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Ohio State looking to have BOOMing July after hot start

Ohio State saw a four-star DE commit elsewhere Monday, but the Buckeyes are hoping for fireworks from elsewhere in July.

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Ohio State may not be playing host to dozens of recruits a week, but July will not see a slowdown in the Buckeyes making the recruiting headlines. Ohio State made multiple headlines heading into the 4th, and the Buckeyes could see a BOOMing July.

Four-star DE spurns Ohio State

Coming off the heals of the Buckeyes shocking the recruiting landscape when five-star defensive lineman Justin Scott committed to Ohio State on Sunday, many believed entering Monday Ohio State would bring in another blue-chip defensive lineman.

This time, it was supposed to be 2024 four-star defensive end Marquise Lightfoot (Chicago, IL / Kenwood Academy). However, when Lightfoot announced his commitment Monday evening, it was Miami that won his services instead of the Buckeyes.

Leading into Monday, Ohio State was believed to be the favorite. But with just hours remaining in his recruitment, rumblings and then predictions for Miami began floating around the internet. When the dust settled, it was in fact the Hurricanes that Lightfoot chose to continue his football career with.

The loss certainly stings for the Buckeyes, but perhaps it coming immediately following Scott’s commitment, the sting is somewhat less than it would’ve been just hours ago. That is especially true with Ohio State trending for another five-star player at the position, but more on that later.

Additionally, the Buckeyes are preparing for what could be a busy and very successful July. We have discussed this last week how July would bring in commitments from those recruits that took official and unofficial visits in June and on Monday, those thoughts became true as multiple Buckeye targets also announced commitment dates.

Ohio State targets announce commitment dates

The Buckeyes may have missed out on Lightfoot Monday, but do not expect July to be more of the same. On Monday, multiple elite-level Ohio State targets scheduled commitment dates and narrowed down their list of schools they are considering. The updates were plenty and were kind to the Buckeyes.

Five-star safety KJ Bolden

Class: 2024
Hometown: Buford, GA / Buford
Size: 6-foot-1, 185 lbs.
Commitment date: Aug. 5
Schools in contention: Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State
Ohio State’s chances: 45%

Bolden has long been believed to be a Georgia lean. However, following an official visit to Ohio State in June, the Buckeyes established themselves as legitimate contenders for his services. Before this visit, I would’ve given the Buckeyes a 25% chance to land Bolden — at best — but the visit really has some believing the Buckeyes are now the team to beat.

There is still a month remaining before Bolden has to make a decision, but the Buckeyes certainly have a chance to land the No. 1 safety in 2024, with Georgia still having a slight edge.

Four-star CB Zabien Brown

Class: 2024
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA / Mater Dei
Size: 6-foot, 180 lbs.
Commitment date: July 9
Schools in contention: Alabama, Ohio State, USC
Ohio State’s chances: 15%

Ohio State was named a finalist for Brown, and if he wants to commit to Ohio State the Buckeyes will certainly take a player of his caliber. But, Ohio State is on the heels of a commitment from Bryce West and is the odds-on favorite to land Aaron Scott. While Scott is still considering Michigan and could easily end up there, the writing on the wall is spelling Ohio State, and it appears much more likely for the Buckeyes to end up with the two top corners out of Ohio and then adding a smaller target to the defensive backfield for depth.

If the Buckeyes feel like Scott is favoring Michigan, they may try to make one last push for Brown, but USC is the likely choice in this one.

Four-star LB Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa

Class: 2024
Hometown: Bellflower, CA / St. John Bosco
Size: 6-foot-3, 230 lbs.
Commitment date: July 23
Schools in contention: Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC
Ohio State’s chances: 70%

Villiamu-Asa did not release a final schools list with his commitment date Monday, but the above three schools were the only ones he took official visits to, with Ohio State being the most recent. He also took an unofficial visit to Miami, but things have seemingly slowed down on that front. There are also no crystal ball predictions for Viliamu-Asa submitted as of yet, so the 65 percent is rather high.

That being said, Ohio State has seemingly been the favorites to land the top-10 linebacker since his visit to Columbus, and with his commitment now less than a week away, it would be surprising if he were to choose anyone but the Buckeyes. Notre Dame has done a great job in his recruitment and are also strong contenders for his commitment. If not for his relationship with Notre Dame, the Buckeyes chances would be even greater.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State missed out on Lightfoot Monday, but the Buckeyes have become the perceived leaders for 2024 five-star defensive end Dylan Stewart (Washington, DC / Friendship Collegiate Academy). There had been some rumblings over the weekend that the Buckeyes had left a good impression on Stewart following his June official visit, and on Monday those rumblings transitioned into Crystal Ball predictions.

These predictions are not guarantees but Ohio State has to love where it sits. Stewart has not yet announced a commitment date, but one would expect it to be in the coming month or two.

  • Ohio State made the cut for 2025 four-star LB DJ McClary (Jersey City, NJ / Henry Snyder) on Monday. McClary announced a top-eight schools list, and the Buckeyes were among those included. Alongside Ohio State, Rutgers, UCS, Tennessee, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina and Michigan made his top schools.