With the nation’s second ranked recruiting class, the Buckeyes are in a great spot. Loaded with top talent at several positions, Ohio State has to be pleased with that they’ve brought in so far, and right now the class is made up of just 18 commits. Trailing only Georgia — who has 26 commits — the Buckeyes have less pledges than Florida, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, and others who make up the top 10 classes nationally, which shows the quality of player being taken by Ryan Day and company.
With plenty of room to spare, the coaching staff is primed and ready to add to their haul and should do so soon. That said, Ohio State doesn’t land everyone they offer, and Thursday that was the case when multiple targets decided to go elsewhere with their college decisions. Important to note, at both of these positions, the Buckeyes have elite talent already committed and fully expect to be in the mix to have some major wins when some of the highest ranked players who are still available make their commitments in the near future.
First on the list, Jayden Jackson was a topic of discussion as the four-star defensive lineman was set to announce on Thursday. He was likely to end up somewhere other than Columbus, and the thought was Jackson would commit to Oklahoma — and he did just that. The No. 446 player nationally, Jackson joins a class ranking 26th in the nation. The feeling here wasn’t real strong for the Buckeyes, and though Ohio State was in the mix even at the end, it just wasn’t in the cards.
Fortunately, landing guys such as five-star Justin Scott softens any blow not landing Jackson would provide. Ohio State is still in a great spot.
The second to commit on Thursday, receiver target Joshisa Trader is a name that’s long been surrounding Ohio State recruiting. He chose to stay close to home by committing to Miami. The No. 25 player nationally, Trader is the third best athlete in the class per the 247Sports Composite, and immediately jumps to the top of the board in Miami’s class as their highest-ranked commit in the 2024 class.
Trader had been really interested in the Buckeyes early on in his recruitment, but as the time passed it seemed that the two parties were drifting away pretty steadily. With Brian Hartline bringing in another elite haul of guys for his position room this cycle, the loss of Trader doesn’t hurt the class too much if at all really. Sure, having that highly ranked of a player would be great for anybody, but again, the group of players Hartline already has committed is once again at the top of the ranks nationally.
The timing of this Trader commitment is interesting because it comes pretty out of nowhere. Trader has been a guy Miami has wanted from the get go being so close, and of course for what he brings to the table with his abilities, but the commitment did come without plans prior to being made public. Ohio State tends to recruit guys until they sign elsewhere if they want them, but with what’s already in the fold this looks to be a recruitment the Buckeyes will leave alone.
BREAKING: Elite 2024 WR Joshisa “JoJo” Trader tells me he has Committed to Miami!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) July 13, 2023
The 6’1 180 WR from Miami, FL chose the Hurricanes over Florida State, Florida, & Ohio State
“I’m home!”https://t.co/dyrdCknfrm pic.twitter.com/6nLniiOODm
- Speaking of Miami, the Buckeyes were recently beat out by the Hurricanes for four-star edge rusher, Marquise Lightfoot. Choosing Miami over Ohio State just a week ago, it was the Buckeyes that led on the Crystal Ball for months, but the thought here is that NIL had some serious impact on his decision. Not a wrong or right debate, Lightfoot may be committed to Miami, but this is one recruitment the Buckeyes are doing their best to stay in the mix on.
In fact, rumors have swirled this week even that Lightfoot may have some second thoughts going on in his mind, and developments that he has interest in visiting the Buckeyes again could be more than just a figure of the imagination.
Don’t be surprised if Lightfoot is on campus this fall, as on Thursday Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts made it known that Larry Johnson has been quoted as saying he’s still very much going to recruit Marquise, and that he has an open invitation to be on site for the Penn State game later this season.
At any rate, while this was a battle the Buckeyes lost out on, it may not be entirely over. Not a prediction that he will decide to rethink and choose Ohio State, but this is something worth paying attention to moving forward as the Buckeyes still have strong interest.