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Caleb Downs officially enters the transfer portal, Buckeyes offer 2025 offensive tackle

Ohio State is going to shoot their best shot at the former Alabama a second time around.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The more hands-on approach Ohio State has shown in the transfer portal has been a welcomed change for Buckeye fans who were hoping the program would take a more aggressive stance this offseason.

Landing four new players so far, the staff has shown they’re willing to do what it takes to bring in highly coveted targets, and the end doesn’t seem to be near. Knowing the need to add on the offensive line and some other areas, Ryan Day seems to have things working in his favor in terms of NIL money and beyond. Even with all the additions in just the past few weeks, there’s long been one player specifically this fanbase seems to want more than anything else — and rightfully so.

Freshman All-American Caleb Downs proved why he was one of the most elite players in the 2023 class with his play at Alabama this past season, and though Ohio State was basically the runner-up in his recruitment during high school, the Buckeyes are looking at another crack at him.

The announcement everyone was waiting for with Saban’s retirement, on Wednesday it was reported that Downs was looking to enter the portal, and by Wednesday night he topped the charts as the No. 1 player in the portal looking for a new home.

Ohio State will look to be in the mix here, as they were for the long haul just over a year ago before eventually losing out to Alabama. After seeing the rumblings the past two weeks on Twitter, it’s now come to fruition that the Buckeyes at least have a shot.

The issue right away is of course other suitors, and mainly Georgia. The Bulldogs were able to poach Travaris Robinson from the Alabama staff, and the connection to Downs is a major aspect. Right away, it’s the Buckeyes and Georgia that seem to be the two schools that have the best chance at landing the safety.

It’s important to note that Downs could very well decide to stay at Alabama, but the desire from Ohio State fans to see him in the portal is now here. Talk is going to be everywhere and it’s going to be tough to win this recruitment considering how others also view him. With all of the talk of him being a lock to Georgia because of his position coach or not, the Buckeyes will shoot their absolute best shot.

Surely the NIL factor will play a big role, but Ohio State has ponied up lately, which should make you feel a bit better. Add that to their clear path to come into a very talented defense with a ton of returning starters, and you see why the Buckeyes have a legitimate chance to land Downs.

The staff has a plan, and with Tim Walton likely leading the charge alongside new safeties coach Matt Guerrieri, the fight is on. Interestingly enough, a decision could come sooner rather than later.

Buckeyes offer 2025 Texas native offensive tackle

With all of the transfer portal talk, the high school recruiting news sometimes takes a back seat, but Ohio State is putting in the work on the trail right now for the 2025 class. Already off to a great start, the Buckeyes are expecting to have a larger haul in this next cycle, and with coaches all over the country these past couple of days, the effort is there. It’s been all positive vibes surrounding recruiting for the Buckeyes, and with the staff coming home for a larger recruiting weekend, more good news could be coming.

Having the staff on the road has allowed the Buckeyes to see new names, and yesterday the latest offer was sent out to a Texas native offensive tackle with an impressive resume. Taking to his Twitter to share the latest news, 6-foot-6, 305-pound athlete Lamont Rogers is the latest offensive lineman to receive an Ohio State offer.

A four-star, Rogers is the No. 51 player nationally and the seventh best offensive tackle in the 2025 class per the 247Sports Composite. With nearly 30 offers to his name and from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Oklahoma, LSU, Tennessee, and several others, it’s easy to see why he’s as highly regarded as he currently is.

The Buckeyes are taking every step to really bolster up the trenches, and knowing this class will need to be larger than normal in terms of players at the position, the staff is leaving no stone unturned.

New position coach wasting no time getting to work

The Buckeyes made a major addition to the defensive coaching staff by bringing back Matt Guerrieri earlier this month. A guy that understands Jim Knowles and his scheme, the goal here is to improve the safety position group both on and off the field, especially when it comes to recruiting. Getting right to it, Guerrieri is already on the road and wasting no time at all by getting in front of the two top-ranked players the position has to offer in the 2025 class.

Heading to the DMV, both Faheem Delane and Kainoa Winston were on the receiving end of visits from Guerrieri, and with the Buckeyes in a great spot for Delane, being able to finally land that coveted top national safety could finally come to pass in 2025.

The work isn’t done by any means, but Ohio State does seem to be the frontrunner right now for Delane who is the No. 25 player nationally and top safety in the country per the 247Sports Composite. Another visit from the Buckeyes and from the new position coach is a must to continue the positive trends.

In regard to Winston, the Buckeyes have offered but will have to ramp up the efforts here to feel better about where they stand, at least right now. Penn State is certainly a player for Kainoa, who is ranked the No. 27 player nationally and second-best safety per 247Sports. Either way, the new safety coach is getting to work, and doing so with two of the very best the class has to offer is a great way to start.

Quick Hits

  • Seemingly every time the feed sees a refresh there’s more fallout from Nick Saban’s retirement. Obviously the aforementioned Downs portal development is the biggest one to date, but Wednesday also saw elite offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor also enter the portal.

The Iowa native is no stranger to Ohio State. as the Buckeyes offered Proctor out of high school, but showing little interest, it was a battle between Iowa and Alabama with the Tide winning out. Right away, the Hawkeyes are a thought to be leader to land him this time around, but as it’s been made very clear Ohio State is going to make a run at him.

A starter for Alabama this past season, Proctor would bring an incredible bout of talent to a unit that is really one of the last areas the Buckeyes need to address. Having one Alabama transfer already doesn’t hurt.

  • Tight ends coach Keenan Bailey was in Oklahoma on Wednesday to once again check in with top target Nate Roberts.

Arguably the top player at the position on Ohio State’s board, Roberts and the Buckeyes are in a great spot with Ohio State pulling away on the 247Sports Crystal Ball feature. Thanks to Bailey and his relationship with Roberts, this recruitment is looking like it will end in a BOOM from the No. 106 player nationally and fourth-ranked tight end in the class per the 247Sports Composite.