The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Offers Nigel Smith, Eddrick Houston, Jonathan Echols, Kelton Smith Jr., Tomarrion Parker, Darron Reed, Noah Dixon, Mark Fletcher Jr. and Brett Norfleet

By Garrick Hodge on January 21, 2022 at 6:13 pm
Tomarrion Parker

It’s been a busy week.

Ohio State is certainly not messing around on the recruiting trail lately. At the time of this article’s publication, the Buckeyes had extended 20 new scholarship offers to recruits since Tuesday. Eight of those came on Friday, so we’ll delve into all those here, including a ninth offer from Thursday that came after Thursday’s Hurry-Up was written. At the pace the Buckeyes are going, they’ll probably make several more offers to new athletes by the time you finish reading this article, but here’s a recap of the offers that came in before publication.

OSU extends offers to three 2024 DEs

One of the newest recruits to receive an offer has actually visited Ohio State already. Four-star 2024 Texas defensive end Nigel Smith, who visited Columbus for Ohio State’s Nov. 20 game against Michigan State, picked up an offer from the Buckeyes on Friday.

Smith is ranked as the No. 19 overall prospect and the second-best defensive lineman in the 2024 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He told Eleven Warriors in November that his visit to Ohio State for the Michigan State game was eye-opening. 

“The visit went great,” Smith said. “We got there right as the game started, but you could hear that game from far away, it was a packed stadium. That was a great game day environment. The fans were great and obviously it was a huge win.” 

The next day, Smith met with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who spent around 20 minutes breaking down Smith’s high school film with him. 

“He said he wants to develop me as an edge and he sees me as that,” Smith said. “But I’ll also play a little three in pass rush sets when pass rushers are really needed, because he thinks I can pass rush from anywhere on the line.” 

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Smith has nine Division I offers thus far, including LSU, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Texas Tech. 

Two 2024 defensive ends from Georgia also picked up offers over the past two days: Eddrick Houston, who was offered late Thursday, and Jonathan Echols, who was offered Friday.

Houston is ranked as the 82nd-best player and the fifth-best edge rusher in 2024. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound standout has 10 Division I offers, including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State and Ole Miss. 

Echols does not yet hold a 247Sports ranking but holds 14 Division I offers including Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Penn State and Tennessee. In 11 games for Heard County High School (Franklin, Georgia) this past season, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound edge rusher made 25 tackles (three for loss) with three sacks. 

Two 2023 defensive linemen get Buckeyes offers

Ohio State coaches spent a good chunk of time near Columbus, Georgia on Friday. Ryan Day himself visited Central High School (Phenix City, Alabama) on Friday. Day, along with Georgia coach Kirby Smart, were there to check in on five-star 2023 cornerback AJ Harris. OSU’s new secondary coaches, Perry Eliano and Tim Walton, also stopped by to visit Harris, per 247Sports.

But as it turned out, Day wasn’t just there to check in on the talented cornerback, as he was also there to make an offer to Central High School four-star 2023 defensive lineman Tomarrion Parker

Parker is considered to be the 89th-best player and the 14th-best defensive lineman in the 2023 cycle. In 14 games for Central as a junior, Parker made 75 tackles (23 for loss) and racked up 9.5 sacks along with three fumble recoveries. His offer list is around 20 schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Texas A&M. 

Ohio State also stopped in the Columbus located in Georgia to extend an offer to four-star 2023 defensive lineman Darron Reed of Carver High School.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Reed is ranked as the 286th-best prospect and the 45th-best defensive lineman in the class of 2023. Reed only played in four games last season, but made a significant impact in his limited time on the field, racking up 30 tackles (10 for loss) and seven sacks. Reed has 14 Division I offers including Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Tennessee and USC. 

OSU offers 2023 OT

The lone offensive lineman to land an Ohio State offer Friday was Kelton Smith Jr., a 2023 offensive tackle from – you guessed it – Columbus, Georgia. Smith Jr. attends Carver High School with Reed.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound standout holds nine Division I offers including Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Michigan State, Oregon and South Carolina. He’s ranked as the 221st-best prospect and 11th-best offensive lineman in the 2023 class.

OSU offers Fletcher Jr.

Ohio State offered a highly touted running back on Friday, extending a scholarship opportunity to 2023 four-star Florida tailback Mark Fletcher Jr. 

Fletcher Jr. is ranked as the 148th-best prospect and the seventh-best running back in the 2023 cycle. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound standout holds 21 Division I offers including Alabama, Miami, Penn State, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee.

In eight games for American Heritage High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) this past season, Fletcher Jr. rushed for 779 yards on 110 carries and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes and added 171 receiving yards. 

Dixon adds OSU offer

Ohio State also made a move toward addressing its secondary depth Friday, offering 2024 Georgia four-star safety Noah Dixon

Dixon does not yet hold a 247Sports ranking. The 6-foot, 170-pound safety now has six Division I offers, including Georgia, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and Kentucky. 

Buckeyes offer Mizzou commit

Four-star 2023 defensive lineman and tight end Brett Norfleet is already committed to play both football and baseball at Mizzou. But that didn't stop Ohio State from taking a swing at the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Missouri native anyway, as the Buckeyes extended an offer to Norfleet on Friday.

Norfleet is ranked as the No. 191 overall prospect and 10th-best tight end in the 2023 class. It's often difficult to pull a Missouri kid away from Mizzou once already committed to the Tigers, but Ohio State – which has had success recruiting the St. Louis area before – is going to try. He helped lead Howell High School (St. Charles, Missouri) to a 10-2 record last season. 

View 24 Comments