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Four-star DL from Chicago includes Ohio State among top group

The Buckeyes have put themselves in striking distance for a highly-regarded interior defensive lineman from Illinois.

Justin Scott

Ohio State and defensive line coach Larry Johnson saw their efforts for a highly-coveted defensive tackle pay off after he included them in his group of finalists. Plus, the Buckeyes officially jump into the picture for an Arkansas signal-caller with their latest offer.

Scott reveals top schools list

It was just a handful of months ago that Ohio State was prepared to begin their pursuit of 2024 four-star defensive lineman Justin Scott of St. Ignatius (IL), as evidenced by their offer that came about in early September.

The Buckeyes aren’t just another team on the offer sheet for Scott, and he showed as much on Sunday when he narrowed his recruitment and will move along with focus on eight teams in specific. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder garnered nearly 30 offers, and has since determined that these eight schools are in the best position to land his services.

Scott, along with Ohio State, included Alabama, Colorado, Miami (FL), Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC as the competition for the Chicago native. The Buckeyes welcomed the Illinois standout to campus for a visit in October, and a return visit for Scott would likely go a long way for the chances of ultimately bringing him into the fold.

Despite falling outside of the Top 50 prospects overall for the time being, Scott does grade out as the eighth-best defensive lineman in the class. The Ohio State target also ranks as the second-highest graded player in the cycle from the state of Illinois.

Buckeyes offer Murphy

While Scott including Ohio State as a finalist was the big recruiting story of the weekend, the Buckeyes also made sure to get active on the trail by dipping into the state of Arkansas for their latest offer.

On Saturday, it was 2025 athlete Quentin Murphy of Joe T. Robinson (AR) that picked up an offer from Ohio State, and could be setting himself up to be a top target at the quarterback position along with Ryan Montgomery and Bryce Underwood.

The Buckeyes joined Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and a few other programs as early offers for the 6-foot-3, 180-pounder.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State welcomed a host of early enrollees in the 2023 recruiting class to campus this weekend. Among the near dozen that arrived on Sunday include Malik Hartford, Jermaine Mathews, Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, Bryson Rodgers, Noah Rogers, Austin Siereveld, Will Smith, Carnell Tate, Jelani Thurman, and Miles Walker.
  • The Buckeyes saw arguably their top safety target in 2024 come off of the board when four-star safety Peyton Woodyard of St. John Bosco (CA) announce his pledge to Georgia. With Woodyard off to Athens, expect Ohio State to ramp up their pursuit of five-star safety KJ Bolden of Buford (GA) — the No. 4 player in the country.
  • A pair of former Ohio State defensive backs found their new homes this weekend, as Jaylen Johnson is headed to Memphis — where he will reunite with former Buckeye assistant Matt Barnes — and JK Johnson is off to Baton Rouge in a move reminiscent to that of Sevyn Banks last offseason. According to David Johnson of Inside The Rebels, defensive end Javonte Jean-Baptiste, who entered the portal early last week, is scheduled to take a visit to Ole Miss.