It’s a busy time to say the least for Ohio State’s coaching staff. Prepping for the Cotton Bowl against Missouri is certainly underway, but managing the current roster, transfer portal situation, and plenty of other areas of need is also taking up time. Add that to the early signing period being just a week away, and Ryan Day has to be getting less sleep than usual right now.
But in today’s world of college football, you simply can’t take a break. There’s plenty of things going on behind the scenes, and recruiting is taking a major priority right now, whether it be high school targets or in the portal. It’s hard to keep up with it all, but we will try to keep you up to speed.
Buckeyes dish out offer to 2026 tight end
Keenan Bailey has only been at the helm of the tight end position for about a year now, but even in a short amount of time his presence has been felt. The on-field product hasn’t been a disappointment, but in recruiting specifically Bailey has really impressed. No stranger to the grind, Bailey has long been an asset to Ohio State’s efforts on the trail in both the receiver and quarterback areas, but now manning his own group, his work isn’t going unnoticed.
Back on the trail this past week, Bailey has already made stops to multiple places, and on Wednesday he was in Georgia pitching the Buckeyes to his latest target. On the receiving end of the offer, 2026 tight end Xavier Tiller took to Twitter to announce Ohio State was the latest school to enter his recruitment.
A 6-foot-4, 205 pound athlete, Tiller is only a high school sophomore, but is seeing his recruiting interest really pick up as schools such as Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and now Ohio State are all in the fold. Unranked right now via his 247Sports profile, it won’t be a shock to see his name among the top tight ends in the 2026 class when the rankings are updated.
Far too early to see where Tiller’s mindset is with the Buckeyes or any school that has offered to this point, it should help Ohio State’s case knowing they just went in to Langston Hughes High School in the 2023 class and laded current Buckeye, Jelani Thurman. Not only the same school as Tiller, but also the same position should bode well for Bailey and Ohio State as they look to build a lasting relationship with hopefully the next in line.
Three-star defensive back earns Ohio State offer
Keeping with the offer news and staying in the southeast part of the country, the Buckeyes made their presence known by sending out another offer in the 2025 class to current three-star defensive back, Darrion Jones, who shared the news via his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.
A 6-foot-2, 180 pound safety, Jones is an under-the-radar target at this point in his recruitment. Unranked per 247Sports, the Cape Coral, Florida native currently holds offers from the likes of Miami, Illinois, Iowa State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and a few others. Bias aside, the Ohio State offer coming yesterday is certainly the biggest one to date for Jones, so it’s easy to see why he was so excited to hear from the Buckeyes and position coach Perry Eliano.
With how important the safety position is to Ohio State’s defense, it’s not a surprise to see continued efforts in recruiting safeties. Jones is the latest in the 2025 class, but likely won’t be the last before all is said and done. Fortunately, with how the defense played this past season and with how the development of the defensive secondary seems to be trending, the staff should see continued success in their recruiting schemes.
As for now, the next step will be getting Jones to campus to see what Ohio State is really all about.
- If there’s a program Ohio State fans should despise right now besides Michigan, it’s Miami. The Hurricanes basically sit back and just watch Ohio State’s staff recruit and then try to poach seemingly every prospect the Buckeyes have in their current class. Sure, it helps that these targets more times than not are from the state of Florida, but it’s becoming a real annoyance.
Miami is still going all in on current Buckeye running back commit Jordan Lyle. In an interview with On3 on Wednesday, Lyle basically hinted towards the notion that he’s still solid to Ohio State, though Miami has been all over his case.
Set to visit the nearby Hurricanes this weekend, it’s been a worry for a while now that Miami would be able to “flip” his commitment their way. If so, it would be the second member of the class to leave the Buckeyes in their favor. Position coach Tony Alford is doing his best to prevent that from being the case, but he’s really going to have to swing hard down the stretch if they’re going to keep the No. 152 player nationally and 12th best running back in the 2024 class in Ohio State’s grips. This weekend may tell all.
“I am still locked in with Ohio State, but Miami has been on me hard and I like it when I am down there."— On3 Recruits (@On3Recruits) December 13, 2023
Buckeyes 4-star RB commit Jordan Lyle previews his official visit to Miami this weekend with @ChadSimmons_
Read: https://t.co/nSKcZRo1G5 pic.twitter.com/CPLRuKLX3F
- For those keeping track of the portal and hoping Ohio State lands one or several key additions, you can cross one off the wish list as current Indiana offensive lineman Carter Smith took himself off the market on Wednesday.
The Ohio native entered the portal shortly after he was able to, and not even two full weeks into the process Smith has chosen to stay at Indiana. Maybe he didn’t get the interest he wanted, maybe it was a matter of some NIL funds keeping him there. Maybe it was a number of things, but Ohio State is no longer in the mix here.