This off-season for Ohio State has gone about as well as it could have considering how poorly 2023 ended. With all of the additions that the Buckeyes were able to bring in via the transfer portal and as early enrollees, things are going incredibly well over at the Woody right now, with only a couple of areas still to be addressed — it wouldn’t be a real off-season without some sort of drama. Of course, Ryan Day still has to decide what to do with the coaching spot opened up by the firing of former special teams coordinator Parker Fleming, and we still aren’t sure if newly hired offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will leave to be the new head coach at Boston College or not.
Regardless of what happens with O’Brien, Ohio State looks to be heading in the right direction to reach its goals. Day seems to have a plan of action to bring all of the new pieces together, and spring football is quickly approaching. This new-look Buckeye squad gives plenty of reasons to be excited about what could be in 2024.
Buckeyes ink one of their very own
It was just a few short years ago that the February Signing Day was sort of a national holiday for recruiting. With the early signing period in December taking most of that luster away, yesterday made for a pretty easy day for Ohio State, but that’s a good thing for the program.
This meant that the coaching staff was able to essentially wrap up the class two months ago, but they did have one more prize yesterday as the Buckeyes inked the last member of their 2024 class. An in-state product, Dominic Kirks is a one-time Washington commit who saw the Buckeyes put on the full-court press near the end of his recruitment, and with the departure of Kalen DeBoer to become the new head coach at Alabama, OSU saw its efforts pay off. The No. 162 player nationally, Kirks is the 24th-best defensive lineman in the class and No. 8 player from Ohio per the 247Sports Composite grades and is a major addition at a position that needed another body brought in.
Talking about him during his Wednesday presser, Day raved about Kirks and what he brings to the program as the last member of the 2024 class. The fact that Kirks wanted to be a Buckeye was the theme of Day’s praise, but his words shed some light as to how hard Kirks worked to be part of this class in the end. Make no mistake about it, as an in-state signee, the Buckeyes know what they’re getting in his play. Plenty of programs were in on him for the long haul — including USC — and being able to win out in the end shows that Ohio State and Larry Johnson do still have the ability to close with high-value defensive linemen.
The fact that this was not the most eventful of signing days should be more a cause of celebration than concern. Credit Day and the rest of the staff for bringing in another big-time class and having nearly no drama — other than Jeremiah Smith in December — to contend with.
It’s always impressive to see who Ohio State is able to bring in on preferred walk-on statuses. Guys who many times turn down scholarship offers to be Buckeyes, Ohio State is sure to have another solid group of preferred walk-ons in 2024.
Making it official yesterday, the Buckeyes also received a signature from long-snapper Morrow Evans. The top-ranked player at his position per 247Sports, Morrow fills a need that doesn’t always receive the attention or praise that it should. A proven weapon at his spot, this surely helps Ohio State’s special teams unit for the next few years to come.