The Hurry-Up: Rundown of Ohio State’s Latest 2023 Offers Includes Top Georgia Defensive End, Running Back Hailing From Steele Chambers’ Alma Mater

By Zack Carpenter on February 22, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Caleb Downs

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Rash of new offers

Last week saw a rash of new offers from Ohio State get announced on social media, with six new players in the 2023 class saying that the Buckeyes have come calling.

Those players are:

  • Tight end Ty Lockwood out of Independence (Tennessee) High School. You can recap some of what Lockwood told us about his Ohio State offer here.
  • Strongside defensive end Lebbeus Overton out of Milton (Georgia) High School. Overton is the No. 1 overall player in the 2023 cycle, and the Buckeyes’ basketball team also offered him a scholarship, making him a rare dual-sport offer prospect.
  • Offensive tackle Luke Montgomery out of Findlay (Ohio) High School. Montgomery has stood out as a defensive end throughout his short career thus far, but the Buckeyes like him as an offensive tackle, possibly a guard depending on how he develops. Montgomery will be transitioning to the offensive side of the ball this offseason heading into a junior season in which it will be his first go-round of playing OT full-time. You can read all about Montgomery and his Ohio State offer from last Thursday’s Hurry-Up.

Here is a rundown of the other three players to be extended an Ohio State offer:

Stantavious Smith

“Very happy,” Stantavious Smith said matter of factly when we asked for his reaction to the offer. Nice and simple.

A 6-foot-2, 250-pounder out of Dougherty Comprehensive (Georgia) High School, Smith not only has one of the best names for a football player in this class. He’s also got a handful of impressive offers to his credit already, with Ohio State adding its name to a group that includes LSU, Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Notre Dame.

The Buckeyes have already gotten themselves in good standing with the 2023 standout, and Smith loves what he’s seen and heard.

“I’ve been talking to Coach (Ryan) Day for some months, and he’s been watching me grow. We always stay in contact, but (Thursday) was the day I called him and he offered,” Smith said. “Very good coaches, and while we build a relationship together I want to learn more about them.”

There have been no comparisons, Smith said, between his skill set and any of the current or former Buckeyes that they have coached. But Day did tell Smith that “he just likes how I play, and he sees something in me that compares to his defensive line. He loves the way I use my hands as a young player, and how I move. (With Ohio State), I love the way they use their hands, and that’s something I do very well. So that’s a step (in the right direction) for their program.”

Caleb Downs

Like the other two players listed here in Smith and Justice Haynes, Caleb Downs also hails from the Peach State.

The No. 14 overall player and No. 2 safety in the country, Downs is a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder whom 247Sports analyst Charles Power projects already to become a Power 5 starter-level of player:

Owns adequate stature at this stage entering his sophomore season and has room for continued growth. Comes from athletic bloodlines and was a well-known player on the youth scene in Atlanta entering high school. Made an instant impact on defense while playing in a high classification as a freshman. Smooth and fluid mover in both man and zone coverage. Shows the ability to stay attached downfield and can flip his hips while turning to stay in-phase. Already shows anticipatory skills by jumping passes. Has advanced ball skills for a young prospect as evidenced by his high interception rate. Looks to be a solid tackler for his age but could continue adding contact strength. Could also end up seeing time on offense in the future. Looks to be one of the better young prospects in Georgia entering the 2020 season.

Safety is one of the Buckeyes’ top remaining positional needs in the 2022 class, and it will be another major area of focus in the 2023 cycle. Downs has already asserted himself as one of the best at the position, and he now has the Buckeyes added to a group of offers that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Penn State.

Justice Haynes

The final player on this list has some strong ties to Ohio State.

Justice Haynes, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back, comes from the same Georgia high school (Blessed Trinity Catholic) as current Buckeyes running back Steele Chambers. 

While Chambers fell into the No. 231 overall ranking and No. 11 athlete in the 2019 class (he was originally recruited as a linebacker by Ohio State), Haynes comes in ranked much higher at No. 45 overall, No. 4 at running back and No. 5 in the state of Georgia.

Haynes, also a standout baseball player whose left-handed fastball can reach about 86 miles per hour according to his 247Sports profile, also holds offers from Florida, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon and Penn State.

Header photo: Caleb Downs – Andrew Ivins/247Sports

View 3 Comments