The weeks are flying by as it’s already game three tomorrow for Ohio State in its 2023 campaign. An underwhelming start thus far, Saturday presents several opportunities for this roster and coaching staff. First and foremost, the chance to continue improving is the mission, and while doing so the Buckeyes have to come away with this win. A new set of challenges, Western Kentucky’s high-flying passing attack is going to test this secondary more than they’ve seen the previous two weeks, and knowing the lack of pass rush the defense has provided so far, it’s a chance for them too to get right.
Several other factors in this game — such as quarterback play — will also be a theme, but this weekend also brings plenty of recruiting opportunities as the staff plays host to quite a few targets. With the postgame providing the chance to catch up with these prospects, this weekend has no shortage of excitement. Here’s to hoping the wins are present both on and off the field.
Buckeyes offer Texas linebacker
If there’s a position on defense that’s going to need some depth in the coming years, it’s at linebacker. Thanks to veteran players on the current roster, Ohio State has had tons of experience playing the position the last couple of seasons, but after landing less than they planned for in a couple recent recruiting cycles, the future of the linebacker spot will only be as solid as the recruiting wins this coaching staff has. Fortunately, James Laurinaitis is a tremendous help with that aspect of his job, but the work is far from over and there’s still plenty of improvement that can be made.
With only one true linebacker in 2024’s class currently committed, 2025 will be a big year for recruiting linebacker targets. Knowing that, Ohio State has already dished out offers to multiple players at the position, and on Thursday the most recent one came about after Texas native Riley Pettijohn shared via Twitter that the Buckeyes were the latest school to enter his recruitment.
A 6-foot-2, 205 pound athlete, Pettijohn is currently the No. 54 player nationally, the ninth best linebacker and the eighth best player in Texas for the 2025 class per the 247Sports Composite. Holding offers from well over 20 schools already, the Buckeyes may be a little late to the party, but now join the likes of Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee, USC, and several more. A coveted four-star, it’s interesting that some programs — and obvious ones such as in-state Texas — have yet to pull the trigger here, but many times an Ohio State offer can help create a domino effect.
The plan now is to get Riley to campus and have him see all that Ohio State has to offer. While a visit to see the sights is definitely of priority, maybe the first matter of business is the chance for Pettijohn to meet and speak with the aforementioned Laurinaitis. Being hamstrung by his current job title that prevents him from being out on the road as a recruiter, it’s even more important now that Riley visits Columbus so the two parties can really start their courtship.