There was no shortage of premier wideouts visiting Ohio State’s campus over the weekend.
Florida wide receivers Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate, Joshisa Trader and Jeremiah Smith have captured plenty of well-deserved headlines from the trip, but the weekend was big in the recruitment of 2023 four-star Texas wideout Jalen Hale, too.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Hale was making his first visit to Columbus since receiving an OSU offer in February 2021. He arrived on campus Friday and left Sunday, giving him a few days to see everything Ohio State has to offer. Ryan Day and Brian Hartline both spoke with Hale over the weekend and left a favorable impression on the Texas wideout.
“It was good talking to them,” Hale told Eleven Warriors. “Hartline and I talk all the time, so we keep in touch. They both just told me how I fit in the system for them and how they would love to have me be a Buckeye.”
Ohio state visit pic.twitter.com/ROTpkKJHqt— Jalen Hale (@JalenHale8) April 1, 2022
Hale, along with all of those other names mentioned above, watched Ohio State practice on Saturday during student appreciation day, and enjoyed the offensive system the Buckeyes deploy.
“They really sling the ball around,” Hale said. “They have a good core of wide receivers that have been there and are still there now that I can learn and get better from.”
While at practice, Hale chatted with former Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who is currently going through the NFL draft process. Wilson, who also grew up in Texas, talked to Hale about what his experience at Ohio State was like.
“Garrett and I talk some anyway, but he was just telling me how it was to play there and how he chose to go there,” Hale said. “He is an elite player, so of course, I was soaking up stuff he was telling me and the other guys.”
At Longview High School (Longview, Texas) last season, Hale caught 50 passes for 1,154 yards and 14 touchdowns. He's considered the 40th-best overall prospect and the seventh-best wideout in the 2023 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings.
While Hartline has not discussed specifically whether he views Hale as an outside or inside receiver, Hale said he’s lined up at both spots in high school and would eagerly play either position at the next level.
Hale’s first visit to Ohio State won him over enough to ensure he will return for an official visit, though he has not yet determined a visit date. He will also take an official visit to USC in June, but is still deciding which other three schools will get the rest of his five official visits.
Hale said he does not yet have a timeline for his commitment and still needs to see more schools before narrowing things down. Other top schools standing out to Hale in addition to OSU include Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and Texas.
Lee to visit OSU Wednesday
One of Ohio State’s priority 2023 cornerback targets is making his way back to Columbus. Four-star Georgia cornerback Kayin Lee, a former Georgia commit, will be visiting OSU on Wednesday.
i will be in columbus ohio tmr . #gobuckeyes— Kayin Lee (@_kayinlee) April 5, 2022
Lee is ranked as the 173rd-best player and the 22nd-best cornerback in the 2023 class. Ohio State was one of the top contenders for Lee before his Georgia commitment last fall, and even though there’s been turnover on the defensive coaching staff, OSU should have an easy in with Lee thanks to cornerbacks coach Tim Walton being a Georgia native.
Aguirre taking trip to Columbus Wednesday
Lee won’t be the only prominent 2023 defender from Georgia on campus Wednesday. The Buckeyes will also host four-star linebacker Raul Aguirre.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker received his Ohio State offer on Jan. 20 and has 16 total Division I offers so far.
In eight games for Whitewater High School (Fayetteville, Georgia) last season, Aguirre racked up 80 total tackles (three for loss) and averaged 10 tackles per game. Aguirre also recorded a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. He’s considered the 121st-best player and the ninth-best linebacker in the 2023 class.
Hartford to commit Wednesday
Ohio State's 2023 recruiting class could grow to six commitments on Wednesday if it receives good news from 2023 four-star Ohio State safety Malik Hartford.
Hartford will commit at 3:30 p.m. from Lakota West High School and choose from a top seven of Ohio State, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and West Virginia. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound prospect is ranked as the 146th-best prospect and the 11th-best safety in the 2023 cycle.
Five 247Sports Crystal Ball projections have been cast for Hartford, and all five predict the Ohio standout will wind up with the Buckeyes. Should that come to fruition, Hartford will become the second safety in the class, along with four-star 2023 Florida safety Cedrick Hawkins.