The Hurry-Up: Reaction to Sonny Styles’ Commitment, Five Commits Advance in Ohio High School Playoffs and Malik Muhammad Puts Ohio State in Top 12

By Garrick Hodge on November 15, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Sonny Styles

​In case you missed it, which doesn’t seem likely if you frequent this site, Ohio State landed its biggest recruit in a long time on Saturday when Sonny Styles committed to the Buckeyes.

Ohio State made the five-star safety/linebacker its highest priority in the 2023 class and landed its man reasonably early as its third commitment in the cycle. In the few hours leading up to the Buckeyes’ kickoff with Purdue, reactions swarmed in as recruits, members of the Ohio State football staff and those close to Styles took notice of the nation’s No. 8 overall prospect choosing to stay home.

Five commits advance in Ohio playoffs

The third round of the Ohio high school playoffs took place over the weekend as various Ohio State commits and targets participated in games around the state.

Five Ohio State commits are advancing to their regional finals after winning regional semifinal games on Friday night, while a couple of other Buckeye targets had their seasons come to an end.

Lakota West 12, St. Xavier 2: The final score may be a strange one you don’t see every day, but that doesn’t make No. 3 Lakota West’s win over No. 2 St. Xavier any less special for 2022 Ohio State commits Tegra Tshabola and Jyaire Brown. Lakota West will continue its run at the state championship when it faces No. 1 Archbishop Moeller at ​​Atrium Stadium in Mason on Friday.

Pickerington Central 27, Pickerington North 7: Styles and Pickerington Central avenged their lone loss of the regular season against their rival in Friday’s regional semifinals. Columbus area fans wanting to watch the newest OSU commit can do so by making the short drive to Westerville to see No. 2 Pickerington Central face No. 1 Upper Arlington on Friday.

Marysville 49, Whitmer 14: An undefeated season continues for No. 1 Marysville and 2022 linebacker commit Gabe Powers. Powers and Marysville will hope to keep it going against No. 2 Springfield in the regional finals. They’ll match up against Minnesota wideout commit Anthony Brown, who is still taking visits to Ohio State, at Darby Stadium in Hilliard.

St. Clairsville 35, Meadowbrook 0: A strong season continues for 2022 Ohio State offensive tackle commit Avery Henry and No. 2 St. Clairsville after a 35-0 win over No. 6 Meadowbrook Friday. A matchup with No. 1 Bloom-Carroll awaits in the regional finals in Zanesville.  

Springfield 13, Findlay 0: A special season came to an end for Ryan and Luke Montgomery Friday night when they fell to Springfield 13-0 in the regional semis. The pair of OSU targets led Findlay to two playoff wins after a 16-year playoff win drought. The elder Montgomery, who is now Ohio’s top uncommitted prospect in the 2023 class following Styles’ commitment to Ohio State, dropped his junior season highlights following the loss.

Massillon 38, Big Walnut 0: Even though Ohio State running back target Willtrell Hartson missed another contest due to his ankle injury, his teammates picked up the slack and earned a 38-0 victory over No. 1 Big Walnut on Friday. They’ll face No. 7 Uniontown Green in Fulton on Friday.

Muhammad releases top 12

A top cornerback in the 2023 class included Ohio State on his top 12 list Friday evening. Malik Muhammad, a four-star corner from Texas, put out a list consisting of Ohio State, Texas A&M, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, SMU, Penn State, Michigan, Clemson and Oregon.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Muhammad visited OSU earlier this season in September when the Buckeyes hosted Oregon. He is the 70th-ranked player and the seventh-best cornerback in the 2023 cycle, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. OSU would like to take two cornerbacks in the 2023 class with the top priority being five-star AJ Harris

Jones leaves OSU off top five

Cross four-star defensive end Marvin Jones Jr. off the list of options to fill out Ohio State’s defensive line recruiting class of 2022.

Jones Jr. dropped a top-five list Sunday that did not include the Buckeyes, instead narrowing the field to Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. 

Jones Jr., ranked as the 37th-best player and the third-best edge rusher in the 2022 cycle, planned to visit Ohio State for the Penn State game on Oct. 30, but the visit never materialized. The Florida resident visited Florida State last weekend.

While Jones Jr. is seemingly out of the picture, Ohio State still has plenty of defensive line targets remaining in the class including Caden Curry, Omari Abor, Hero Kanu, Christen Miller and Chris McClellan.

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