The Hurry-Up: Luke Montgomery Will Make a Commitment on February 17, Malik Hartford Will Visit Ohio State Again This Spring

By Garrick Hodge on February 7, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Luke Montgomery

On Sunday, Eleven Warriors listed four-star Ohio offensive lineman Luke Montgomery as Ohio State’s top priority on its 2023 recruiting board.

Just 10 days from now, the Buckeyes will learn if they’ve done enough to secure their top target. Montgomery announced Monday that he’s set a commitment date for 3 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Findlay High School. 

Mike Montgomery, Luke’s father, told Eleven Warriors in late January that his son was targeting a commitment date sometime before May, because the family wanted to announce before the school year finished. The fact Montgomery is announcing this early can only bode well for the Buckeyes.

Two of the biggest competitors to land Montgomery have been USC and Michigan. USC has only recently offered Montgomery, and Mike said the family was likely going to take a visit to campus sometime in April, but with his commitment now set for next week, that seems pretty unlikely. Meanwhile, Michigan is in a state of uncertainty – even though Jim Harbaugh has committed to staying in Ann Arbor – after losing both of its coordinators in the past two weeks.

Reading in between the lines, and considering two 247Sports Crystal Ball projections have been made for Montgomery to end up with the Buckeyes, it’s fair to say Ohio State is the clear favorite to land their most coveted target going into next week’s announcement.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Montgomery is ranked as the 62nd-best player, the sixth-best offensive tackle and the No. 2 prospect from Ohio in the 2023 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

Justin Frye has visited Montgomery in person several times since he was hired last month as Ohio State’s offensive line coach and has had constant communication with Montgomery via phone.

“With coach Frye, what I’ll say is Luke had a really good rapport with coach Stud, and I’m sure he’ll land on his feet wherever he goes, but we trust Day to make the right tough decisions for the program,” Mike Montgomery told Eleven Warriors in January. “We’re really excited to see him in action when they start spring practice and we’re able to visit and watch him coach in person.”

If Montgomery picks Ohio State, he would become the fifth commitment in the 2023 class (assuming there isn't another BOOM before then) and the third from Ohio this cycle. 

Hartford to visit OSU in spring

One of Ohio State’s fastest-rising safety targets plans to make another trip to Columbus in the near future. 

Four-star Ohio safety Malik Hartford just took an unofficial visit to OSU on Jan. 22 and received an offer from the Buckeyes that same day. Since then, Ohio State has been in constant contact with the 6-foot-3, 175-pound defensive back.

According to 247Sports, Hartford was in touch with Ohio State as recently as National Signing Day, getting phone calls from Ryan Day, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and safeties coach Perry Eliano. Eliano had already started building a relationship with Hartford when he was the cornerbacks coach with Cincinnati for the past two years. Hartford hopes to make a college decision before the start of his senior year.

“I’m making pretty good progress on that,” Hartford told 247Sports. “I know I want to commit sometime during the summer. I’ll be periodically dropping my top schools. I’ll probably drop a top 7, a top 3, something like that. Ohio State will make my first cut. I’ll get back there sometime in the spring.”

Hartford plays for Lakota West High School, where he was teammates with recently enrolled Ohio State cornerback Jyaire Brown and offensive lineman signee Tegra Tshabola. Hartford, who made 58 tackles and recorded two interceptions for Lakota West last season, is ranked as the 215th-best player in the 2023 class.

Brown decommits from Minnesota

A potential Ohio State wide receiver target is officially back on the market. 

After committing to Minnesota early last fall, Ohio four-star wideout Anthony Brown decommitted from the Gophers on Monday.

Brown camped at Ohio State multiple times last summer, then attended multiple games in the fall. For now, however, Brown seems to have more interest in Ohio State than the Buckeyes have in him. He does not hold an Ohio State offer at this time, and the Buckeyes might not take more than two wideouts in the 2023 class. Should the Buckeyes miss on some of their top targets on their board, they could pivot to Brown, who is considered the 278th-best prospect and the 36th-best wideout in the 2023 cycle.

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