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Buckeyes have momentum with 2025 tight end, set to host nation’s top player in 2026 this weekend

Ohio State looks to have the lead for a four-star tight end target.

He may only be in his first full season at the helm of the tight end position, but Keenan Bailey has been a major key to Ohio State’s success at the position the last several years. Working as an assistant for both the wide receivers and quarterbacks before his full-time role, Bailey’s tenure in Columbus has landed him own position group. Of the many reasons why, recruiting is certainly up there, as he knows what he’s doing on the trail.

Looking at the 2025 class, the Buckeyes have already offered a healthy amount of players at the position, and look to have it set at taking two guys in the cycle. Of the names that have mentioned most often, none is a bigger target than Oklahoma native, Nate Roberts. A 6-foot-4, 235 pound athlete, Roberts is currently the No. 92 player nationally and the second best tight-end for the 2025 class per the 247Sports Composite.

Owning an Ohio State offer since May, the Buckeyes are one of nearly 40 programs to throw their name into the mix, and right now look to be in a great spot. It’s been mainly Ohio State and Oklahoma that are out in front in this recruitment thus far, and on Wednesday the Buckeyes picked up some more momentum as 247Sports analyst Tom Loy submitted his Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State.

With that, there’s a ton of time still in this recruitment before all is said and done, and the Sooners are certainly not out of contention yet. The staff will continue to stay on this one, but right now it is trending towards Ohio State landing an elite player at the tight end position in the 2025 class that follows a very strong 2024 haul and a roster than boasts key guys like Jelani Thurman, who we got to see a small glimpse of against Michigan State.

Top player in the 2026 class looking to see Ohio State

With it being the last home game of the 2023 season, the Buckeyes have one last chance at hosting recruits for a game day visit, and this weekend they’ll end with a major guest on hand to see all things Ohio State. Taking advantage of some big time game days this year, the coaching staff has been able to bring in elite talent all season long, and this Saturday looks to be no different.

The No. 1 player nationally and top quarterback in the class of 2026, Julian Lewis is planning on being in Columbus this weekend when the Buckeyes play host to Minnesota. A current USC commit, Lewis has been committed since August, but taking visits elsewhere typically means he’s not ruling any one out just yet. Of course, when it comes to quarterbacks and development, the two coaches in the front of it are Ryan Day and Lincoln Riley, so it makes sense that Lewis is committed to one already and looking to see what the other has to offer as well.

The Buckeyes have the 2024 and 2025 quarterback recruiting situations taken care of and can really focus in on 2026. Sure, a USC commitment means something, but this far away from Lewis signing anything, the Buckeyes know they have more than enough time to make up ground. The first step of getting him on campus looks to already be underway, and then all bets are off. When you have the run of success at the most important position like the Buckeyes do, you’re never out of the game.

At any rate, there’s no telling what could happen in the next year or two, so Ohio State wanting to get in the mix here is no surprise. Odds are Lewis will leave Columbus with a lot to think about.

Quick Hits

  • It’s almost a tradition or a right of passage seeing Ohio State commits play their last prep game in San Antonio, Texas, and this year the Buckeyes will have another strong showing once again at the All-American Bowl.

Receiving his jersey on Wednesday, current Buckeye commit Justin Scott is another to add to the watchlist for the Jan. 6 contest. The No. 12 player nationally, Scott is the third best player at his position and the top player from Illinois per the 247Sports Composite and one of the more important commits to this 2024 haul.