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McNutt for Heisman 2.0? Guerrieri getting closer to top Ohio prospect who is also an OSU legacy

Buckeyes are also looking good for a 2026 in-state offensive lineman.

Mick Walker | 247Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

McNutt for Heisman... Again?

Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember the neither successful nor exactly legal Heisman campaign for Ohio State cornerback Richard McNutt in 2002. What started as a joke among some students who latched on to the fact that backup DB’s name had a strong connection to the school’s mascot turned into a bit of an issue when they were sent a cease and desist letter from New York’s Downtown Athletic Club, who sponsored the Heisman at the time.

Since then, McNutt has gone on to coach at Ohio State, Northern Illinois, and Youngstown State, for the Cleveland Browns, and is now the defensive backs coach at Tennessee State under fellow former Buckeye Eddie George.

But, perhaps most importantly for Buckeye fans, his son Trey McNutt is one of the best players in the country in the 2025 recruiting cycle. The No. 34 player nationally according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings, he is the No. 1 player in the state of Ohio and No. 2 safety in the class. While still sometimes classified as an athlete, the younger McNutt is undoubtedly a priority target for new safeties coach Matt Guerrieri.

Over the weekend, McNutt decided at the last minute to come down to Columbus from Shaker Heights for the unusual January Junior Day, and he’s glad he did.

“It was good, I had a good time seeing all the coaches,” he told Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic.

McNutt said that the Buckeyes are primarily pursuing him as a safety, but he could also play slot receiver or slot corner. Due to that positional focus, Guerrieri has been doing everything possible to build a relationship with the in-state OSU legacy.

“Coach Guerrieri reached out as soon as he got to Ohio State,” McNutt told Kurelic. “He stopped at my school. We’re already building a great relationship ... The coaches had great energy (Saturday) and they made it known I’m a priority for them.”

McNutt holds over 30 offers, including some from the biggest programs in the country — Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Penn State, USC, Texas A&M, and more. He will be visiting Miami this weekend, but plans to be back in Columbus soon.

He’s Already Talking Like a Buckeye

Another in-state prospect who attended last weekend’s recruiting event is 2026 offensive lineman Will Conroy. The sophomore at Cleveland St. Ignatius is not yet ranked by recruiting services, but he did pick up an offer from the Buckeyes on Saturday to go along with others from Florida, Miami, Kentucky, Oregon, and more.

On the same day that he received his offer, Kurelic entered a crystal ball prediction for Conroy to end up as a Buckeye, and on Tuesday, he told Eleven Warriors’ Garrick Hodge that receiving the offer was a dream come true.

“I was actually in my hotel room (Saturday night) like ‘Damn,’” Conroy told Eleven Warriors. “I’ve wanted this offer all my life and have wanted to play for the Scarlet and Gray. I have an opportunity to do that after the offer.”

While Conroy will still be doing his due diligence when it comes to other schools, having the opportunity to play for OSU means a great deal to him, having grown up in Ohio as a Buckeye fan.

“I’ve gotten a lot of other offers before, but this one was a little more special,” Conroy said. “Growing up in Ohio, every Ohio kid’s dream is to play in The Shoe and beat The Team Up North. Being here and them wanting me is truly something special.”

The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder already knows how to talk the talk of a Buckeye!