When four-star 2023 defensive end AJ Hoffler received his Ohio State offer during his Nov. 20 visit for the Michigan State game, tears of happiness started flowing down his cheeks.
Despite living in Atlanta, Ohio State has been the 6-foot-5, 245-pound standout’s dream school since he first dreamed of playing college football. Two months later, Hoffler still has a clear frontrunner in his recruitment.
“They’re still number one,” Hoffler told Eleven Warriors regarding Ohio State on Friday.
Hoffler will visit Ohio State again this upcoming weekend. On his November visit, he went with his father. This time, his mother will be going with him.
“My mom will get to see the stadium and stuff like that,” Hoffler said. “I’d like to see the campus and the academic buildings and the rest of the facilities.”
Since he attended the Buckeyes’ win over Michigan State, Hoffler has only visited one other school: a quick trip to Georgia’s big recruiting weekend last weekend on an unofficial visit. Ohio State still remains Hoffler’s biggest priority in his recruitment.
“It’s not as shocking anymore, but I still can’t believe it,” Hoffler said of his offer two months later. “It’s set in, but I still can’t believe it.”
Hoffler said he has not yet spoken with newly-hired defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, though he talks with both defensive line coach Larry Johnson and defensive line assistant coach Nick Sebastian once a week. While Hoffler has mentioned in the past he’d consider committing to the Buckeyes the next time he visited Columbus, it doesn’t appear any commitment watch will be necessary this weekend. Although it’s fully expected Johnson will return to the Buckeyes for at least another season, Hoffler plans to talk with Johnson about what his future plans may be on the visit before he makes any decision.
“I think I’m still going to wait a little bit to see how everything goes with coach Johnson,” Hoffler said. “To see if he retires or not. Still, as of now, I’d still like to commit before my birthday on Aug. 9.”
Hoffler is ranked as the 262nd-best prospect in the nation and the 41st-best defensive lineman in the class of 2023, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
OSU offers Curtis
While Jim Knowles was brought to Ohio State for coaching more than recruiting, he’s still covering some ground on the recruiting trail. On Tuesday, he headed all the way down to Louisiana to extend an offer to a linebacker he feels would be a perfect fit in his defense, one that Oklahoma State had offered in May. The newly hired defensive coordinator presented the scholarship opportunity to 2023 four-star linebacker Tackett Curtis.
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Curtis is ranked as the 64th-best prospect and the fifth-best linebacker in the 2023 class. He has 43 Division I offers including Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and USC.
In 13 games for Many High School (Many, Louisiana) this past season, Curtis racked up 103 total tackles (12.5 for loss), a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. Curtis also played both ways, as he was the team’s quarterback in a run-first offense, rushing for 494 yards on 43 carries with three rushing touchdowns. His passing numbers were pedestrian as he completed 16 of 51 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions, but that’s why Knowles is the one recruiting him.
Curtis’ uncle, Jess Curtis, is the head coach at Many High School.
Hudson picks up Buckeyes offer
Ohio State extended an offer to another 2024 wideout on Tuesday evening. Four-star Texas wide receiver Micah Hudson announced on social media he had received a scholarship opportunity from the Buckeyes.
#AGTG i am truly blessed and very honored to announce that i have received an offer from THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY!! #gobucks— micah hudson (@iammike1x) January 18, 2022
@Coach_Eliano @brianhartline @CoachCope23 @TrustMyEyesO @NickHarris247 @Perroni247 @BamPerformance @samspiegs @ChadSimmons_ pic.twitter.com/ny9RJH4Z3h
Hudson is the fourth 2024 wideout to receive an offer from Ohio State in the cycle. The 6-foot, 186-pound wideout is ranked as the 63rd-best prospect nationally and the 13th-best wideout. OSU is the 10th offer he’s received, adding a sheet that includes Texas, TCU, Baylor, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, among others.
Harris now considering Cincinnati
There will be a day in the near future where we will not dedicate a Hurry-Up section to five-star 2023 cornerback AJ Harris. But it is not this day.
It’s well-known how close Harris and former Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs are. On Tuesday, it was reported Kerry Coombs will join Luke Fickell’s staff at Cincinnati as the team's cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator. That hire might pay dividends on the recruiting trail for the Bearcats, as Harris will now consider playing for Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Is Now A Top School For Me— Aaron-Joshua Harris (@Aj_harris04) January 18, 2022
Of note, Cincinnati just signed one of Harris’ close friends, JQ Hardaway, and the two have talked about teaming up at the next level.
Facts Gotta follow through with the plan.Yk we locked in past the football stuff https://t.co/KwDCGFdJei— Aaron-Joshua Harris (@Aj_harris04) January 18, 2022
Both of Ohio State’s newly hired secondary coaches, Perry Eliano and Tim Walton, have reached out to the Harris family and plan to visit him in the near future. And Harris and his family plan to take more visits before making a decision, as they’ve recently told 247Sports they plan to visit Florida soon, so there is still time for OSU’s new defensive staff to build a strong relationship with Harris.