This was a big weekend for Ohio State both on and off the field, and it did not disappoint. The Buckeyes partook in the annual spring game, where we got to see a small glimpse at what the 2023 team is going to offer. However, the big names of the day took place away from the glorified scrimmage, as Ryan Day and his crew were able to reel in a pair of new commits amid the festivities.
The first BOOOOM of the day came from 2024 tight end Max LeBlanc. No relation, of course, to Matt Leblanc — AKA Joey from Friends — the four-star Tennessee prospect currently ranks as the No. 13 tight end and the No. 6 player from his home state. With over 30 offers to his name, the 6-foot-5 LeBlanc chose Ohio State over some big names among the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and many more. The Buckeyes, Vols and Wolverines were included in his top four alongside UNC.
LeBlanc is coming off a recent visit to Ohio State at the end of March, and must have liked what he saw enough to pull the trigger at this stage in the game. The Buckeyes actually only offered LeBlanc a few months ago in January, but he has been growing a relationship with position coach Keenan Bailey ever since. Bailey made the trip to Chattanooga to visit the tight end, and things have been trending positively ever since.
“I like coach Bailey,” LeBlanc told Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts. “I’ve liked Ohio State since I was younger. I was an Ohio State fan. I’m from Canada, Montreal, so Ohio State is not too far from there.”
LeBlanc is coming off an impressive junior season for Baylor School down in the Volunteer State. The Red Raiders are coming of an 11-2 campaign wherein they took home a state championship, and the Ohio State commit played a big role in that. LeBlanc caught 39 passes for 695 yards — and average of 17.8 yards per catch — and three touchdowns.
The second BOOOM came courtesy of in-state running back Sam Williams-Dixon. Ohio State had been the heavy favorite in the Ohio native’s recruitment for quite a long time now, but Williams-Dixon made it official this weekend shortly after the end of the spring game.
#COMMITTED Excited to be apart of The of Brother Hood @pnfootball @CoachTonyAlford @AllenTrieu @JohnGarcia_Jr @OhioStateFB @247Sports @Birm @BuckeyesNow_FN @SBLiveSports @BarstoolOSU @ryandaytime @MickWalker247 @ChadSimmons_ @Bill_Kurelic @CoachRLarkin @Ryan9Mayhew @N_Murph pic.twitter.com/Pk7LKVgrX7— Sam Williams-Dixon (@SamuelDixon24) April 15, 2023
Williams-Dixon’s rankings don’t jump off the page, coming in as the No. 24 player in Ohio and the No. 79 athlete in the 247Sports Composite, but that could be changing soon as he transfers from the small Millersburg West Holmes to the much larger Pickerington North. The Buckeyes really like what they see in the 5-foot-11, 203-pound prospect, and while he is likely an underrecruited player, he still garnered offers from the likes of Cincinnati, Penn State, Tennessee, Wisconsin and others, so there is definitely something there.
Williams-Dixon becomes the second running back for Ohio State in this class alongside James Peoples, but he is more than happy to join the cycle with Peoples as the two have very different styles. Williams-Dixon is more of an Evan Pryor type; someone adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. Still, he is a more than capable runner, and Tony Alford and Co. are ecstatic to add him to the fold.
“There were a lot of reasons,” Williams-Dixon told Bucknuts as to why he picked Ohio State. “I have a great relationship with my position coach, coach [Tony] Alford. He’s really high on me. He’s like another father to me. He’s a black male in my life I need.”
- In addition to the pair of commits, Ohio State got even more good news this weekend when they found out they are one of the few schools still in the running for five-star cornerback Charles Lester III. The 6-foot-1 Florida native has cut down his list of nearly 30 offers down to four schools, with Ohio State in the mix alongside Alabama, Georgia and Florida State. Lester is the No. 3 CB and No. 18 overall player in the 247Sports Composite.