In Tim Walton’s first year at Ohio State, the on-field play was subpar and the recruiting left room for improvement. To no fault of his own, Walton walked into a position group that could use a jolt of momentum.
This past season however, the cornerback play was exponentially better and the recruiting wins also followed. Signing three big-time players in the 2024 class, Walton is already off to a great start in 2025 as well, showing why he was such a valuable add to this staff. Landing the commitment of five-star Devin Sanchez this early on, the momentum looks to just be getting started as Thursday shed some light on more potential great news.
While it’s not everything, the 247Sports Crystal Ball still tells a lot about a particular recruitment, and when it comes from the Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, it means that much more. On Thursday, Steve Wiltfong gave the Buckeyes the nod in regard to another five-star cornerback, Na’eem Offord, and that sent social media into a whirlwind of excitement for Buckeye fans.
A Crystal Ball has been placed for 5⭐️ CB Na'eem Offord to commit to Ohio State, via @SWiltfong247— 247Sports (@247Sports) February 1, 2024
The Parker (AL.) standout is the Class of 2025's No. 1 player in Alabama.
STORY: https://t.co/ZhPKbLgFCs pic.twitter.com/cfeizuhJId
An Alabama native, Offord is the No. 5 player nationally and the top corner in the country per the 247Sports Composite. Obviously a major win if the Buckeyes were to secure his pledge, this is the kind of recruiting that Ohio State is used to seeing on offense with receivers thanks to Brian Hartline. Now it’s Walton on the defensive side of the ball that is matching his same level of success.
The already committed Sanchez is the No. 2 corner in the country per the 247Sports Composite, and the top corner by 247Sports’ own grades. Being mixed and matched as one or two with Na’eem doesn’t really matter when you’re that highly ranked, but if the Buckeyes were able to land both in this 2025 class, that would be an unheard of class with just two guys committed.
Taking into consideration they also are in a great spot for another top-five ranked corner in Dorian Brew, and 2025 could be as epic as they come. Wanting at least three corners in this cycle, the Buckeyes have a real shot at landing three of the top five guys nationally.
While this news is worth getting excited over, maybe the best news is the timing. It comes just before Offord is making a return trip to Columbus. Scheduled to be at Ohio State this weekend, the staff will once again have another shot at cementing why they’re the best location for his college career. Being able to talk about what his class is capable of with the guys that will be surrounding him will surely be a topic of discussion, and while a commitment is not guaranteed this weekend, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities either.
Walton is absolutely crushing it on the recruiting trail right now, and this defense may have found itself another Hartline-esque caliber recruiter.
On the West Coast Thursday, both Tony Alford and James Laurinaitis made a stop at the prep power Mater Dei. A school that sends multiple players to the power five level seemingly every year, the Buckeyes and everyone else are always lurking for the talent available. In the 2025 class, it’s the same story as in years past, and the coaching staff is making sure they do their part once again.
Stopping in to see the No. 45 player nationally and the second best running back in the class per the 247Sports Composite, Jordon Davison has long been at the forefront of Alford’s mind for this class. A cycle that is sure to see at least two at the position taken, the Buckeyes making this stop to his school worked out well, as they were able to lock in a multiple day visit in the coming weeks with Davison.
Having already been to Columbus to see Ohio State this past year, getting Jordon back to campus is a big time win, but the pair of Alford and Laurinaitis weren’t yet done as they dished out an offer to fellow Mater Dei product, Abduall Sanders Jr., a 6-foot-2, 210 pound athlete with an already very impressive offer list that includes the likes of Alabama, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and plenty more.
The No. 426 player nationally and the 46th best at his position per the 247Sports Composite, Sanders Jr. may be a bit under the radar in terms of ranking, but his offer list proves the caliber of player top schools believe him to be. The latest offer in the 2025 class, the goal here would be to get both Davison and Sanders Jr. to campus to get the ball rolling. Until then, it’s nice to see Laurinaitis doing all he can on the recruiting trail, which is helping this staff immensely.
- The Ironton, Ohio football program shared that Hartline would be in to see their program on Friday. Likely making the trek to see in-state athlete Shaun Terry, the Buckeyes have yet to offer, but Terry has really seen his recruitment increase in the last month or two.
The No. 488 player nationally and the 68th best receiver per the 247Sports Composite, Terry has added offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, and others recently. Being an Ohio native, odds are the Buckeyes are looking at Ironton closely to see what their own backyard has to offer.
We look forward to welcoming @brianhartline and @OhioStateFB ️ to IRONTON tomorrow to recruit our Fighting Tigers!— Ironton Football (@FootballIronton) February 1, 2024
@ryandaytime @CoachTonyAlford @markpantoni @etwill21 @CoachJordan82 @CoachTimWalton @CoachKee @JLaurinaitis55 @CoachJimKnowles @PendletonTrevon pic.twitter.com/EYcekZhPsL
- Working in pairs it seems on Thursday, both Day and Frye made a stop in the DMV to see 2025 offensive lineman, Jayvon McFadden. The No. 410 player nationally and 24th best interior lineman in the class per the 247Sports Composite, any player the Buckeyes are making a stop to check in on is a top target.
Holding an offer from Ohio State already, the Buckeyes are in touch once more with this latest in-person visit, and that should bode well considering who made the trip to see him.