When 2023 four-star offensive lineman Joshua Padilla attended Ohio State’s spring game in April, he was impressed by the atmosphere.
The Wayne High School product can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when he attends his first Ohio State game on Sept. 11 against Oregon.
“I’m really excited, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of the biggest games of the year,” Padilla told Eleven Warriors Thursday night. “It’s going to be great getting out there. The spring game was my first time getting out there and seeing everything. It was super loud then, and there were like 20,000 fans. I can’t imagine what it’s like with 100,000 fans.”
Padilla has frequented Columbus quite often in recent months. In addition to attending the spring game, the in-state product attended an OSU camp in early June, then came back in late July for the Buckeye Bash & BBQ.
“It was nice to meet a lot of recruits and talk to them about Ohio State and see what their viewpoint is,” Padilla said of the BBQ.
Padilla said he talked with Ohio State assistant coaches Kevin Wilson and Greg Studrawa at least once a week throughout the summer, but has preferred to keep his focus on the field recently with his high school season starting. He said he’ll resume his contact with coaches after Sept. 1.
While he was an Ohio resident, Padilla didn’t necessarily grow up an Ohio State fan. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound interior offensive lineman said he just loved watching as much college football as he could. However, he looked up to former Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price, who now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Seeing what he did, it's crazy,” Padilla said. “I remember when I was younger and watching him kill people from his size.”
In addition to the OSU game, Padilla plans to take gameday visits to Penn State, Notre Dame, Indiana and potentially another unnamed school. As of right now, OSU is in good standing with Padilla, who's ranked as the 194th overall prospect and 10th-best interior offensive lineman in the 2023 class.
“They’re definitely one of my top schools right now,” the junior said of Ohio State.
Padilla said he plans on making his commitment after he takes his official visits, but could bump the date up if he finds the right fit earlier.
Abor releases top five
In the past 24 hours, Ohio State has made two top fives of five-star defensive ends in the recruiting class of 2022.
Late Thursday night, Shemar Stewart announced his top five in spectacular fashion by launching his own website. Stewart, the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2022 class, included Ohio State on a top five that also includes Texas A&M, Miami, Georgia and Clemson.
Omari Abor, another key defensive end target for the 2022 class, announced his top five Friday afternoon, although his announcement came the old fashioned way: just an edit on Twitter without a website or personal logo. He narrowed his finalists down to Ohio State, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Alabama. Two Crystal Ball projections from 247Sports had projected Abor to end up at Oklahoma, but the Sooners have fallen off the list entirely.
Abor is rated as the No. 18 overall prospect in the 2022 class. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound prospect from Texas took an official visit to Ohio State on June 4 and has said he’d like to take another visit to Columbus this fall. Abor has attributed his interest in playing for the Buckeyes to OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
No defensive lineman has committed to OSU in the current cycle. Top defensive line targets for Ohio State in the 2022 class besides Stewart and Abor include Enai White, Kenyatta Jackson, Marvin Jones Jr., Caden Curry, Hero Kanu, Chris McClellan and Christen Miller.
Young has big performance
Richard Young showed why he’s the top-rated running back in the class of 2023 on Thursday night in Lehigh Senior High School’s (Lehigh Acres, Florida) 28-22 victory Thursday night over North Fort Myers.
The Ohio State target had 21 carries for 282 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, including 205 yards in the first half alone.
Tate, others to play in Ohio
When he arrived in Ohio on Friday afternoon, top 2023 wide receiver target Carnell Tate sent out a little tease to his Twitter followers.
HOME??— Carnell Tate (@carnelltate_) August 27, 2021
Tate and numerous other Ohio State targets will play a nationally televised game on Sunday afternoon when IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) takes on Columbus’ Bishop Sycamore at 1:30 p.m. at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. The game will be televised on ESPN, and Eleven Warriors will be in attendance to document the action.
IMG Academy players who have offers from Ohio State and remain uncommitted include Tate, Dominick James (defensive tackle in 2022 class), Joenel Aguero (safety, 2023), Malik Bryant (defensive end/linebacker, 2023), James Smith (defensive line, 2023) and Stacy Gage (running back, 2024).
Tate, who's ranked as the 58th-best player and ninth-best receiver in the 2023 class, plans to commit on Oct. 8. Notre Dame and Ohio State are the frontrunners in his recruitment.