney of St. Mary’s (MI) on Sept. 24.
  • According to Garrick Hodge of Eleven Warriors, 2024 four-star athlete Miles Lockhart of Basha (AZ) and 2025 four-star quarterback Collin Hurley of Trinity Christian Academy (FL) will both be in Columbus for the Buckeyes revenge game against Michigan to conclude the regular season. Both blue-chip prospects have already secured early offers from the Buckeyes, among many others, thus far.