With so much focus on the transfer portal this past week, the happenings on the traditional recruiting trail may have gotten lost in the shuffle. There is news to be discussed from within the portal as well, namely with a pair of former Buckeyes looking for a potential new home in the Big Ten, but first, lets talk about Ohio State’s 2024 class.
Ryan Day and his staff are looking to finish out this current cycle on a positive note, especially after losing five-star defensive lineman Justin Scott to Miami at the end of November. Ohio State hosted two of its top remaining targets in the class this past weekend, beginning with four-star defensive lineman Carlon Jones.
Jones, a native of Bay City, Texas, is the No. 45 DL and No. 409 player overall in the 2024 recruiting class. Despite lacking an eye-popping ranking, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound tackle has racked up over 30 offers to his name, including from the likes of Alabama, Kansas State, TCU, Utah, USC and others. It’s easy to see why he is so well regarded, as the 2022 Texas District 12-4A D-I Co-Defensive MVP followed up his 102-tackle, 13-sack junior season with 95 total tackles, 30 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks as a senior.
Jones’ visit to Columbus appears to have gone exceptionally well. So well, in fact, that on Sunday 247Sports’ Director of Recruiting, Steve Wiltfong, logged a Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State. Both of the two Crystal Balls for Jones are now in the Buckeyes’ favor, with the other coming from Baylor insider Will Turboff back on Nov. 29.
Nothing is set in stone just yet, but things are trending in the right direction for Ohio State to add Jones as the third defensive lineman in its 2024 class, joining five-star edge rusher Eddrick Houston and three-star DL Eric Mensah.
Having a great visit at The Ohio State… pic.twitter.com/Sls2Zes62B— carlonjones6⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ (@carlonjones11) December 9, 2023
The other visitor for Ohio State this weekend was four-star safety and Minnesota commit, Koi Perich. Hailing from inside the Golden Gophers’ own state borders, Perich is the No. 11 safety and No. 139 player overall in the 2024 class, per the 247Sports Composite. Perry Eliano is working hard to flip the 6-foot-1 defensive back, and it appears that the Buckeyes are in a decent position to do so — maybe even more so now with Minnesota’s defensive coordinator Joe Rossi leaving for Michigan State.
- A third visitor was on campus this weekend, this time of the transfer variety. Former Michigan State defensive tackle Derrick Harmon was reportedly at Ohio State on Sunday and Monday following a visit to Auburn on Friday. Spending the last two years as a starter for the Spartans, Harmon tallied 71 total tackles with 6.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks over those two seasons. He was the eighth-best DT in the Big Ten this past year per PFF, higher than all of the Buckeyes’ tackles besides Tyleik Williams. He has two years of eligibility remaining.
Michigan State transfer defensive lineman Derrick Harmon is spending Friday at Auburn, a source tells @On3sports.— Pete Nakos (@PeteNakos_) December 8, 2023
He will also visit Ohio State this weekend. https://t.co/HAnkd2k2Ji pic.twitter.com/D4I6M392ew
- Elsewhere, Ohio State is one of the finalists for four-star tight end Emaree Winston. The No. 8 TE and the No. 121 player nationally per 247Sports’ rankings, Winston has cut his list down from nearly 40 offers to just three schools, with the Buckeyes still in the running alongside Texas and UCF. Unfortunately, it appears as though the Georgia native is currently leaning towards remaining in SEC country, as all four of his Crystal Ball predictions are in favor of one of the conferences’ newest members in the Longhorns. His commitment date is set for Dec. 18, so barring a stunner, I don't see OSU emerging victorious here.
- Finally, in other transfer portal news, two of the bigger names to enter the portal from Ohio State will be visiting another Big Ten team this week. Both Kyle McCord and Julian Fleming will be in Lincoln for a visit with Matt Rhule and the Cornhuskers. It would be interesting to see the two Pennsylvania natives wind up at their new school together — especially one that is scheduled to play at Ohio Stadium next October.
Nebraska will have two former Buckeyes on campus this week.— Pete Nakos (@PeteNakos_) December 10, 2023
Sources confirmed to @On3sports and @HuskerOnline that Ohio State transfer wide receiver Julian Fleming will be on campus this week, too. The No. 1 receiver in 2020 recruiting class. https://t.co/ee1OfZjVet pic.twitter.com/dz79aXcSLS