The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Coaches to Attend High School Games Friday, Payton Kirkland Unsure of Visit Status, Juniors Ready for Sept. 1

By Garrick Hodge on August 31, 2021 at 5:59 pm
Ryan Day

It’s obvious from listening to Ryan Day that the Ohio State coach is thankful that virtual-only recruiting is over.

After a dead period that lasted for about a year-and-a half, Ohio State saw plenty of official and unofficial visitors over the summer. That much is already well-established. But Day dropped an interesting nugget on his Tuesday afternoon radio appearance on 97.1 The Fan: OSU coaches plan on hitting the road on the recruiting trail Friday after the staff returns to Columbus following its game against Minnesota on Thursday night. 

“We’re excited to get out on the road again here soon and see some of the coaches in Ohio and across the country and hopefully do some home visits as well,” Day said. “It’s been a long time, it really has. I think we’re going to be able to get back out here on the road Friday and watch some high school games, so that’s exciting again. It feels like it’s been forever.” 

The start of September also marks the beginning of fall official visit season. With concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading throughout the country, Day said Monday he has not been told of any impending recruiting restrictions due to COVID-19, with the obvious exception that any in-person visitors will have to comply with Ohio State’s indoor mask mandate while on campus. In June, OSU hosted more than 50 official visits on campus without any distancing restrictions, something Day expects to continue. 

“(We’re) assuming right now where we’re at it’s going to be somewhat where it was into the spring where we did have June visits,” Day said. “We’re excited to have people back on campus to go see games. I’m guessing it will be very similar to the way it was back in June.” 

Kirkland unsure of visit status

A priority Ohio State offensive line target for 2023 is unsure if he’ll be able to keep his original Ohio State fall visit plan or if he’ll need to reschedule. Payton Kirkland, a four-star tackle from Orlando, Florida, originally planned on visiting OSU’s home opener against Oregon on Sept. 11, but acknowledged it may be difficult to make it to Columbus in time for a noon kickoff after playing a high school game on Friday night. On Tuesday, Kirkland told Eleven Warriors in a text message he’s still unsure if he’ll be able to make the game or not. 

Fellow 2023 out-of-state recruit AJ Harris experienced a similar challenge, and rescheduled his visit to Columbus for Oct. 9. 

Kirkland is rated as the 123rd-best prospect nationally and the ninth-best tackle in the 2023 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He could be in for a big junior season for Dr. Phillips High School after he spent his offseason molding his physique. 

2023 recruits anticipate Sept. 1 

Wednesday marks a big day on the recruiting calendar, because it will be the first time coaches across the country will be able to contact 2023 recruits directly and engage in recruiting-related conversations. 

These conversations can be initiated via phone calls, texts, emails, Zooms, social media, etc. The context of the conversations can range depending on the prospect, but there's no question that Ohio State's coaches will be reaching out to a multitude of players on Wednesday to start building closer relationships with them.

If Twitter is any indication, a plethora of 2023 prospects who the Buckeyes are recruiting are seemingly standing by waiting for their phone to ring at either precisely midnight or later Wednesday. 

View 9 Comments