Business has been BOOOOOOMing for the Buckeyes lately, both on the gridiron and on the hardwood. But on Saturday, it was the football team’s turn to get back on the commitment train as Ryan Day found his quarterback for the 2024 class in Fairburn, Ga. top-100 prospect Prentiss “Air” Noland.
The No. 84 player in the country according to 247Sports Composite Ratings — though No. 55 in 247’s internal rankings — is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound left-handed quarterback who had 35 offers, but ultimately chose the Buckeyes over Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Miami, Oregon, Texas A&M, and many more.
Though Noland had been high on OSU’s list for months, he did not officially earn an offer until last weekend when he visited Columbus for an unofficial visit. Despite the fact that Day, quarterback coach Corey Dennis, and offensive coordinator Brian Hartline have been recruiting the QB for a while, they wanted to make sure that they could see him throw in person before making it official, which they did that last weekend. Obviously the coaches were impressed with what they saw on the visit, and Noland clearly was as well.
Since the beginning of 2023, Noland has been hitting up some of the best programs in the country, visiting Alabama’s Junior Day in January, then Clemson, Arkansas, Miami, and Texas A&M before coming to Columbus. He did make one more trip to Tuscaloosa this past Monday, but apparently, it was not enough to persuade him away from OSU.
In December, following the conclusion of his junior season, 247Sports’ Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins compared him to former Indiana Hoosier QB Michael Penix Jr.
“A lefty that can attack all three levels of the field ... Owns a quick, compact release that is believed to be one of the fastest –if not the fastest– in the 2024 cycle. More than comfortable on the move and has plenty of experience running RPOs out of a single-back spread attack. Will beat defenders to the sticks with his legs, and is more than creative when the pocket starts to break down, but shouldn’t be considered a run-first quarterback as he keeps his eyes downfield while working through his progressions and always seems to be looking for the home run.”
Noland was just one touchdown pass away from tying the Georgia single-season record of 55. During his junior season, his Langston Hughes High School squad went 15-0 to win the AAAAAA state title. Ivins believes that Noland could end up as an NFL starter if he finds the right college home and continues his development.
He should have a pretty good chance to do that working under Day and Dennis. Since the former came to Columbus, he has coached three-straight first-round selections at the position (presuming C.J. Stroud doesn’t unthinkably fall out over the next few weeks). All three players — Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields, and Stroud — also finished as Heisman Finalists and have earned the last five Big Ten Quarterback of the Year awards.
Based on his film and all of the scouts, it seems like Noland has the chance to eventually follow in their footsteps.
“Accurate and not one to make too many mistakes,” Ivins said. “Must adjust to the speed and everyday demands of big-time college football, but has the tools and mechanics to not only win games on Saturdays, but also be a true difference-maker on offense.”
Noland is the ninth player to join the 2024 class, which is already loaded with offensive talent. Ohio State has already landed the No. 2 player in the country in wide receiver Jeremiah Smith along with No. 27 player nationally WR Mylan Graham, No. 69 prospect running back James Peoples, and No. 88 interior offensive lineman Ian Moore.
The commitment keeps OSU at No. 4 in the national recruiting rankings, but the team is now within 1.37 points of No. 3 LSU. The Buckeyes’ average player ranking of 94.23 is third nationally behind Alabama (95.09) and Florida (94.93).