Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
This week’s topic: Predicting the next player to commit to Ohio State
The Ohio State football program, and more specifically Tim Walton, scored yet another major recruiting victory (this past) Sunday with the verbal commitment of 2025 cornerback Na’eem Offord. The top-ranked player at his position and sixth-ranked player nationally, Offord joins No. 2 CB Devin Sanchez and No. 10 CB Blake Woodby in forming a dynamic trio of future Buckeye corners, provided all remain committed for the long haul. OSU is also in the running to land No. 4 CB Dorian Brew, an Ohio native who currently resides in Texas.
Landing Brew would be a giant cherry on top of a tasty CB sundae... Wow, I hope I didn’t just make that extremely weird. But even if he chooses to commit and sign elsewhere, Walton and Ohio State have already positioned themselves accomplish something that has only been done once before — by OSU ironically — which is to sign the top two CBs (in a given class) in the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Buckeyes previously did so in 2017, and those signings turned out rather well.
With the recent additions of Offord, Sanchez, Zahir Mathis (Edge), and Carter Lowe (OT), Ohio State has risen to No. 4 in the 2025 recruiting rankings. And this is before Brian Hartline has even begun to stretch! Let alone taken the court and produced the recruiting equivalent of a 20/20/20 triple-double, which he tends to do with regularity.
But it’s not just Hartline waiting to pounce. The entire offensive side of the ball is bit light in terms of 2025 recruits. Fortunately, it is February of 2024! So no worries whatsoever. The backs, receivers, and hopefully offensive linemen will come.
Because OSU’s 2025 class is shaping up to be a special one, Gene and I decided to write about it for today’s edition of You’re Nuts. This January/early February run of commits has us thinking that perhaps there is another BOOM or two on the way, sooner rather than later. So we are taking a stab at who might commit next — and when, if my partner is feeling froggy.
Admittedly, I am not the world’s foremost recruiting expert. So I am going to follow the balls... The Crystal Balls.
On Dec. 16, 2023, Ohio State insider Bill Kurelic placed a Crystal Ball prediction for class of ’25 tight end Nate Roberts to end up with the Buckeyes. Exactly one month later, 247’s Steve Wiltfong did the same. These were predictions two and three pertaining to Roberts, following Tom Loy’s on Nov. 15, 2023... Noticing a trend here?
Sometime in the middle of the month, for three months running, a prominent recruiting expert has given a Crystal Ball prediction for Roberts. And for that reason, I am going to follow suit. I predict that the talented TE from Oklahoma will commit to OSU on either Feb. 15 or Feb. 16, completing a four-month run of incredible consistency. Seriously, as someone with OCD, I greatly appreciate the commitment to mid-month predictions.
Ohio State’s staff visited Roberts less than a week ago, with the offensive heavy hitters present. Ryan Day, Hartline and Keegan Bailey all traveled to the Sooner State to see Roberts, leading me to believe that it is just a matter of time before the latter gives his verbal commitment. And yes, I’m choosing to ignore the fact that a dozen other schools stopped to see Roberts around the same time... Ignorance is bliss.
So there ya have it, Gene. My best prediction. I wish I could see the future, but I can’t. However, I am willing to go out on a limb and say that if Roberts does indeed commit to the Buckeyes, he will be joining a hell of a 2025 class.
I will not be so bold as to try and predict when the next player will commit to Ohio State, as I think it already bold enough to attempt to guess the players themselves.
There is perhaps no greater fools errand than to try and get inside the mind of a high school football player and figure out where they would like to play their college ball. Especially in today’s era of college football recruiting, there are just too many variables to take into account. Certain guys place different weight on varying aspects of choosing their destination, whether it be location, program prestige, NIL or any number of factors, wagering a guess on where someone is going to commit without any inside knowledge of the topic is nearly impossible.
So, naturally, that is exactly what we are going to do today!
I like my partner’s prediction of Nate Roberts, as it does seem incredibly likely he ends up in Ohio State’s 2025 class sooner or later. Roberts is one of four total players in the cycle with Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Buckeyes that remain uncommitted, including the aforementioned Brew alongside a pair of in-state prospects in running back Bo Jackson and defensive lineman Brandon Caesar. However, for my prediction, I’m going to go a little more outside the box.
With the incredible success Ohio State has had recruiting defensive backs in this class, I think that run of excellence is going to continue — this time at the safety position. As such, I think the Buckeyes’ next commitment in the 2025 class will be five-star Maryland native Faheem Delane.
Delane, despite being a safety, has Tim Walton listed as his primary recruiter on 247Sports, along with assistant defensive backs coach Gerren DuHart, who was also heavily involved in the recruitments of both Sanchez and Offord. With the run the coaching duo have been on lately, it is no surprise that Delane included Ohio State among his top five schools back in December, with the Buckeyes in the mix alongside Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Of course, this was before Nick Saban’s retirement, so it will be interesting to see if the Tide are still a player here.
Walton is on the recruiting trail equivalent right now of taking heat check three-pointers from 40-feet out and swishing them, so between himself, DuHart and of course newly named safeties coach Matt Guerreri, there is reason to believe Ohio State can swing the nation’s No. 1 safety and No. 25 player nationally. Delane has reportedly already made five unofficial visits to Columbus to this point, so the interest is clearly mutual. While there is no timetable for a decision and the Crystal Balls aren’t quite rolling in just yet, I really like the Buckeyes’ chances here.
If Ohio State is able to land Delane, it would set the program up for potentially the greatest defensive back class in the modern recruiting era. With the No. 1 and No. 2 CB in the fold in Sanchez and Offord, adding Delane would give them the No. 1 safety in addition to still being among the favorites for both Brew and Trey McNutt, the No. 2 safety in 2025 and an Ohio native.
(EDITORS NOTE: After this was written, Delane picked up a Crystal Ball in favor of Ohio State from Steve Wiltfong)