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Top-70 cornerback sets Ohio State visit date; top in-state player could commit early

Also, an OSU commit gets spicy about TTUN!

Andrew Ivins | 247Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

The last few weeks have been busy and exciting ones on the recruiting trail for the Ohio State football program, and now in the days following the 2023 spring game, things have settled down a little bit, but there is always something seemingly brewing when it comes to recruiting.

High Four-Star Cornerback Names Ohio State Finalist, Sets Visit Date

On Tuesday, the No. 68 player in the country — according to 247Sports Composite Ratings — Zabien Brown confirmed that he had set official visits with his final four schools, Alabama, Oregon, USC, and Ohio State. According to 247Sports’ Greg Biggins, the No. 8 corner in the country will be in Southern California on June 3, followed by Columbus two weeks later on June 17, then Tuscaloosa on June 23, and Eugene on July 1.

From a commitment perspective, you always want to see your team get the final visit, but we have seen players cancel their remaining visits after they have visited the Buckeyes. Brown is finishing up his junior year at Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Cali., but has been to Columbus twice in the past month, most recently early last week.

Like another major out-of-state prospect Texas running back James Peoples, Brown has family in Ohio and after visiting them in Cleveland over the Easter holiday, came down to campus for multiple days. It is always difficult to land a major blue-chip prospect from across the country, but when he has familial connections to Ohio, it certainly makes it easier.

“I’ve always liked Ohio State a lot and they do a great job developing defensive backs,” Brown told 247 following his last trip to Columbus. “It’s a big time program with great tradition and I like coach Walton, the DB coach a lot so I think it’s a great all around fit.”

Brown currently is planning to make his decision late in the summer, after he has made all of his official visits and before the start of his senior season.

Bryce West Open to Committing Earlier than Planned

Someone who might not wait that long — and that the Buckeyes are hoping will soon be in the same position room as Brown — is Bryce West. The No. 1 player in the state of Ohio per the 247 Composite Rankings has long maintained that he would make his commitment on National Signing Day, but he recently told Eleven Warriors that he might have a change of heart.

West, a Cleveland Glenville product, was on campus earlier this month and seemed to indicate that his recent recruiting trips might have sped up his decision-making process.

“It might just come a little bit earlier,” he said. “I’m not sure when yet, I’m definitely talking it over with my parents.”

The corner was in Columbus the first few days of April at the same time as the No. 2 player in Ohio, fellow cornerback Aaron Scott from Springfield. Walton’s room is one that could use some serious reinforcements and while landing Brown, West, and Scott isn’t out of the question, getting three top-70 players at the same position in the same class isn’t something that you necessarily want to bank on.

However, being in the mix for all three certainly bodes well for cornerback recruiting in the 2024 class. Besides, if Brian Hartline can land three top wide receivers in a class, maybe it’s time other Ohio State coaches step up as well.

Quick Hits

  • He might only be ranked as the No. 590 player in the country, but he has offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and many other school, including a number of Ivy League institutions. Currently, Florida tight end Colton Heinrich is working on setting up an official visit to Columbus, according to Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic. Heinrich was on campus earlier this month and texts with position coach Keenan Bailey almost every day. He knows that the Buckeyes landed a TE pledge over the weekend in Max LeBlanc, but is aware of OSU’s plan to have two players at the position in the 2024 cycle.
  • It’s not all good news for the Buckeyes on the trail, as on Tuesday, as four-star offensive tackle Donovan Harbour committed to Penn State. While he had an offer from OSU, and visited last September, the momentum had long been in the Nittany Lions favor on this one, so the pledge was likely not a surprise for Justin Frye.
  • Yesterday, top-100 offensive lineman, and Buckeye commit, Ian Moore took to Twitter to answer a spicy question from a recruiting insider. And while we (and Ian) are obviously biased, I think he totally nailed this one.