It's been an action packed month since the calendar flipped to September. The Buckeyes have kicked the 2025 class off with some huge moves, securing a commitment from 5-star, must-get Khalif Hocker, along with a slew of other 4-star guys. That's honestly been the biggest surprise to me this young recruiting season. I didn't think that is something that would happen, and yet here we are.
Hocker is an absolute monster in HS, without really any peer when it comes to OH. Sure, there are other tremendous players, and better teams, but Hocker solves a variety of offensive issues for the Buckeyes in recent years. He is a monstrous goalscorer, and dodges extremely well. That's two traits Ohio State has been light on since 2017.
Paired up with Hocker is a real off-ball menace in Finley Watson. Watson currently plays like the mutant off-spring of Tre Leclaire and Jackson Reid. Watson is a bull, but he scores in bunches by winning in close. He has a good shot, but his lack of dazzling speed is made up for by his placement. Needless to say, I like where this class is headed.
In terms of the fall, things are getting interesting. First, Inside Lacrosse dropped its top 30 impact transfers for 2024. There are 2 Buckeyes listed, Thomas Greenblatt and Tommy Burke. I am going to be honest. There are at least two other transfers who are probably top 15 that were left off this trash list. Eli Fisher is probably the best player the Buckeyes landed at SSDM/transition threat. And Jack McKenna is 6'6", 240 pounds, with 36 goals scored last season for FAIRFIELD.
Oh, by the way, the ASUN middie of the year is playing in Columbus next season at attack. I just don't understand some of the choices made. I know it's because of the level of competition, but you have to balance that with the lack of other pieces around them. Just abysmal from IL.
Finally, fallball is kicking off. The Buckeyes will play 3 different intrasquad scrimmages, with 3 games against DI teams sprinkled in. The American Boy Fallbrawl takes place October 8th, against Marquette and Robert Morris. On the 15th, the Michael Breschi Foundation Game takes place again in Chapel Hill after last year's hiatus. I don't love the competition, but hopefully we will see the cohesion increase on both sides of the ball.
Buckeyes end with their scrimmage on October 20th in Columbus.
The big news, roster wise, is that Alex Marinier might finally, FINALLY, have switched to offense. Marinier was a key cog in Burlington Lacrosse's huge Minto Cup this win up in Canada. Marinier scored 87 goals in 39 games for Burlington as they won the Minto, and was second-leading scorer in the Cup run itself with 11 goals and 7 assists. As a lefty, Marinier could step in at left-handed attack with those numbers and score 40 goals. Ohio State is at its best with a lefty scorer to stretch the field, and Marinier has the chops to do it.
Listed as a middie, Marinier could either be offense full time or in a Trent DiCicco SSDM/EMO role. We will see. But it's nice to find out the staff might want to take a no-impact defender with serious scoring pedigree and finally see what he can do in the opponent's half.
All in all, I feel myself ready to be hurt again as the Buckeyes gear up for 2024. There are a TON of new faces, but there's also some returning players who were hurt all of 2023 that could be primed for big impacts. With so many unknowns, this team is exciting because of the mystery surrounding it.