Stacy Gage had been waiting for the offer to come.
So when Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford officially extended an offer to the 2024 running back ranked as the No. 41 overall player in his class by 247Sports’ composite rankings, a big weight was lifted off his shoulders.
“It means a lot,” Gage told Eleven Warriors in late August. “(Getting it) from a big school, one of my favorite running backs came from there in Ezekiel Elliott, I just can’t believe it. I love that school … It’s one of the schools I wanted, and I’m just thankful I have it.”
Gage is the lone running back Ohio State has offered thus far in the 2024 class. In his sophomore season, he’s serving as prep powerhouse IMG Academy’s (Bradenton, Florida) No. 2 running back behind Penn State commit Kaytron Allen. In IMG Academy’s most recent contest, a 58-7 drubbing of La Salle, Gage ran for 65 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown run. He’s already accumulated 27 offers from Division I programs.
“I’m really just taking all offers in right now,” Gage said. “I’m not turning any schools away, I haven’t dropped any top schools. But I’m looking forward to committing before my senior year, so right now I’m taking all schools in right now.”
Gage said he talks to Alford “every week,” and has built a strong relationship with the OSU assistant coach.
“My relationship with coach Alford is like son to pops,” Gage said. “He talks with my people a lot, and the relationship we’re building right now is great.”
Gage is coached at IMG Academy by former Buckeye standout linebacker Pepper Johnson. He said Johnson doesn’t bring up Ohio State much, but when he does, he speaks highly of his alma mater.
“One thing he does say, if you want to win, go to Ohio State,” Gage said. “If you want to get ready for the next level, go to Ohio State … I know if I do go to that school, it’s going to be a good fit for me.”
Other schools standing out to Gage include Florida, Florida State, Miami, USC and Oregon. While Gage says he feels like “he has” to visit OSU for a game this fall, he does not have a visit currently scheduled.
Proctor announces top 12
Ohio State’s top priority offensive lineman target for the class of 2023 has narrowed down his school list. Kadyn Proctor, a five-star offensive tackle from Des Moines, Iowa, announced a top 12 of Ohio State, Iowa, Florida, Iowa State, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, Texas A&M, Clemson and Oklahoma.
Proctor is ranked as the fifth-best player in the nation and the best offensive tackle in the 2023 class. He and OSU 2022 safety target Xavier Nwankpa are teammates at Southeast Polk. Both players are expected to attend the Iowa vs. Iowa State game this weekend.
Im bringing lil bro w me btw yall https://t.co/2RFiB6uFO5— Xavier X Nwankpa (@xaviernwankpa01) September 8, 2021
Nwankpa hopes to attend OSU’s game against Penn State on Oct. 30, while Proctor also hopes to attend a Buckeyes game this fall, though a date has yet to be determined. Proctor visited Columbus in mid-June.
Brooks picks up OSU offer
OSU is dipping its toe back into Texas.
Buckeyes defensive backs coach Matt Barnes extended an offer to two-way 2023 athlete Dalton Brooks on Wednesday. Brooks, who plays wide receiver and defensive back for Shiner High School (Shiner, Texas), was offered by Ohio State as a safety.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Brooks is a four-star prospect rated as the 48th-best player in the 2023 cycle. He led Shiner to a 14-0 record and a state championship last season. To this point, he has picked up 18 Division I offers, including Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama. Brooks’ cousin, Jonathon Brooks, is a running back at Texas.