Spring football might be over, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty for Ohio State football fans to get freaked out about online. So, today, I’ve got a couple of things for Buckeye fans stress about. One is a potential plug at a major of position of need, and the other would be a rage-inducing failure on the recruiting trail.
Ohio State Hopes to Land Transfer Lineman
If there is one area that the Ohio State football team needs some reinforcements, it’s the offensive line. With three starters set to be drafted this week, and a disturbing lack of high-quality depth, the o-line is by far the biggest concern heading into the 2023 season — especially considering that they will have to protect a first-time starting quarterback.
Well, Justin Frye and company are hoping to pick up some reinforcements in former four-star prospect Josh Simmons, who will be on campus on Friday. The La Mesa, Cali. native was the No. 342 player in the 2021 cycle, and had offers from Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, UCLA (we’ll come back to this), USC, Utah, Washington, and many others.
However, because of the ban on official visits at the height of the COVID-19 restrictions, Simmons had only been able to take an unofficial visit to San Diego State, so that’s where he ended up. Now, however, he has entered the portal, and will be in Columbus on Friday.
As first reported by 247Sports’ Chris Hummer, Simmons will make an official visit on April 28, in part thanks to his connections with Frye. Not only was the OSU offensive line coach one of the first people to reach out when the lineman entered the portal, but the pair have a long-standing relationship. When Frye was at UCLA, he recruited Simmons and worked with him at the Bruins’ camps.
At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, Simmons played at right tackle for the Aztecs, but could move over to left if needed. However, he was not exactly a highly productive player at San Diego State. Pro Football Focus had him graded at 47.1 for the 2022 season, which is literally lower than anyone on Ohio State’s offense. He gave up four sacks on 24 pressures and had 17 penalties.
While those are obviously less-than-ideal numbers, Simmons does have some upside, especially because he has at least three years of eligibility remaining, potentially four, if he exercises his COVID year. So, even if he decides to put on the scarlet and gray and he doesn’t become an instant starter, he does provide depth for the foreseeable future in the offensive line room.
Simmons is also set to visit Florida on May 5 and Colorado on May 20, but he told Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic that he would like to have a decision sooner rather than later, so that he can get on campus and start learning the playbook.
Is Ohio State Fading for Top-100, In-State Cornerback?
Aaron Scott knows that the most expected thing would be to become a Buckeye. A Springfield, Ohio native, the high four-star cornerback could commit to the team that he grew up rooting for and everybody would be happy, but it might not be that easy for the Buckeyes.
The No. 61 player nationally according to 247Sports Composite Ratings and No. 7 corner, Scott recently told Dotting the Eyes’ Jeremy Birmingham, “It’s good to stay at home and play at home if that’s where you’re needed, but if it’s not, then I think players need to think about getting away.”
Both 247Sports Director of Football Recruiting and Bucknuts’ esteemed recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic have crystal balls for Scott to commit to OSU dating back to last fall, and Josh Edwards — a Kentucky insider — logged an OSU CB for Scott earlier this month. However, there is a bit of concern growing that Columbus might not be the talented corner’s ultimate destination.
247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong wrote yesterday, “There is a lot of buzz Michigan leads for 247Sports No. 4 cornerback and No. 1 recruit in Ohio Aaron Scott.”
Now, I’m in no way going to freak out about this in April, this would a disastrous turn of events, especially since Scott told Birm that his relationship with Ohio State cornerback coach Tim Walton is getting stronger every day and that his relationship with Ryan Day is the best of any head coach he talks to.
Ultimately, Ohio State will never be able to keep all of the big-time talent from the state at home, and some of them will go to Michigan. But it would be a pretty horrible outcome to lose a guy this good at a position of need to your rival.
- On Tuesday, the Buckeyes extended an offer to four-star running back Jordan Lyle. The No. 319 player in the country, he is a junior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — the alma mater of Joey and Nick Bosa and Duron Carter. The Buckeyes are looking to add at least one more running back to the 2024 class, following the commitment of the No. 78 player nationally James Peoples. Three-star athlete Sam Williams-Dixon, who committed to the Buckeyes on April 15, is also expected to play RB for OSU.
Truly blessed to say this is my Final 5!! @CoachHarriott @EugeneBethea1 @Hayesfawcett3 @CoachTonyAlford @DellMcGee @CoachT_HarrisJR @CoachYACJohnson @BAMACoachG @STA_Football @StaBooster pic.twitter.com/Iuq0O0M1mN— Jordan M Lyle (@jlyle0) April 25, 2023
- The Buckeyes also offered high school freshman linebacker Samu Moala yesterday. This marks the first player to officially get a scholarship offer from OSU for the 2026 cycle. The Lawndale, Cali. native already has offers from Auburn, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, USC, Utah, Washington, and others. Since he is still a freshman, there are no recruiting rankings available yet, but it seems safe to assume he will be highly regarded when those numbers become available.
Ohio state offered!Thank you @CoachJimKnowles @OhioStateFB for this opportunity to further my education and dreams! @GregBiggins @adamgorney @BManu86 @recruitcoachmc @Leuzinger_FB #AG2G pic.twitter.com/LsISLKVLri— Samu Moala (@SamuMoala) April 24, 2023
- Yesterday, high four-star tight end Brady Prieskorn committed to Michigan. The No. 56 player in the country and No. 2 TE pushes the Harboys to the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, 5.03 points above the No. 2 Buckeyes. However, Michigan has two more commits than OSU does, and Ohio State maintains a 1.44 points per player advantage over its rivals.
Go Blue〽️@Hayesfawcett3 pic.twitter.com/TyRj4TlUsV— Brady Prieskorn (@bpkorn00) April 25, 2023