With a visit for transfer portal offensive lineman Josh Simmons planned for this weekend, the Buckeyes are certainly in the mix here as they try to land more talent and depth for an offensive line that could use some additions to say the least. Without freaking out too much and writing off the position group completely, the Buckeyes simply have some work to do to get this group up to their typical standard, and that’s going to take some time. Fortunately, they do have the summer months and fall camp season to get it straightened out.
Back to the recruiting of the portal, Ohio State has long been calculated with who they go after when it comes to transfers. Looking at guys like Justin Fields, Jonah Jackson, Trey Sermon, etc. it’s a clear strategy of chasing specific needs rather than just diving into it all. The coaching staff does have a plan of action for these kinds of situations, and while this year may seem to be a little more active than others, it’s all a plan to improve the roster the best they can for the 2023 campaign.
In addition to Simmons, two more names have surfaced as a pair of portal players with intentions to see Ohio State this coming weekend. Both were players the Buckeyes had offered out of high school, and now potentially have a chance to get once again.
The first one is a familiar name in Lorenzo Styles Jr. The former Notre Dame product is the son of former Ohio State player Lorenzo Styles Sr., and brother to current Buckeye, Sonny Styles. Styles Jr. is spending time on campus this weekend, and while his playing days for the Irish were on the offensive side of the ball, he is looking to make the switch to defensive back at his next school of choice.
Family ties and position are the two easy areas to look at with Lorenzo and his chances of becoming a Buckeye. The addition of Davison Igbinosun already this offseason at the spot does make you wonder if this is the right fit overall. This ensuing visit should tell all in terms of how this one sorts out, but again, you can never have enough talent in the defensive secondary with the way college football is played these days.
The second visitor worth mentioning for this weekend is also a familiar name. New Jersey native Tywone Malone is set to arrive to see the Buckeyes soon, and this is yet another target who saw Ohio State attention during his high school recruitment. The class of 2021 defensive lineman chose Ole Miss out of nearly 30 offers, and while the Buckeyes made his first top schools list which included 14 programs, they did not make the cut for his second trimming when he narrowed it down to just six schools.
Also a baseball player for Ole Miss, it will be interesting if baseball once again is part of the process here. Not that it was a hinderance for Larry Johnson back during his recruitment, it’s still not common at a place like Ohio State and maybe that creeps up again. Either way, like the aforementioned cornerback position, defensive line is very much the same in that you can never have enough talent. Specifically speaking, with his position being on the interior, that’s an area the Buckeyes could use some more depth on.
Overall, the transfer portal for the 2023 season will sort itself out eventually for the Buckeyes, but offensive line is still far and away the most needed area to pay attention to. These two additional guests this weekend are still very much interested, and it will soon be seen how realistic it is if either end up at Ohio State this season.
- Most of the recruiting efforts feel like they’re being done through the portal, but Ohio State is still on the road as they scour the country for the next commitment to join the 2024 class that currently sits at No. 2 in the rankings.
Making more of a local stop, Brian Hartline traveled west to Wapakoneta, Ohio to visit and check in with the talent the Redskins have to offer. None of the current players have Ohio State offers, but this is another sign of the staff doing their due diligence in-state to check in on the Ohio products right in their back yard. The 2024 class has some incredible talent still very much high on the Buckeyes, but it’s never a bad idea to continue recruiting your own state.