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Four-star CB names OSU ‘leader’ in his recruitment

The Buckeyes are trending for the 2024 Arizona product.

Four-star 2024 ATH Miles Lockhart
Shotgun Spratling,

With this past weekend being the first Sunday without football in quite some time — unless you count the latest iteration of the XFL, which I do not — and the Ohio State men’s basketball team in total freefall, times are tough for Buckeye sports fans. Even the women’s hoops team, which at one point looked to be near the top of the heap, has faltered mightily as of late.

Alas, with not much else positive to look at from the Scarlet and Gray recently, we turn our attention to the recruiting trail, where there is always something to talk about — good, bad or otherwise.

Four-star CB names Ohio State the ‘leader’ in his recruitment

Cornerback is obviously a huge point of emphasis for Ohio State in the 2024 class. The Buckeyes did a good job of bolstering the secondary this offseason, bringing in both safety Ja’Had Carter from Syracuse and corner Davison Igbinosun from Ole Miss via the transfer portal. They also added five defensive backs in the 2023 class, highlighted by corners Jermaine Mathews and Calvin Simpson-Hunt.

Still, the pass defense for the last few seasons has been less than stellar, to put it nicely, and so the more the merrier when it comes to adding even more defensive back talent to the roster. The Buckeyes are still looking for their first DB commit early in the 2024 class, but they may be zeroing in on a potential big addition in Arizona native Miles Lockhart.

A four-star prospect in the 2024 class, Lockhart currently stacks up as the No. 12 athlete and No. 107 player in the 247Sports rankings. The 5-foot-10 athlete projects as a DB at the next level, and expects to be a slot corner to begin his collegiate career. Lockhart first received his Ohio State offer after an impressive camp performance last June, and after putting together a strong junior campaign, it seems as though the Buckeyes are now the team to beat in his recruitment.

In an interview with Eleven Warriors, Lockhart said that he currently views Ohio State as the leader, having this to say about the program:

“Every school I go to, I just try to compare like, what they have and what they can offer. They just can compete with anybody, obviously they compete for national championships every year, they can give me the education I need. If I go on to the NFL, they’ll give me the chance to develop me. It’s just a great atmosphere to be in and a great place to be. They offer you a lot of opportunities.”

Just last week, Ohio State earned two Crystal Ball predictions to land Lockhart from a pair of trusted recruiting analysts in Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts and Mountain West recruiting analyst Blair Angulo. It doesn’t hurt the Buckeyes’ chances either that Lockhart was sporting an OSU bandana after helping to lead Basha High School to a state title this past season.

Big-time RB sets Ohio State visit

With the current recruiting dead period set to end on Feb. 28 and spring practice right around the corner, March will be a big month for recruiting efforts across the country. That is no different at Ohio State, where a number of big names have already announced their intentions to visit Columbus next month.

One of the biggest names among those with their sights set on a Buckeye visit is four-star running back James Peoples. Ohio State needs to reel in at least one and likely two top-tier tailbacks in this cycle after whiffing in the 2023 class, and Peoples would certainly fit that bill as the No. 5 RB in the country and the No. 78 player overall in the 247Sports Composite.

Peoples included Ohio State among his top six schools earlier this month alongside Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, TCU and Texas. Clearly a big priority for position coach Tony Alford, the Buckeyes have clearly made a positive impact on the Texas native, enough so that Peoples now has a multi-day visit planned for the end of March.

While there is still seemingly a lot of time left in this recruitment, Ohio State has to like where they currently stand with Peoples. The 5-foot-10 running back had the following to say of the Buckeyes, via the Columbus Dispatch:

“The coaching staff, from coach (Tony) Alford to coach (Ryan) Day, it’s a very special, loving staff. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with all their staff and they’re all very invested me and hearing things that they have to say, breaking down the things that they like and the constant communication that we’ve had, that place is special. Ezekiel Elliott, you got so many staples athletes that go to that program to get developed and be successful. It’s a special spot.”

2024 OT lists Buckeyes in his Top 7

Another position of need moving forward for Ohio State is definitely the offensive line. After the Buckeyes allowed former offensive line coach Greg Studrawa stick around far too long, Justin Frye is now tasked with trying to re-load a room that was left severely lacking by his predecessor. This is especially true at offensive tackle, where the losses of both Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones to the NFL Draft this offseason will be tough pills to swallow.

Looking to get ahead of things early on, Ohio State has already made the top schools list for a Midwest offensive tackle product in four-star OT Nathan Roy. A native of Wisconsin, Roy currently ranks as the No. 12 offensive tackle and No. 185 player nationally in the 2024 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.

Always tough to steal an offensive lineman away from the in-state Badgers, the new Luke Fickell-led Wisconsin program also made the cut among Roy’s top seven, alongside Michigan State, Minnesota, Tennesee, UCLA, USC and of course Ohio State. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound tackle will surely be a focus of Fickell’s staff as the No. 3 player in the state, but Frye and the Buckeyes remain a real player here as one of the final schools in contention for Roy’s services.

Quick Hits

  • Ryan Day has maintained the Ohio State tradition of locking down some of the best players from within the state’s borders. This will be of the utmost importance when it comes to the recruitment of 2024 CB Bryce West. The five-star prospect and No. 26 overall player in the 247Sports Composite, Day made it clear that West is a top priority for the program when he personally offered the Glenville native back in December.

The Tarblooder program has been kind to the Buckeyes over the years, producing guys among the likes of Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Marshon Lattimore. However, West becoming a member of the Scarlet and Gray is not slam dunk, as Michigan area recruiter Steve Clinkscale and Wolverine DB commit Jacob Oden are pushing hard for the talented corner. Day has struggled on the field against Michigan the last few seasons, but this is an off-field battle within the rivalry that would really hurt to lose.