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New names continue to pile up for this weekend’s Big Ten tilt vs. Michigan State

The Buckeyes are set to host some big time recruits this weekend.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to believe, but Ohio State only two games left at Ohio Stadium in 2023. A season that has gone way too fast, the Buckeyes have Michigan State coming to town. While the first objective is getting better, there’s room for recruiting to take priority too.

A weekend that has seen it’s guest list grow throughout the past few days, the Buckeyes will be playing host to several targets. On Thursday a new batch of names surface that have plans on seeing all that Ohio State has to offer with the Spartans in attendance.

Big time 2026 prospect locks in unofficial visit

With how well the back end of the Ohio State defense is playing, it’s easy to see why the recruiting success is a theme, and should be that way for the foreseeable future. Several top targets are expressing their interest in what the Buckeyes have to offer, and with this weekend being another home contest, the recruiting opportunities are here for the staff once again.

On Thursday another defensive back prospect made it known that he has plans to be in Columbus tomorrow for the Michigan State game. Class of 2026 athlete Zelus Hicks (Lilburn, Georgia/Parkway) is slated to be in town for an unofficial visit, and the 6-foot-2, 180 pound safety will get to see how well his position group is playing this fall under Perry Eliano.

The No. 32 player nationally in the 2026 class, Hicks is also the third best safety and sixth best player in Georgia per the 247Sports Composite. Only a high school sophomore, Hicks holds nearly 20 offers to his name, but Ohio State has yet to join the mix. At any rate, this weekend’s visit could change that, as the interest is certainly there from both sides of this recruitment and that’s common sense when you consider what he can do on the field.

This is a five-star athlete, and one the staff will be thrilled to have on their sideline on Saturday come game time.

Florida native making the trip to see Ohio State

If there’s one program that seems to be trying any and everything to be like Ohio State, it’s Miami. The Hurricanes are constantly in the discussion when talking about Florida native Ohio State commits the last few cycles, and this 2024 class is no different.

Doing their best to keep their top in-state players at home, Miami has tried to undercut the Buckeyes in a variety of ways. Whether it be by NIL, selling the close to home narrative, or even early playing time, Miami is a has been a thorn in the side for Ohio State. That being said, the Buckeyes are winning majority of the battles here, and at least Ohio State’s head coach knows when to take a knee.

Ohio State will have Miami scurrying this weekend as their current commit in the 2026 class, Malachi Toney, will be on site to see the Buckeyes. A 5-foot-9, 170 pound receiver, Toney has been committed to Miami since August, but with two full years still in high school, plenty can change in his recruitment. When it comes to Brian Hartline, he tends to get who he wants and if he’s making a priority to see Toney, look for the Buckeyes to return the favor and be a thorn in the side of his current pledge.

The Buckeyes are known for landing elite receivers out of Florida, and with Malachi being from American Heritage, obviously their ties to this school are strong as they were just able to land Brandon Inniss in the 2023 class. Surely those two will speak this weekend on all things Ohio State.

Quick Hits

  • Another in-state Ohio native will also make the short trek to campus for tomorrow’s game. 2025 running back prospect Michael Taylor (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North) is making another visit to see the Buckeyes.

An unranked running back right, Taylor does hold offers from Kentucky and a couple of MAC programs so far. Maybe not a player Ohio State offers in the near future, this is still another visit Michael is making and clearly the staff is paying attention to what he’s doing on the field enough to continue having him back on campus.