Almost midway through June, the Ohio State football team is in the thick of the recruiting cycle. Since the turn of the month, the Buckeyes have been able to host recruits on official and unofficial visits, and Ohio State has also begun hosting summer camps, bringing even more recruits on campus. The team’s hard work is already paying dividends as the Buckeyes earned a commitment Monday and another may soon be on the way.
Jaylen McClain commits to Ohio State
Ohio State had a busy April, bringing in a handful of verbal commitments. May, however, was quiet for the Buckeyes. June is already off to a solid start for the Buckeyes as 2024 four-star safety Jaylen McClain (West Orange, N.J. / Seton Hall Prep) committed to Ohio State Monday.
McClain is the 14th member to join Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class, the first at his position, and is just the third defensive player to commit in the cycle.
As mentioned above, Ohio State has been hosting recruits over the last two weeks, including this past weekend. McClain was one of the recruits on an official visit, and, obviously, the visit went as well as possible. The trip to Columbus was not the first for McClain as he previously visited with the Buckeyes in April after receiving an offer in March.
Prior to his commitment, McClain had previously taken an official visit to USC and had an official visit to Notre Dame scheduled, but will no longer be taking it. Oregon, Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, etc., were also heavily involved.
Ohio State entered McClain’s recruitment rather late, as he had already released a top 10 schools list in February, before the Buckeyes offered him. The late push by Ohio State was impressive and paid off as the Buckeyes add a premiere defensive recruit to their class.
McClain is the No. 22 safety and the No. 243 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings and is the No. 3 recruit from New Jersey.
Ohio State trending for 4-star defensive end
Because of the lack of defensive players in the 2024 class, Ohio State is placing a lot of focus on that side of the ball this summer. On Monday, the Buckeyes learned that they were moving one step closer to securing a commitment from a blue-chip defensive end.
Four-star DE Marquise Lightfoot (Chicago, Ill. / Kenwood Academy) released his top six schools on Monday and Ohio State made the cut.
Alongside Ohio State, Lightfoot included Alabama, Georgia, USC, Miami, and Illinois in his list. Ohio State has some difficult competition to land Lightfoot, but the Buckeyes seem to have a leg-up on the competing schools.
Prior to the announcement of his top six schools, Ohio State received two crystal ball predictions to land Lightfoot. Both Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic and 247Sports’ Director of Football Recruiting Steve Wiltfong placed predictions in favor of the Buckeyes on Sunday. These predictions are far from guarantees, but when Kurelic and Wiltfong agree, the smoke typically leads to fire.
Lightfoot is the No. 6 DE and is the No. 67 overall prospect, he is also the No. 3 recruit from Illinois.
Multiple recruits received official scholarship offers from Ohio State to start the week. Below are just a few recruits who took to Twitter to show off the news.
2026 OT Tyler Merrill
After an amazing camp and an awesome conversation with @ryandaytime , I am blessed to say i have EARNED a scholarship offer from THE Ohio State University. @coachoswalt @Coach_Astorino @acasale46 @CoachJFrye @JoeGazza @CVHS_Football @CVSDeagles @EdOBrienCFB @OhioStateFB pic.twitter.com/N443Q1HFoY— Tyler Merrill (@BigOak2026) June 12, 2023