It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the class of 2024, right?
Ohio State hasn’t yet extended many offers to high school players that will be entering their sophomore year, but Edwin Spillman from Lipscomb Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) is one of eight 2024 prospects who have received one. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker attended a one-day camp at Ohio State on June 22 and impressed linebackers coach Al Washington enough that he was given an offer shortly after.
“Ohio State has always been on my radar,” Spillman told Eleven Warriors. “It was definitely really exciting that I got the offer and that coach Washington saw the potential and believed in me and stuff like that.”
While at the camp, Washington put Spillman in a private workout with three other linebackers: Carson Tabaracci, Jaiden Ausberry and Ta’Mere Robinson, all of whom also received offers from the Buckeyes afterward. Spillman was the youngest of the bunch, with Tabaracci representing the class of 2022, while Ausberry and Robinson are class of 2023 prospects.
“They told me a lot of stuff to work on. One of the biggest things (Al Washington) told me to work on was being more flexible,” Spillman said. “One of my other coaches from Lipscomb told me to start stretching more because that’s what coach Washington told them, at least I’m guessing. There were also different techniques he shared that I could use while guarding somebody like a back or a tight end.”
Spillman’s life has been anything but conventional. He was born in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. After spending the first seven years of his life in an orphanage, Spillman was adopted and moved to the United States.
“It was pretty crazy, hectic and stuff like that,” Spillman said of his early life. “Other than that, it was pretty chill. I remember being in the orphanage and hanging out with some of my friends that I still talk to and stuff.”
Shortly after his move to America, Spillman and his three brothers found themselves watching Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks games. He was hooked.
“I remember me and my brothers loved the sport after that,” Spillman said. “We just asked our parents after that if we could play. We just really got into it.”
Even though he's only a sophomore, Spillman has already picked up offers from the likes of OSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Boston College and Eastern Kentucky. He’s also visited powerhouses Clemson and Alabama. As his recruiting stock rises, Spillman knows football may one day provide a path to helping his family, including those still in Africa, who he still communicates with regularly.
“I’m just trying to help my family back home in Africa,” Spillman said, citing them as his inspiration for playing football. “They don’t really have much back there. I’m just trying to help my family that’s here in America, too. I’m trying to survive and be a good man and a good person.”
Heading into his sophomore year at Lipscomb Academy, Spillman said he plans to apply the coverage techniques he received from Washington on the field. If that school sounds familiar, that might be because former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer is the head coach.
“I really love coach Dilfer,” Spillman said. “He’s a good coach and he’s really going to push people and stuff like that. I really like that part about him.”
Spillman said he will return to Columbus on July 29 for an unofficial visit to attend a cookout.
“I was only there (in June) for a day, but after seeing everything I was really confident and I liked the place and the facilities and everything like that,” Spillman said.
Considering it’s early in his recruiting process, there is no school that’s considered a favorite right now, Spillman said. The linebacker says he will consider “anybody that reaches out to me and keeps a connection with me.”
Could Beasley become 2024 target?
Spillman may not be the only Lipscomb Academy player the Buckeyes set their sights on for 2024. His teammate, 5-foot-11, 174-pound defensive back Kaleb Beasley also camped with Spillman on June 22. Though Ohio State has not yet made an offer to Beasley, he has received offers from the likes of Michigan, Florida, Kentucky, NC State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky. At the rate he’s going, he’s on his way to becoming one of the nation’s top cornerback prospects in 2024.
Spillman told Eleven Warriors he has had discussions of teaming up with Beasley one day and that his teammate enjoyed his trip to campus in June.
“He really liked it too,” said Spillman, who has known Beasley since about the fourth grade. “He was really excited and everything like that since we got to go against the guys that are older than us and have more offers and stuff like that.”
Beasley has worked out with other Buckeye targets, including 2023 five-star cornerback AJ Harris.
Was working out with @Aj_harris04 a couple weeks ago at Georgia and bro is DIFFERENT !!— Kaleb beasley (@kalebbeasley) July 8, 2021
Lee announcing Top 10 Friday
Another 2023 Ohio State cornerback target, Kayin Lee, will narrow his list of schools down to 10 on Friday.
Top 10 schools coming Friday !— Kayin Lee (@_kayinlee) July 13, 2021
A rising junior at Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Georgia), the 6-foot, 160-pound Lee is the No. 87 overall prospect and the ninth-best cornerback in the nation, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Lee earned an offer from the Buckeyes after camping at Ohio State on June 2, when he shut down most of his opponents in coverage and ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash. He made that June trip with high school teammate Christen Miller, a four-star defensive lineman in the class of 2022.