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Ohio State picks up predictions for four-star safety; top-70 Edge rusher calls visit ‘perfect’

It looks like the Buckeyes are setting up the fireworks to get the BOOOOMs started soon.

Jaylen McClain
Twitter | @Jaylenmcclain08

If you pay attention to the college recruiting calendar, you know that June is when things start to really pick up. Spring practice is over and the season is still three months away, and with high school prospects beginning their summer breaks, they are more able to take visits — official and un — to college campuses around the country.

This past weekend was a big one for the Buckeyes as a number of high-profile recruits came to campus. While there was a healthy number of players who have already committed to the Buckeyes, there were a lot of players that still needed to sell themselves to the OSU staff and vice versa.

So, let’s dive into some of the news that came out of this past weekend.

Crystal Balls Come in for Four-Star Safety with Potential BOOM in Play

After being at the top of his recruitment for a while, the Buckeyes picked up three crystal balls from trusted experts to land West Orange, NJ safety Jaylen McClain. Brian Dohn (247Sports National Recruiting Analyst), Bill Kurelic (the dean of Ohio State recruiting), and Steve Wiltfong (247’s director of football recruiting) all entered predictions in favor of OSU on Sunday. All three came in with a 6 out of 10 confidence.

McClain is a 6-foot, 185-pound four-star safety from Seton Hall Prep who has offers from Notre Dame, USC, Oregon, Penn State, and hometown team Rutgers. These are the schools at the top of his list, but he also holds offers from Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, and others totaling 34 in all.

McClain is currently rated as the No. 243 player in the country and the No. 22 safety in the 2024 class. He visited USC last weekend and had plans to be in South Bend next week and to head to Oregon sometime this summer, but those trips might not happen.

“I don’t think I’m going to take any more official visits,” McClain told Bucknuts’ Kurelic. “I think I’ll be making my decision soon, it could be within a week.”

Could a BOOOOOM be on the horizon for the Buckeyes? Only time will tell.

Top-70 Edge Rusher Had ‘Perfect’ Visit to Ohio State

With how much talent and attention Ohio State puts into recruiting, you would expect visits with major prospects to go well, but to go perfectly? That’s still pretty impressive. Nonetheless, that is how the No. 67 player in the country Marquise Lightfoot described his trip to Columbus over the weekend.

The four-star edge rusher from Chicago was clearly taken by what Ryan Day and Larry Johnson told him while he was on campus.

“Everything was perfect,” Lightfoot told Bucknuts. “Every time I sit in Larry Johnson and Ryan Day’s offices it reminds me how perfect everything is at Ohio State. Larry Johnson deserves his recognition as a legendary coach. Every time I sit with him he lets me know I’m a priority. He actually hand-picked me as a defensive end he wants.”

At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Lightfoot is the No. 6 edge rusher in the 2024 cycle and the No. 3 player in the state of Illinois. With offers from 39 schools, including USC, Miami, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, and more, it sounds like the Buckeyes have set a pretty high bar in his recruitment.

Currently, the defensive end only plans to take two other visits, to USC on June 16 and to Miami on June 24. He told Kurelic that his decision is down to these three schools and that he currently plans to make his decision at some point in July.

Quick Hits:

  • While there were a lot of players on official visits this weekend, there were others who were there unofficially (meaning they had to pay for the trip themselves). But, the goal of any unofficial visit is for it to go so well that they want to come back officially. Apparently, that happened for four-star defensive lineman D’antre Robinson. After being in Columbus over the weekend, the No. 305 player in country from Orlando, Fla. will come back to town for the Oct. 21 game against Penn State.
  • Landing out-of-state players is always a challenge, especially when they are as highly touted as 2025’s No. 121 player nationally Nate Roberts. It’s even more difficult when they come from a town that is less than a 30-minute drive to one of the most storied football programs in the country. The No. 5 tight end in the country is from Washington, Okla. which is less than half an hour away from Norman, the home of the Oklahoma Sooners. However, after visiting Columbus over the weekend, Roberts already has plans to come back. It also helps that he has a sizable number of family members — including his grandmother — who live in Columbus suburb Pickerington.