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Buckeyes in good position for major in-state priority in 2025, could soon offer Ohio native

Ohio State is looking at a big time Cincinnati native to be another member of this 2025 haul on the defensive line.

Thursday was more good news in Columbus, as Ohio State was able to bring back Emeka Egbuka for a his senior season. The news of Egbuka giving it another go has fit the bill with the rest of this week, and now the Buckeyes really only await the decisions from TreVeyon Henderson and JT Tuimoloau, both of which will have a major impact on this 2024 roster.

Regardless of what happens, Ohio State has been reloading, and it’s in large part thanks to their current players knowing there’s an opportunity to get back to the expectations this program has.

In-state target a major priority in 2025

With Ohio State signing a smaller class in 2024 along the defensive line and being able to keep majority of their current roster players, the staff is going to have to bring in a much larger 2025 class at the position. Sure, the transfer portal can be a help when numbers are an issue, but as you have seen with this staff before, they would rather bring in high school targets and develop them rather than just relaying on the portal to build the roster.

In the range of five to maybe even seven players at the position would be the goal, and with one four-star already in the mix, Ohio State is off to a strong start. Staying right in-state, the Buckeyes have long been fans of Cincinnati native Justin Hill, and rightfully so. A 6-foot-3, 220 pound athlete out of Winton Woods, Hill comes from a program Ohio State has been able to have success with thanks to guys such as Jermaine Mathews Jr. and Miyan Williams and they’re hoping to keep the pipeline alive and well in 2025 with the talented edge rusher.

The No. 138 player nationally, Hill is the 13th-best edge rusher in the class and the sixth best-player in Ohio per the 247Sports Composite. It seems as if the momentum for Hill to Ohio State is starting to gain some real traction as of late. Though the Crystal Ball predictions via 247Sports have yet to be submitted, On3 Sports Recruiting Machine has the Buckeyes running away with the likelihood of keeping Hill at home for his college career.

With over 20 offers to his name, Hill has programs such as Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, USC, and several others in the fold, and is making his way through the process. Though Ohio State certainly is sticking out, trips this month to Oregon being scheduled show there’s still work to do to make it happen for the Buckeyes.

Zahir Mathis is already committed as an edge rusher in this 2025 cycle, and Ohio State will do their best to make sure Hill ends up the same way. For now, the work continues on with the Buckeyes in a good spot.

Northmont product could be the next in line

In sticking with the in-state trend of defensive line targets, Ohio State very well could be on the verge of going after another very soon. As previously mentioned, this 2025 position group has to be increased from in year’s past, and having the ability to seriously look at Ohio native players certainly helps the staff. Not that it’s ever a guarantee, but in-state players tend to have dreams of playing for the Buckeyes more often than not, and in this case, the staff is likely to come calling soon.

On Wednesday, Northmont High School (Clayton, Ohio) product Cedric Works saw a major development in his recruitment when Georgia dished out his latest offer. A 6-foot-4, 220 pound athlete, Works is currently the No. 362 player nationally and 27th best edge rusher in the class per the 247Sports Composite. With the recent offer being his biggest to date, Works still has several others that have already pulled the trigger with the likes of Cincinnati, Kentucky, Pitt, Purdue, West Virginia and others in the mix. Ohio State has yet to offer, but that may soon change.

With a class that needs increased numbers and being an in-state player, there’s really not much more the staff needs to know. Certainly the Buckeyes are very aware of Works already, but with Georgia now paying attention it’s likely a matter of when and not if Cedric earns an offer from his in-state school. As it’s seen many times, a domino effect can occur once a heavy hitting program comes offering a under the radar prospect, but in this case being right in Ohio State’s back yard, odds are Works is next in line to hear from the Buckeyes.

Quick Hits

  • With all of the recruiting news lately in can get lost in the mix, but this weekend is sure to be a big one as the Buckeyes will play host to 2024 Ohio native, Dominic Kirks. Starting his official visit soon, Kirks has been a name to watch in the recent weeks, as the Washington commit from Painesville, Ohio didn’t sign his LOI on signing day.

The No. 251 player nationally and 33rd best defensive lineman in the class per the 247Sports Composite, Kirks has been a topic of interest lately because of the fact that he’s of course an Ohio product, but also a guy the staff could try and land late to help with defensive line numbers in a smaller 2024 haul.

This weekend will be one to pay close attention to, because if an offer is finally extended, it may just be a matter of time before Ohio State lands another addition to their 2024 class.