Ohio State is coming off the first major recruiting weekend this spring, reportedly hosting over 30 prospects in Columbus over the past few days. The visitor list was mostly comprised of those in the 2024 class, but a number of players in both the 2025 and 2026 classes were in attendance as well.
Let’s jump right into the biggest storylines surrounding the Buckeyes on the trail.
A flood of Crystal Ball predictions
Just last week we took a look at some of the biggest names in the 2024 class with Crystal Ball predictions on 247Sports in favor of Ohio State. This week, that list got even bigger as the Buckeyes appeared to have picked up steam with a number of high-end prospects during their latest visits.
One of the biggest additions to the OSU radar is four-star linebacker Payton Pierce. With prior Crystal Balls to Oklahoma (from 2022) and Notre Dame (January 2023), the No. 15 LB and No. 151 player overall in the 2024 class picked up an Ohio State Crystal Ball from Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic on Saturday following his visit.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder backer already has a whopping 40 offers to his name, including one from the Buckeyes, and already has a return visit — this time of the official variety — set for June 23. While the Sooners got out to an early lead in his recruitment, it seems as though the tandem of Jim Knowles and James Laurinaitis may be able to pull another win out of the state of Texas.
In addition to Pierce, Ohio State also picked up new Crystal Balls for twins Devontae Armstrong and Deontae Armstrong. Both of the Ohio natives already held three CBs apiece in favor of the Buckeyes, but 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong also felt comfortable enough to add his own prediction on Sunday following their visit for them to both wind up in scarlet in gray.
Deontae, the higher rated of the two, is a four-star offensive tackle at 6-foot-6, 280 pounds, coming in as the No. 25 OT and the No. 9 player in Ohio in the 2024 class per the 247Sports Composite. Devontae, an interior lineman, is also a four-star prospect at 6-foot-5, 288 pounds, rated as the No. 23 IOL and No. 13 in-state player in the 2024 class. Justin Frye has a lot of heavy lifting to do to make up for the mistakes of his predecessor, but landing the Armstrongs would be a big step in replenishing his position group.
While not one of the guys in attendance this weekend, it is also worth mentioning that running back James Peoples also saw a Crystal Ball cast in favor of Ohio State on Friday. The nation’s No. 5 RB and No. 69 overall player in 2024, Tony Alford is in big need of a win here after losing Jordan Marshall to Michigan. It is notable that the CB for Peoples came from an Oklahoma insider — one of the other schools Peoples in heavily considering.
New DBs on the radar
Of course, what would a big recruiting weekend be without its share of new offers?
Seemingly one of the most impactful offers of the weekend went out to in-state safety Reggie Powers. The 2024 Dayton native is currently listed as the No. 54 player in Ohio by 247Sports’ own rankings, and immediately garnered an OSU Crystal Ball from Kurelic following the news. The 6-foot-1 DB may be a three-star prospect for now, but his over two dozen offers show he could be underrated at this stage in the game.
After a great visit I am very blessed to receive an offer from THE Ohio State University! Thank you @ryandaytime @Coach_Eliano @OhioStateFB pic.twitter.com/MxUmxtMhhd— Reggie Powers III (@reggie_powers) March 25, 2023
While not another offer, since he has held one from Ohio State since January, the Buckeyes also got a chance to host five-star cornerback Kobe Black over the weekend. One of the best players in the 2024 class regardless of position, Black currently ranks as the No. 2 CB and No. 15 player nationally per the 247Sports Composite. With over 30 offers to him name, including all of the heavy hitters, getting Black up to Columbus from Waco, TX on his own dime is an important step for Ohio State.
Ohio State this weekend! @OhioStateFB— Kobe Black (@lilkb2xx) March 22, 2023
- Ohio State appears to be trending favorably for four-star wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan. The 6-foot, 190-pound wideout made the trek to Columbus this weekend from Saint Louis, and a Rivals FutureCast to the Buckeyes followed shortly thereafter. McClellan is the No. 24 WR and No. 142 player overall on 247Sports. Brian Hartline, of course, has already landed the No. 1 WR in the country in Jeremiah Smith, whom they will need to hold on to until Signing Day.
Ohio State has received a prediction for 2024 4⭐️ WR Jeremiah McClellan (Rivals).— Buckeye Realm (@BuckeyeRealm_) March 26, 2023
Jeremiah was in Columbus today. pic.twitter.com/MO8R4d5f7K
- One of the best players and best names in the 2024 recruiting class, quarterback Air Noland dropped his top seven schools over the weekend, and Ohio State made the cut despite not having yet extended an offer. Noland, the No. 7 QB and No. 55 player overall on 247Sports, has over 34 offers to his name thus far, but the Buckeyes are surprisingly not one of them as they continue to pursue Alabama commit Julian Sayin.
Ryan Day and Ohio State cannot afford to drag their feet much longer, as Noland has a commitment date set for April 8. It seems as though the Georgia native would very much like to come play for the Buckeyes, and should an offer come soon, they would almost certainly be the favorite here.
James 1:5— Pʀᴇɴᴛɪss Aɪʀ Nᴏʟᴀɴᴅ. (@AirNoland_) March 25, 2023
Big Decision ..
April 8th | 8:30pm pic.twitter.com/IxDIVN3nNZ