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Previewing the loaded guest list as Ohio State hosts Penn State in a top 10 tilt

The Buckeyes have one of premier matchups this weekend — with the guest list to match it’s importance.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State is hosting some elite company this weekend when they take on Penn State. With Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff and ESPN’s College Game Day on hand, the atmosphere in Columbus is going to be second to none, and having many pivotal recruits on campus to take it all in, the Buckeyes are looking to win both on and off the field.

Almost too many names to count, here’s just a short list of some of the bigger names that will be at Ohio State this weekend seeing all that the Buckeyes have to offer, whether it be the first time or a return trip.

Devin Sanchez

Maybe the most important uncommitted target on site this weekend, Houston, Texas native Devin Sanchez is making the trek north for the big game. The No. 7 player nationally, Sanchez is the top cornerback in the country and the second best player from Texas per the 247Sports Composite for 2025. One of the higher-ranked guys to visit, the red carpet will be rolled out for Sanchez, and surely the better play from Ohio State’s defensive backs thus far has to speak volumes to any player at the position.

The staff will be all over this visit from the jump, and though they have a game to win as their first priority, taking time to recruit Sanchez is a given considering his talent.

Dorian Brew

Sticking with the 2025 class and defensive backs, another major target for the Buckeyes will be making the visit and returning home so to speak. Former Clayton, Ohio native Dorian Brew has since moved down to finish his high school career in Texas, but isn’t staying away for too long, as this weekend he will be back on campus after visiting numerous times already.

The No. 23 player nationally, Brew is the fourth-ranked cornerback in the class per the 247Sports Composite for 2025. For what used to be an in-state must get, the Buckeyes are still going after his commitment just as much even with him now being in Texas, and though it’s not as easy for him to get to Columbus from nearby Clayton, the staff isn’t worried that his move will have them any less in the mix. Either way, these last two names are massive targets for the secondary, and it’s a perfect scenario to have them visiting at the same time.

Sam Greer

One of the younger players to make his way to campus, in-state Ohio native Sam Greer will make the trip down from Akron. A 6-foot-8, 290 pound offensive tackle, Greer is only a high school sophomore, but already has a college ready build that is only going to get better. Early offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan, Miami, and Ohio State prove the caliber of guy he is going to be, and being inside Buckeye borders tends to bode well.

The No. 69 player nationally, Greer is the 10th-best tackle in the 2026 class per the 247Sports Composite. As mentioned, these recruiting battles tend to go the way of Ohio State thanks to native ties, but it’s not a done deal by any means with how much time is left here. Still, getting him on campus early and often certainly helps the home school’s chances of reeling him in when the time comes.

Commits coming back home this weekend

While most of the attention can be paid towards the uncommitted prospects, this weekend is just as important for Ohio State’s committed guests, as they are not only going to have an opportunity to peer recruit, but it’s also another chance for them to see their future home in action. Surely it only helps further solidify why they picked Ohio State as their destination of the future.

Some of the current commits heading back to Columbus include the likes of Aaron Scott Jr., Chris Henry Jr., Air Noland, Jeremiah McClellan, Bryce West and Jeremiah Smith to name just a few. All critical pieces to their respective classes, the Buckeyes having each of these guys back allows for the staff to continue building the relationship with each, but also allowing each one of them to feel the love at Ohio State and why they’re wanted in the class.

Speaking specifically to a guy like Smith, it never hurts to get him back on campus. Yes, he’s been vocal that he fully intends on being a Buckeye as long as Day and Hartline are around, but his visits elsewhere still cause a bit of concern, and that’s simply because of the player he is. Additionally, McClellan has been committed since August, but it’s no secret Oregon and Missouri are still trying their best shot at his loyalty, so having him back to see why he chose the Buckeyes originally helps lessen the chances of any flip concerns.

The staff will have their hands full trying to sway their top targeted guys, but make no mistake about it. As happy as they are to host uncommitted players, they’re equally excited about getting their own guys back for a multitude of reasons.

Quick Hits

Already at nearly 40 offers to his name from some of the biggest programs in the country, getting Melendez to Columbus is no minor headline. Taking time to talk about his visit with multiple outlets, it’s looking to be one of the more important guests for the defensive staff. With James Laurinaitis only able to recruit on campus, this will be totally in his wheelhouse.