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Top-5 tight end to decide between Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama this month

We also run through all of the commits and prospect who will be on campus this weekend.


While much of the attention across Buckeye Nation is focused on breaking down every single aspect of Ohio State’s 23-3 victory over Indiana this past Saturday, the gears of the recruiting machine continue to grind as the Buckeyes got some information about a handful of recruits on Thursday.

Buckeyes to Learn Fate of Four-Star Tight End This Month

On Tuesday, 2025 four-star tight end Ethan Barbour announced that he will make his college decision on Friday, Sept. 22. Ohio State is one of five finalists, joining Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina in the mix. Last week, 247Sport’s director of football recruiting Steve Wiltfong logged a crystal ball prediction in favor of the defending two-time national champion Bulldogs. Similarly, the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine gives UGA an 81.2% chance to land the TE.

Barbour is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound tight end from Alpharetta, Ga. who is rated as the No. 181 player in the country and the No. 4 tight end in the 2025 cycle. Currently, the only commit in the Buckeyes’ 2025 class is four-star quarterback Tavien St. Clair. While it doesn’t seem like the Buckeyes are in line to land Barbour, stranger things have happened, and we’ve got two and a half weeks to see if OSU can pull off the upset.

Buckeyes Make the Cut for Multiple Prospects

Yesterday, four-star running back Tiqwai Hayes from Aliquippa, Pa. announced the top eight schools that he is considering. The No. 340 player in the 2025 cycle according to 247Sports Composite rankings, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound back has narrowed down his college selections to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia.

No news yet on when Hayes plans to make a commitment.

The Buckeyes also got welcome news from 2025 linebacker Elijah Melendez yesterday. The No. 251 player in the country according to 247 told Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic that OSU was currently one of the top schools that he is considering.

“I was very excited and Ohio State is in my top 5 right now,” Melendez said. “I have already built a great relationship with a couple coaches there and I’m loving it.”

Melendez is a 6-foot-1.5, 223-pound linebacker from Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Fla. — which just so happens to be where I live. The backer plans to come up for a game this season, but has not yet determined when he will make the trip up to Columbus.

On Campus This Weekend

Yesterday, Kurelic also ran through the list of players who are currently scheduled to attend OSU’s game against Youngstown State on Saturday. While the game against the Penguins isn’t going to draw nearly the high-profile names that future games against Penn State, Michigan State, or Minnesota are, there are still a handful of interesting names, including some of the Buckeyes’ top committed players from the 2024 class.

Ohio State vs. Youngstown State Visitor List

Player Class Position Hometown National Rank Position Rank Committed OSU Offer
Player Class Position Hometown National Rank Position Rank Committed OSU Offer
Bryce West 2024 CB Cleveland, Ohio 50 5 Ohio State Yes
Garrett Stover 2024 LB Sunbury, Ohio 143 11 Ohio State Yes
Jameil Hamm 2025 Edge Cleveland, Ohio Unrated Unrated No No
Jeremiah Smith 2024 Wide Receiver Opa Locka, Fla. 2 1 Ohio State Yes
Malachi Taylor 2026 Athlete Pickerington, Ohio Unrated Unrated No No
Marquise Davis 2025 RB Cleveland, Ohio 144 14 No Yes
Maxwell Riley 2026 OT Avon Lake, Ohio 14 3 No Yes
Michael Taylor 2025 RB Pickerington, Ohio Unrated Unrated No No
Sam Williams-Dixon 2024 Athlete Pickerington, Ohio 751 72 Ohio State Yes

Also, planning to be on campus for Saturday, Sept. 16’s game against Western Kentucky are former Notre Dame commit, four-star 2024 tight end Nate Roberts; four-star 2025 running back Bo Jackson; and 2026 cornerback Elbert Hill. All three players hold Ohio State offers.

Top Basketball Prospect Sets Fall Visit Schedule

I cannot blame 6-foot-11, high four-star center Malachi Moreno for making the most of the NCAA visit rules. The No. 57 player in the 2025 class, Moreno has lined up an impressive list across the Midwest this fall to take in some games at some big-time football schools.

From Great Crossing High School in Georgetown, Ky., Moreno currently has plans to visit eight schools in as many weeks, taking in such games as Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, Tennessee vs. South Carolina, Ohio State vs. Penn State, and Kentucky vs. Tennessee.

Currently, the On3 Recruiting Prediction Machine pins Iowa as the favorite with a 35.4% chance to land the center.