There's no secret of the importance of this weekend from a recruiting standpoint for Ohio State.
With the No. 3 Buckeyes slated to take on the No. 12 Ducks, Saturday’s home opener has long been the No. 1 game of choice prospective recruits wanted to see.
“I think recruits have been talking about coming to this game since they saw it on the schedule,” Ryan Day said Tuesday.
OSU announced this morning that there are still around 10,000 single-game tickets available for Saturday’s matchup, but the Buckeyes expect 90,000-plus fans to be in attendance, the first time the Buckeyes have had the potential for a capacity crowd in nearly two years. With 30-plus recruits scheduled to make the trek to Columbus Saturday, Ohio State has a big opportunity to creating a lasting impression with its gameday atmosphere.
“We’ll have a good number (of recruits) here,” Day said. “It’s great to have families be able to see the crowd and experience here on gameday, which we’re hoping it’s the best it’s been in a long, long time around here. It’s been over 600 days since we’ve had a full stadium here. What a big game, so I think the recruits and their families will be excited. Every time you visit campus is a unique one, and the first time back, I really hope that the crowd is excellent.”
While the types of trips OSU commits and targets will make range from official visits to unofficial visits, Day said the coaching staff’s focus will primarily be on getting to 2-0, so recruits may not get as much face-to-face interaction with them as they would during a visit in the summer or spring.
“This is all about winning this game right now,” Day said. “I assume (the recruits) understand that they’re not going to get as much attention as they typically would.”
A list of expected attendees
Seeing as this is such a big recruiting weekend, it's probably a good idea to take a look at some of the targets and commits expected to make the trip to Ohio Stadium.
We’ve put together a list of some of the expected visitors, including those confirmed by our own intel as well as those that have been reported by other outlets and, in some cases, have flat out been announced by the recruits themselves.
The list of expected attendees includes:
Class of 2023: Justice Haynes (RB), Anthony Brown (WR), Ty Lockwood (TE), Payton Kirkland (OL), Luke Montgomery (OL), Josh Padilla (OL), Trevor Lauck (OL), Matayo Uiagalelei (DL), Ta’Mere Robinson (LB), Adrian Norton (WR), RJ Jones (DB), Ty Lee (DB), Jshawn Frausto-Ramos (DB), Caleb Downs (DB), Ethan Nation (DB), Sonny Styles (DB/LB)
2023 offensive tackle Payton Kirkland recently told Eleven Warriors he’s hoping to make it for the Oregon game but is unsure whether he will be able to do so.
Brown commits to Gophers
An Ohio State wide receiver target for 2023, and one of the above expected visitors for the Oregon game, has committed to play for Minnesota.
Anthony Brown, an Ohio product from Springfield, announced his commitment to Minnesota over the weekend.
Brown is a four-star recruit ranked as the 41st-best receiver in the country. He never picked up an offer from Ohio State, but did visit Columbus for the Buckeye Bash and BBQ on July 29. He committed to Minnesota after attending the Gophers’ season-opening 45-31 loss to Ohio State on Thursday. His older brother, Mike Brown-Stephens, is also a wide receiver for the Gophers.
For its 2023 wide receiver class, Ohio State is in hot pursuit of Carnell Tate, who is expected to announce a commitment on Oct. 8. It’s possible Ohio State may only take two wide receivers in the 2023 class. Other OSU targets at wideout with an offer from the Buckeyes who have not yet committed include Johntay Cook II, Braylon James, Jalen Hale and Zachariah Branch, the brother of OSU 2022 safety target Zion Branch.