Ohio State is just weeks away from playing Missouri in the Cotton Bowl. More upperclassmen for the Buckeyes than initially expected are playing in the game, despite testing the NFL Draft waters. Because of this, you may expect the majority of headlines surrounding the Buckeyes to focus on the upcoming game.
However, the Early Signing Period begins this week, and Ohio State will be hoping most if not all of their verbal commits to sign their National Letters of Intent this week, like in years past. This year looks to be different though, as the Buckeyes are trying to flip recruits committed elsewhere, as well as hold off other programs from poaching their own commits.
Of Ohio State’s current commitments, the two biggest names rumored to have the potential to flip are four-star defensive end Eddrick Houston, who is being courted by Alabama and Clemson, and five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith, who is being courted by Miami. As it sits, Ohio State has to like where it sits with both Houston and Smith, and many recruiting experts expect both to sign with Ohio State this week. Recruiting is never predictable though, so anything could happen.
With that being said, Ohio State is also working to flip a Florida defensive live commit in four-star Amaris Williams, who announced Monday that he will be signing his NIL on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
signing on Wednesday at Clinton high school cafeteria @ 1:30pm live— Amaris Williams (@AmarisWilliam13) December 18, 2023
The Buckeyes recently saw five-star DL commit Justin Scott flip to Miami, and have missed on some of their last targets at the position in the class, so adding Williams would be a big moral win for the program.
However, Williams is already committed to Florida and is also being courted by Auburn. He visited with Ohio State twice this fall, but the Buckeyes have appeared to lose momentum as of late. Williams took an official visit with Auburn last weekend, and all signs point to that visit being key in his recruitment.
Ohio State still holds the only 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction, so they are far from out of this one. Williams signing will definitely be one for Buckeye Nation to follow on Wednesday.
Williams is the No. 12 DL target in the 247Sports Composite Rankings and is the No. 79 overall prospect. He is also the No. 1 recruit out of North Carolina.
- Ohio State is also putting a lot of recruiting focus on the 2025 class, with this year’s cycle being almost wrapped up. These efforts continue to payoff, and the Buckeyes made the top five schools for a five-star safety Faheem Delane. Alongside Ohio State, Delane included LSU, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Alabama in his top schools. Delane is the No. 1 safety in the 2025 class and is the No. 24 overall prospect. He is also the No. 1 recruit out of Maryland.
Grateful for where God has brought me in life ! pic.twitter.com/td4i3FY3hx— Faheem Delane (@faheemdelane) December 15, 2023
- Speaking of Ohio State defensive line recruiting in the 2024 class, the Buckeyes missed out on one of their final defensive line targets when four-star DL Carlon Jones committed to USC in favor of the Buckeyes and Alabama. Jones officially visited with the Buckeyes earlier this month, and following the visit Ohio State was viewed as the leaders in his recruitment. USC made a last-minute push for Jones and it worked, as he is now committed to be a Trojan.
BREAKING: Four-Star DL Carlon Jones tells me he has Committed to USC!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) December 18, 2023
The 6’3 290 DL from Bay City, TX chose the Trojans over Ohio State & Alabama
“They have a great staff that I believe will be able to get me to where I need to be, the NFL.”https://t.co/sCJ9sLk78e pic.twitter.com/pX7iWICFzJ
- Ohio State also saw another one of its targets commit elsewhere on Monday. 2025 four-star tight end Emaree Winston committed to Texas over UCF and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have made the tight end position one of early importance in next year’s class and Winston was one of their top targets at the position.
BREAKING: Four-Star TE Emaree Winston tells me he has Committed to Texas!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) December 18, 2023
The 6’2 240 TE chose the Longhorns over UCF & Ohio State
Winston joins 4-Star QB KJ Lacey in Texas’ 2025 Class https://t.co/lvuy4wZE6N pic.twitter.com/7vtDYsE8Zz
- As expected, four-star running back Jordan Lyle flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Miami on Monday night. Another blow to the Buckeyes’ recruiting class at the hands of the Hurricanes, OSU does still hold the No. 2 group in the country. However, momentum is certainly not on their side at this juncture. Lyle is the No. 11 RB in the 2024 class, and the Buckeyes’ still have two others committed at the position in James Peoples (No. 4 RB) and Sam Williams-Dixon (No. 86 RB).