Ohio State’s 20-12 win over Penn State on Saturday was obviously huge in terms of the 2023 season, but it was equally large for the Buckeyes’ recruiting efforts, as Ryan Day and his staff hosted over 80 recruits in Columbus for the top-10 matchup. All seems to have gone well for those in attendance, with many having left their visit feeling really good about the program.
One of those guys was Devin Sanchez, a five-star cornerback in the 2025 class. The No. 1 CB and No. 7 player overall in the cycle, the Houston, Texas native holds over 30 offers to his name, but after taking in the atmosphere at Ohio Stadium this past weekend, Ohio State sounds like they are in a great position with the talented defensive back.
“The defense when it counted, they made some big plays when it was needed,” Sanchez told Bill Kurelic of 247Sports. “The DB’s played good, especially Jermaine (Mathews) to play like that against a team that’s probably going to win the rest of their games. And to hold a Top 10 team to 12 points is real impressive. And the crowd is crazy.”
From everything Sanchez has said, it sounds like as of right now Ohio State is very much in the lead for the 6-foot-2 North Shore High School product, going as far as to tell On3’s Sam Spiegelman that the Buckeyes are, “starting to run away with it,” and that Ohio State is, “becoming a heavy frontrunner,” in his recruitment.
With both Tim Walton and Perry Eliano working on Sanchez, the Buckeyes have to feel good about where they currently stand. There is still a ton of time remaining until the 2025 class signs on the dotted line, and Sanchez has not alluded to any sort of timetable for his commitment, but things are trending well for Ohio State to add the nation’s top corner in the next cycle after securing a trio of excellent four-star CBs in 2024.
In addition to the momentum they have with Sanchez, the Buckeyes also seemed to have made some headway with four-star linebacker Elijah Melendez. A Kissimmee, Florida native, Melendez currently ranks as the No. 21 LB and No. 181 overall player in the 2025 class, per the 247Sports Composite. The 6-foot-2 high school junior officially dropped his top 10 schools list on Sunday, and Ohio State made the cut alongside programs such as Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, USC and others.
BREAKING: Four-Star LB Elijah Melendez is down to Schools!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) October 22, 2023
The 6’2 225 LB from Kissimmee, FL is ranked as a Top 50 Player in the 2025 Class
Where Should He Go? https://t.co/6tPmuljkjV pic.twitter.com/GlomboTztA
“The win was huge,” Melendez told Bucknuts. “The fan base was very electric and the game was really fun. The coaching staff is really good and they really treat me like I’m really wanted here. And the defense is amazing.”
Melendez received his Ohio State offer back in July from assistant linebackers coach James Laurinaitis, and at that time he had said that the Buckeyes were among his top five schools. Clearly not much has changed since then, as OSU has made the cut on his official top-10 list and expects to return to Columbus at some point for one of his official visits. With the way Jim Knowles’ defense is playing right now, getting to see that group in person had to be another big step in the right direction in this recruitment.
In addition to making a positive impact on guys the program was already recruiting, Ohio State got to kick off some new relationships this weekend with a handful of new offers. Two of those such offers went out to a pair of highly-touted wide receivers in 2025’s Dylan McCutcheon and 2026’s Aaron Gregory.
McCutcheon, a 6-foot pass-catcher out of Lucas, Texas, currently ranks as the No. 18 wide receiver in the 2025 class and the No. 105 prospect nationally, per the 247Sports Composite. The track athlete has nearly 30 offers to his name thus far, including programs like Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas and many more. The Buckeyes are a little later to the party than some of these other big brands, but you can never count out Brian Hartline when it comes to recruiting the best receivers in the country.
#AGTG After a great visit @OhioStateFB— Daylan McCutcheon (@daylanmccutch11) October 22, 2023
I am proud and blessed to receive an offer from The Ohio State University!! @brianhartline @ryandaytime @ChrisRossLOJO @Coach_Lavender @coach_jackson49 @leopardfootball pic.twitter.com/6afBuiamvM
Gregory, on the other hand, is officially listed as an athlete — the No. 1 ATH in the nation in the 2026 class, in fact. The Douglasville, Georgia native plays both wide receiver and defensive back at Douglas County High School, but seems like he will suit up on offense at the next level. The No. 16 overall player in the cycle, the five-star holds offers from offer 30 schools, including all the usual suspects in Alabama, Georgia, Penn State, USC, etc. Ohio State is again a little tardy to the party here, even for a player two cycles away, but once again if Gregory is looking to play wide receiver, Hartline has a better pitch than any other position coach in the country.
What a way to end my 16th birthday! Blessed to rec the ️ from @OhioStateFB @brianhartline @N_Murph @ryandaytime @DAWGHZERECRUITS @brandofachamp @kaleb_longhurst @Garrick_Hodge @Birm @Bill_Kurelic @MarcGivler @KiddRyno_Rivals @bhoward_11 @RyanWrightRNG @chadsimmons_ pic.twitter.com/qEV0qZXVzn— Aaron Gregory (@AaronGregory_07) October 22, 2023
- In addition to the pair of new offers on the football field, Chris Holtmann got some work in this past weekend with an offer on the hardwood. On the receiving end was 2025 shooting guard Antoine West Jr., an in-state prospect hailing from Toledo. The 6-foot-3 hooper does not yet have a star rating yet due to his class status, but has received offers thus far form the likes of Dayton, Georgia, Penn State and a handful of others. West averaged 21.5 points per game as a sophomore, and was the player of the year in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.
- Before Ohio State even kicked off against Penn State on Saturday, the Buckeyes had made the top schools list for a talented linebacker out of Texas. Riley Pettijohn dropped his top 12 schools on Friday afternoon, and OSU made the cut alongside Colorado, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, TCU, USC and a few others. Pettijohn is the No. 5 linebacker and just outside of five-star status as the No. 37 overall player in the 2025 class, per the 247Sports Composite.
Elite 2025 LB Riley Pettijohn is down to 1️⃣2️⃣ Schools!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) October 19, 2023
The 6’2 210 LB from McKinney, TX is ranked as a Top 30 Player in the ‘25 Class (No. 3 LB)
Where Should He Go? https://t.co/EdtV50nx72 pic.twitter.com/bwLNa5dsqb
- In addition to all the other positive news swirling around Ohio State from this weekend, Saturday also saw the Buckeyes earn a Crystal Ball prediction for a top in-state offensive tackle, courtesy of 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. The player in question is 2025 offensive tackle Carter Lowe, as the Toledo native now has two Crystal Balls in favor of Ohio State, the other by Bill Kurelic from back on Oct. 4. Lowe is the No. 13 OT and No. 151 overall prospect in the class, per the 247Sports Composite, as well as the No. 6 player from Ohio in the cycle.