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Ohio State makes shortlist for three-star defensive lineman, top linebacker sets official visit date

The Buckeyes look like they’re still working hard to get the defensive side of the ball rolling in this 2024 class.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Buckeyes make the cut for three-star defensive lineman

The Buckeyes currently own the second ranked class in the country in 2024, and with only 13 commits in the fold, there’s plenty of spots still up for grabs. Right now Ohio State only has two commits on defense, and that will take care of itself eventually, but the ball does need to get rolling there. There’s still another half of the class to be obtained, so the work never stops for this coaching staff on the recruiting trail.

Specifically speaking, the defensive line tends to be the position that gets a lot of its work done late in the game in terms of outcomes. Larry Johnson isn’t one to land a bunch of players early in the cycle, and while that’s not necessarily an issue, it just means he needs to win out in the end.

Last year that wasn’t the case for their top targeted guys on the outside. Still, LJ has proven himself over and over to be one of the best in the country at his craft, and as he continues working on the relationships he’s built in the 2024 class. On Wednesday, one target kept Ohio State in the mix after trimming his list of top schools.

2024 defensive tackle Jayden Jackson took to Twitter to share the latest news in his recruitment by narrowing it down to just five schools still left in it for his commitment. The 37th best player at his position per 247Sports, Jackson boasts a whopping 32 offers to his name, so cutting it all the way down to five shows a decision is getting closer. Keeping Texas, Miami, Oklahoma, Florida, and Ohio State still in the running, the Buckeyes have a real shot her for the IMG Academy product.

A three-star, Jackson might not have a rankings profile that jumps out like some of the other players the Buckeyes have landed in this class alone, but with the schools he has in his top five as well as programs like Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, USC, and several more extending Jackson an offer, the rankings might not do this prospect a whole lot of justice. Either way, Ohio State remains in the mix and it looks like it will stay that way for the long haul.

Bucks ready to see a top linebacker target

It was just last Friday that four-star linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa dropped his final top three schools. Including the Buckeyes alongside Notre Dame and USC, the St. John Bosco prep star is really getting down to decision time. The No. 104 player nationally and eighth best linebacker in the country per the 247Sports Composite, Viliamu-Asa would be a massive addition to a class that already has some stellar linebackers in the fold. Needing to reload the position room after this year, Ohio State is sticking on this recruitment until the very end hoping they’ll get the pick.

Fast forward to yesterday, the latest news for Viliamu-Asa is when his official visit to see the Buckeyes will be scheduled. Slated to be in Columbus June 23-25, the staff will have one more in-person opportunity to really show Kyngstonn why Ohio State is the best fit for him. You can guarantee James Lauriniatis will play a major role in his time spent seeing Ohio State for those few days.

Knowing the secondary and defensive line will be more of an extended time frame for who they’ll land commit wise, the Buckeyes would love nothing more than to wrap up their linebacker haul earlier in the process. Surely Jim Knowles will also do his fare share of rolling out the red carper while Viliamu-Asa is on site, but just over a month until this visit takes place, there’s still plenty of time to recruit and make sure he knows how valuable of a piece to this class he is.

Quick Hits

  • Moving to the hardwood, on Wednesday the Basket-Bucks saw good news as they landed another player from the transfer portal in former Penn State small forward, Evan Mahaffey.

A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Mahaffey took to Twitter to share his homecoming announcement, giving the Buckeyes another addition to their 2023 roster. Doing it with an Ohio guy certainly makes it that much more fun. Holtmann and crew have been putting in the work and though a few guys decided to leave, the replacements have kept Ohio State in solid position to have a bounce back year this coming season.