New Jersey native receives Ohio State offer
Since the arrival of Jim Knowles in Columbus, Ohio State’s defense has really transitioned into a safety driven unit. Using as many as three safeties at once in Knowles’ scheme, the Buckeyes know how critical that position is to the overall success of the defense, and recruiting efforts have arguably never been higher when it comes to that spot specifically.
Not every safety is a set body type or skillset, but needing to land multiple guys to play those roles every recruiting cycle, this staff has their work cut out for them, and the evaluation period clearly gets drawn out a bit more. Further proving that to be true, Ohio State offered the latest safety prospect on their list when they dished out the good news to New Jersey native, Jaylen McClain.
Taking to social media to share the latest, McClain now holds over 30 offers to his name. A 6-foot, 185 pound safety, McClain has programs such as Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, USC, Texas A&M, and a host of others all after his services. The Buckeyes in 2023 found a New Jersey safety to commit, and are back looking for more in 2024.
The No. 258 player nationally, McClain is also the 23rd best safety in the country per the 247Sports Composite. Looking at his profile too, there’s not a single crystal ball prediction yet, nor is there a school considered better than “cold” on his interest meter. Pointing towards this recruitment being pretty wide open, the Buckeyes may be a little late to the game, but Perry Eliano’s track record of development may aid that a bit as the two begin to build more of a relationship.
Multiple safeties in the class have been offered, but here’s the next name worth watching moving forward.
Blessed to have received an offer from Ohio State University @Coach_Eliano @CoachDuHart @CoachBFitz @RivalsFriedman @RivalsRichie @BrianDohn247 @ShawnB_247 @On3Recruits pic.twitter.com/mQ705vIe2n— ⁸ (@Jaylenmcclain08) March 2, 2023
Ohio State dishes out offer to 2024 athlete
Keeping busy with recruiting efforts, the staff also made their presence known down south on Thursday by offering another Florida native in Cai Bates. A 6-foot-2, 170 pound prospect, Bates is listed as an athlete on his 247Sports profile as he plays on both sides of the ball for his prep team.
Lining up both at receiver and defensive back, Bates excelled in his junior year and looks to be a player that could realistically be a strong option for either offense or defense. Specifically, Bates checks in as the No. 620 player nationally, and the 78th best player at his position according to 247Sports’ Composite.
A three-star prospect, the rankings may not jump off the page, but Ohio State’s staff sees what several more do and that’s athleticism that can’t be taught. Never mind the ranking, programs such as Alabama, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, and several others have already offered Bates, and Alabama being on that list should tell you everything you need to know when it comes to the caliber of player he checks out to be.
With a senior season still to be played, it will be interesting to see what side of the ball he ends up playing at the next level, but Ohio State is hoping before any decision is made they too can get in the mix. Florida continues to be a state where the Buckeyes are the most active, and especially in this 2024 class as Florida has the highest total of players offered compared to any other state for the Buckeyes.
Another name to watch, it’d be a pretty safe bet to assume the staff isn’t done yet either when it comes to evaluating players in the Sunshine State for the 2024 class.
Extremely blessed to receive an offer from The Ohio State University #GoBucks @EdgewaterFB @ChadSimmons_ @Andrew_Ivins @RWrightRivals @OhioStateFB @CoachTimWalton @N_Murph pic.twitter.com/qGatGVmkxL— Cai Bates (@bates_cai) March 2, 2023