Recruiting in-state talent has always been a priority for Ohio State.
On Thursday, Ryan Day called landing Ohio’s top in-state talents the “foundation” of the Buckeyes’ recruiting and said it’s great to have players as talented as the ones that have been coming out of the state in recent years.
“We’ve said from the beginning that we always wanna recruit Ohio really strong, and we try to identify them early on in the process and be aggressive,” Day told reporters Thursday. “That is our foundation. It is our foundation now in the program, and it’s also our foundation in recruiting.”
Looking at the 2021, 2022 and 2023 recruiting cycles, Ohio State has consistently started its classes off close to home. Five-star Sonny Styles and four-star Joshua Padilla make up two of OSU’s first three commits for the 2023 cycle and it wouldn’t be totally surprising to see in-state offensive linemen Luke Montgomery and Austin Siereveld follow suit in the coming weeks. Montgomery just put OSU in his top six on Thursday.
In 2022, the Buckeyes’ first four commitments resided in Ohio, and four of the first five pledges in 2021 were local.
Abor enjoys OSU visit
One of the highest priority remaining targets for Ohio State in the class of 2022 is five-star defensive end Omari Abor. Abor recently visited Ohio State on Oct. 30 during the Buckeyes’ 33-24 victory over Penn State and told 247Sports he enjoyed his trip to Columbus. He also seemed to have insight on what current OSU players’ plans are.
“So with Tyreke Smith and other guys leaving they were just telling me, okay, like you can kind of play already, we're just going to have to build you a little bit of muscle because you got the speed, just different stuff like that,” Abor told 247Sports. “So just actually paying attention to the details in the game as you're watching them. Sometimes even off the ball. So when they started explaining to me like the different schemes that they have, I started like loving it a lot more.”
More details from Abor's trip are available in the link above. Although it appeared Abor preferred to stay in the South just a few months ago, Ohio State looks like the frontrunner to land the 6-foot-4, 240-pound five-star talent right now. Texas A&M appears to be the Buckeyes’ biggest competition.
A Texas resident, Abor is considered to be the 24th-best player in the 2022 cycle per 247Sports' composite rankings.
Abor will likely sign during December’s early signing period but wait to make his announcement until January at the Under Armour All-American Game.
Tabaracci commits to Utah
Now we know why Carson Tabaracci canceled his official visit to Ohio State this weekend. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker decided to stay home and commit to Utah on Friday afternoon.
COMMITTED! pic.twitter.com/jTHA2SlghE— Carson Tabo Tabaracci (@CarsonTabaracci) November 19, 2021
Both of the two linebackers who Ohio State was still targeting in the class of 2022 have committed elsewhere this week as Jimmy Rolder committed to Michigan on Tuesday.
Tabaracci is ranked as the 558th-best prospect in the 2022 class.
With C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers already committed to Ohio State, adding another linebacker in the cycle isn’t a glaring need, but with attrition already impacting OSU this fall at that position, an addition via the transfer portal in the offseason could be possible. The Buckeyes don’t appear to be pursuing another high school linebacker in the 2022 class, but could gamble on a less heralded prep prospect if they feel they need one more.
Kirkland, Tate arrive in Columbus
Some of Ohio State's most important visitors this weekend have already announced their arrival on campus.
We back this weekend! pic.twitter.com/VNfclLWGIe— Carnell Tate (@carnelltate_) November 19, 2021
In Thursday's Hurry-Up, we included an expected visitor's list. We'll include it again below if you need a refresher.