Kayden McDonald looked down at his phone to see an Ohio area code calling on Monday.
When the four-star, 6-foot-3, 325-pound 2023 defensive tackle answered the call, on the other line was Ohio State coach Ryan Day. Day began the conversation by telling the highly-touted Georgia resident how much the Buckeyes loved the film he’s shown in his high school career.
When the conversation concluded, Day passed the phone to defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Johnson asked to speak to McDonald’s mother. Without hesitation, Johnson told her he’d like to offer her son a scholarship to play football at Ohio State. It was an emotional moment for both of them, and a situation where McDonald felt an enormous amount of gratitude.
“It’s a blessing,” McDonald told Eleven Warriors Wednesday night. “I can’t describe the feeling. I’m still happy.”
A Suwanee, Georgia, resident, McDonald attends North Gwinnett High School, where he was teammates with Ohio State freshman cornerback Jordan Hancock. He first appeared on Johnson’s radar in March, and was encouraged to attend one of OSU’s recruiting camps during the summer, but McDonald’s schedule didn’t work out.
While he hasn’t yet visited Columbus, McDonald would like to visit a game this fall if possible. But he is well-versed in several attractions Ohio has to offer.
“I haven’t visited Ohio State yet, I’ve never even been to Ohio. I want to go to Cedar Point too,” McDonald said of the popular amusement park.
McDonald is ranked the 239th-best prospect nationally and the 35th-best defensive lineman, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has 11 Division I offers to this point, a list that includes Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Tennessee. Football is important to the McDonald family, as Kayden’s older brother, Jayden, is a linebacker at Troy. While OSU would like around four to five defensive linemen in the 2022 class, probably including two defensive tackles, it’s thought they’ll take at least two defensive tackles in 2023.
Dewberry, Carter picked for All-Star games
Priority 2022 offensive line target Kam Dewberry was selected as a 2022 Polynesian Bowl All-Star on Wednesday.
The Polynesian Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at Aloha Stadium on Oahu, Hawaii and will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Dewberry, a four-star offensive lineman, is rated as the 108th-best prospect nationally and the 11th-best tackle. Other OSU targets committed to play in that bowl include Zion Branch, Earnest Greene, Khurtiss Perry and Aamil Wagner, while OSU commit C.J. Hicks will also be in the game.
Meanwhile, one day after picking up an offer from OSU, four-star linebacker Lewis Carter earned an All-America Bowl invite for 2023.
Carter, a 6-foot, 200-pound athlete, is rated the 112th-best player and the 10th-best linebacker in the 2023 class. He played running back his freshman year of high school before making the switch to linebacker his sophomore year while also still playing both ways in short spurts. It’s likely OSU is more interested in Carter’s abilities on the defensive side of the ball.
As a sophomore, Carter led his team with 80 tackles, including eight for a loss. He also racked up 2.5 sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Gosnell close to choosing school
After decommitting from Ohio State on July 27, former OSU tight end commit Benji Gosnell is reportedly close to deciding on his new school, per 247Sports’ Brian Dohn. According to Dohn, Gosnell’s recruitment is coming down to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Bennett Christian is now the lone 2022 OSU commit at tight end, and probably will be the only one the Buckeyes take in the cycle. OSU has already locked down Ty Lockwood’s verbal for 2023, and could conceivably take another tight end in that class.