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Buckeyes makes cut for top 2025 linebacker, but are close to losing another commit to Miami

The Buckeyes make the final eight schools for top linebacker target, Elijah Melendez

2025 linebacker target narrows it down

In the transfer portal, Ohio State is currently active at the linebacker spot knowing that the position group is losing key players after this season and depth will need to be addressed. That said, the staff knows that recruiting high school targets is the best way to fix any depth concerns, and certainly in the 2025 class, the linebacker spot will need at least two commits. The Buckeyes have already been active on the trail by offering multiple players, but the job is nowhere near done until their top guys are signed.

One LB target in the 2025 class that Ohio State would love to land is Florida native, Elijah Melendez. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Melendez has the perfect frame to play the position at the next level and the Buckeyes wasted no time making sure that he knew how much of a priority he is for the upcoming recruiting cycle.

The No. 146 player nationally, Elijah is also thought to be the 17th best player at his position per the 247Sports Composite grades, and with nearly 40 offers to his name, Melendez made a step towards a decision yesterday by narrowing it down to just eight schools that he is still considering.

Making the cut for the four-star athlete are Alabama, Miami, Penn State, USC, Michigan, Georgia, Colorado, and Ohio State. Again, the Buckeyes have been all over this recruitment for months, and though there are some other very impressive programs in the mix, it does seem possible for Ohio State to be towards the front until the very end. One aspect that certainly would help is what fans have been asking for weeks now and that’s promoting James Laurinaitis to a full-time assistant coach so he can get out on the road to see players like this. Until then, we keep hoping that it happens.

Current running back commit slipping away?

It was just yesterday in State Secrets that current running back commit Jordan Lyle was a topic of discussion. The No. 152 player nationally and 12th best running back in the class per the 247Sports Composite grades has been in the headlines lately and not for great reasons concerning his Ohio State pledge.

Being courted by Miami down the stretch, the Hurricanes continue to be a thorn in Ohio State’s side. Yesterday we discussed that Lyle was at least saying the right things regarding Ohio State, but now, the feelings are pretty negative once again.

Scheduled to be at Miami today, on Thursday, 247Sports’ Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong flipped his crystal ball prediction away from Ohio State and toward Miami for the Hurricanes to land yet another Buckeye commit.

If and when this does happen, it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow. Sure, Ohio State has two other running backs committed for the 2024 class, but when you put that much time and effort into a player and earn his pledge, just to see them change his mind a week before the early signing period, it makes you wonder what the point of recruiting Florida running backs is when more times than not, they’re choosing to flip and stay close to home.

For now, Lyle is still in the class, but with all of the news, momentum, and visit this weekend, don’t be surprised when he decides to flip his commitment to playing for a team that has only won 10 games in a season one time in the last 20 years.

Quick Hits:

Yesterday, news surfaced that Ohio State would no longer see portal target Trey Moore visit this weekend. The UTSA edge defender has been one of the premier names in the portal due to his impressive stats this past season and though Texas is the most likely destination, the Buckeyes at least were thought to be in the mix early on.

The interesting aspect here though is that multiple accounts made it clear that Moore was not cancelling his visit, but it was Ohio State in fact who called it off. Maybe this is due to the belief that they’ll be getting their own guys back rather than leaving for the NFL, but until those decisions are made public, it’s hard to tell.

At any rate, instead of seeing Columbus this weekend, Moore will make a visit to Alabama. You have to trust the staff that they know what they’re doing, but with how these last couple of weeks have gone, it is justifiable for fans to feel less than optimistic.

Staying right in the portal, the Buckeyes are in the top three for UCLA safety transfer Kamari Ramsey. One of the top players at the position in the portal, the Buckeyes are no stranger to Ramsey as he was once a top target for Ohio State’s staff during his high school recruitment.

Down to Ohio State, USC, and Washington, the Buckeyes would love to finally bring Ramsey to Ohio State, but won’t have an easy time doing so with the other two programs vying hard for his services. Where the Buckeyes may have an edge is a clear path to playing time, but there’s still work to be done. Hopefully, Perry Eliano can lock this one down and further boost a back end that should be still very solid in 2024 even if there are a couple of departures.