clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

After four-star linebacker Payton Pierce, who could be Ohio State’s next commitment?

The Buckeyes have picked up a ton of crystal balls recently, who could bring the BOOM?

Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

Yesterday, the Ohio State Buckeyes landed the 10th player in their 2024 recruiting class and their fifth in the past three weeks. Payton Pierce is a four-star linebacker from Lucas, Texas who picked the Buckeyes over Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Texas A&M. Immediately after his commitment, the LB told Rivals that he was immediately going into recruiting mode. Having moved up to the No. 2 class in the country, the Buckeyes are looking to climb even further, and if Pierce can bring some home cooking to the mix, no one in Buckeye Nation will be upset.

He said that he was going to focus on four-star defensive lineman Nigel Smith, who is from neighboring Melissa, Texas. Currently, the No. 52 player in the country has two crystal ball predictions to Oklahoma, but they are from last fall, and the Sooners are currently seen to be the leaders, but Ohio State and Texas A&M.

So, while Smith is going to be Pierce and Larry Johnson’s priority, there are a number of other prospects who could be Buckeye bound in the near future. There are a handful of players who have recently picked up Buckeye crystal balls who could generate a massive BOOM at any point. Let’s take a look at the four most recent prospects to get an OSU CB, and one other player who would “break the internet” if he committed to Ohio State.


No. 375 Miles Lockhart | Four-Star Cornerback

Crystal Balls: Ohio State 100% | Commitment Date: July 6

To date, 247 doesn’t list any other schools as being warm in the Chandler, Ariz. native’s recruitment, so it seems like the Buckeyes are solidly in the lead for Lockhart’s services. While the 247Sports Composite Ratings have Lockhart as the No. 375 player and No. 31 cornerback in the country, that is being dragged down by the always bass-ackwards ESPN ratings, which have him unranked. 247’s in-house numbers have him substantially higher at No. 196 overall and No. 18 at his position.

Lockhart is scheduled for an official visit on June 16, less than three weeks before his scheduled commitment date. So, while we likely won’t get a BOOM from him anytime soon, everything is moving in the right direction for him.


No. 49 Bryce West | Four-Star Cornerback

Crystal Balls: Ohio State 100%

While we likely won’t get Lockhart’s commitment for a few more months, there is starting to be some substantial smoke around an even more highly rated-CB. The Cleveland Glenville prospect picked up his first Ohio State crystal ball in December 2021, with another in early 2022, but three 247 analysts — including director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong — have logged OSU predictions since Saturday.

Three other Big Ten schools are in heavy contention for the top-50 corner, with Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State also at the top. However, the pull of Ohio State’s decades-long connection to Ted Ginn Sr.’s program is almost certainly too strong to break, and with West planning a June 23 official to Columbus, I would imagine that his BOOM will be coming no later than that.


No. 351 Damarion Witten | Four-Star Tight End

Crystal Balls: Ohio State 100%

Speaking of the Glenville-to-Ohio State pipeline, next up is 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end Damarion Witten — no relation to Jason, as far as I know. Similarly to Lockhart, Witten is much higher ranked in the industry-best 247 ratings than the composites, because ESPN is pretty much worthless and has him unranked.

On 247’s list, Witten is the No. 190 player in the country and No. 11 tight end nationally. 247 currently doesn’t have any other teams considered “Warm” other than the Buckeyes, so, this feels like a pretty sure thing.


No. 177 Jeremiah McClellan | Four-Star Wide Receiver

Crystal Balls: Ohio State 100%

Is he as highly ranked as fellow wide receivers Jeremiah Smith (No. 2 nationally) or Mylan Graham (No. 27), but if Brian Hartline thinks that he is deserving of a spot in his room, who am I to argue? In the past week, the St. Louis WR has picked up crystal balls from the Dean of Wiltfong and OSU recruiting Bill Kurelic, and no other school is considered warm according to 247Sports.

With two top-notch receivers already in the fold, McClellan would be a fantastic addition to the WR class as a player that can round out the group.


No. 18 Joshisa Trader | Five-Star Wide Receiver

Crystal Balls: 100% Miami

Now, this final potential player doesn’t have any crystal balls for Ohio State — in fact, his only CB is to the Hurricanes from January. However, his Chaminade-Madonna Prep High school teammate just so happens to be the Buckeyes’ top player in the class, Jeremiah Smith.

In what is likely just a meaningless Twitter interaction, Trader told Smith that he was trying to break the internet. Could that mean that he is about to become the third WR in the top 30 to join Hartline’s 2024 class? That would certainly make college football collective head explode.

While Miami is in the lead in terms of crystal ball predictions, the Buckeyes and Florida State are also in contention for the Hollywood, Fla. native. So while it is most likely that he will stick to one of the Sunshine State schools, if anyone is going to pull a top-20 wide receiver out of the warm weather, it’s going to be Hartline.