Where Ohio State Stands with Five of Its Top Targets in the 2023 Recruiting Class

By Garrick Hodge on November 10, 2021 at 10:31 am
Luke Montgomery
Luke Montgomery

Ohio State’s class of 2023 was stuck on a single member for nearly three months.

Then, in-state four-star offensive lineman Joshua Padilla joined the party by announcing his commitment to Ohio State last week, joining four-star tight end Ty Lockwood as members of the Buckeyes’ 2023 cycle.

Once the dust settled, the next question naturally became, where does OSU go from here?

The top priority targets for the Buckeyes’ 2023 class are already well-established. But some of them may be approaching decisions before the year flips to 2022. So with that, here’s a quick look on where things stand with five of OSU’s priority 2023 targets.

Luke Montgomery

The 2023 offensive line target has visited Ohio State numerous times this fall, including for the home opener against Oregon and the primetime game against Penn State on Oct. 30. Montgomery will be taking visits through Nov. 27, so a decision certainly isn’t imminent, but the 6-foot-5, 260-pound lineman has said he’d like to be committed before the start of his senior year. There’s also the feeling Montgomery would like to be done with his recruitment sooner rather than later if possible.

While on his visit, Montgomery was being recruited to the Buckeyes heavily by 2022 linebacker commit Gabe Powers. Powers and Montgomery could play each other in the Ohio high school regional semifinals next week if both of their teams can get a win this week. It’s long been thought OSU is the heavy favorite for Montgomery, and there’s no reason to change that thinking. What could make things interesting is if Montgomery decides he really wants to play defensive line instead of offensive line in college, and no one is recruiting him heavier at defensive line than Notre Dame at the moment. 

Carnell Tate

Tate originally planned to make his commitment on Oct. 8, but decided he needed to take a few more visits before deciding. Apparently, two of those visits will be Ohio State. Tate already attended the Penn State game in October, and plans to be in attendance in Columbus when the Buckeyes play Michigan State on Nov. 20.

This has long been thought to be a recruiting slugfest between Notre Dame and Ohio State, and that still seems to be the case. If he had stuck to his original commitment date, there’s a good chance he’d be committed to the Buckeyes already. Alas, OSU is probably the slight favorite right now, though still by a thin margin.

Sonny Styles

Speaking of a Notre Dame and Ohio State battle, hello, Sonny Styles. He is probably the biggest priority for Ryan Day to land in the entire 2023 class, and the Buckeyes seemingly remain in good shape. Styles has visited OSU twice this season, once during the Oregon game and another during the Penn State game.

He’s also been to multiple Notre Dame games, which of course it doesn’t hurt that his older brother currently plays for the Irish. Like Montgomery, Styles would like to be done with his recruiting before the start of his senior year. This recruiting battle is too close to call right now, but you can’t escape the feeling that OSU wins out in the end.

Richard Young

Imagine going from TreVeyon Henderson to Richard Young. What a five-year stretch that could be for Ohio State’s running back corps. That seemingly isn’t a far-fetched dream. Young, the top-rated running back in the 2021 class according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, has had Ohio State at the top of his list for a while, recently visiting on Oct. 30. He’s even worn OSU gear while playing in his high school season. Though no specific timetable for his recruitment has been announced, it feels like the Buckeyes are pulling away from everyone else here. 

AJ Harris

The five-star cornerback has long wanted to put his recruitment to bed. Harris told Eleven Warriors in July he might make a commitment by the end of the month, but he and his parents decided it would be wiser to wait until after the end of his junior season. Now, he has two potential commitment dates in mind: Dec. 13, his mother’s birthday, or Jan. 11, his own birthday. As of now, he’s leaning toward the former rather than the latter, so it may only be a month before we learn where Harris will go.

Harris visited Ohio State on Oct. 9 for the Maryland game and was by C.J. Hicks’ side for a good portion of the visit. There were rumblings he wanted to return for an Oct. 30 visit, but he decided to honor his commitment to visit Clemson instead. Finding a favorite in his recruitment is hard to pinpoint at the moment for the Alabama resident, but the thinking here is the Buckeyes have a better shot of landing the five-star talent than they did two months ago.

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