The Hurry-Up: Raul Aguirre Considering Official Visit to Ohio State, Walker Lyons Enjoyed Spring Game Visit in Columbus

By Garrick Hodge on April 20, 2022 at 5:35 pm
Raul Aguirre

One of Ohio State’s linebacker targets for the class of 2023 was impressed with his visit to Columbus earlier this month.

Four-star Georgia linebacker Raul Aguirre, who received an offer from OSU on Jan. 20, told Eleven Warriors he was blown away by the trip.

“Honestly, I loved it,” Aguirre said. “Every single thing was perfect. Right when I walked through the door, the coaches showed a lot of love. That’s a school my dad loves, so that was a school I definitely wanted to see. Coach (Ryan) Day and coach (Jim) Knowles have both been recruiting me for a while now, so there’s definitely great relationships there. It was a great environment, it was just a great visit.” 

Aguirre met with Knowles and enjoyed seeing him teach the game of football, and came away impressed with the techniques he taught, primarily how to use his hands on defensive plays. 

“I’m going to take some things from coach Knowles that I can use for my senior year of high school,” Aguirre said.

While freshman linebacker C.J. Hicks is now enrolled at Ohio State and hasn’t been quite as active on social media as he was as a recruit, that doesn’t mean the Ohio native has stopped recruiting for OSU. Hicks spoke with Aguirre while the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker was on his visit, as the two previously met last summer at a recruiting camp. 

“I spent time with C.J. Hicks, and he was telling me about how the linebackers are,” Aguirre said. “I think they’re going to have a really good group and a really good season this year. (C.J.) is definitely trying to recruit me. Even without him, I’m still interested in Ohio State because it’s a good school.” 

Aguirre said he often hears from OSU senior advisor and analyst Matt Guerrieri, quality control coach Miguel Patrick – who was Aguirre’s head coach at Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Georgia) before Aguirre transferred to Whitewater (Fayetteville, Georgia) his sophomore year – and Day.

Aguirre said he hasn’t officially made plans for an official visit to OSU yet, but envisions he will set one up “really soon.”

“I would say Ohio State is very high (on my list) and I look forward to building those relationships and getting down there some more,” Aguirre said. “They have really good coaches and a really good program.” 

At the moment, Aguirre has no commitment timeline in mind. 

Lyons enjoyed Ohio State atmosphere

The Buckeyes hosted one of their top tight end targets in the 2023 class at the spring game. Four-star California tight end Walker Lyons told 247Sports this week he enjoyed his time in Columbus.

"I met with coach (Kevin) Wilson, coach (Brian) Hartline and coach Day for the most part," Lyons told 247Sports. "Coach Day and coach Wilson are some of my favorite coaches. They are just super straightforward about everything and have been transparent through the whole process, explaining that Ohio State is not easy, which is cool because they aren’t just recruiting me."

Lyons said he spent time with OSU freshman tight end Bennett Christian and “felt like a priority” to the Ohio State coaches. It remains to be seen if he’ll take a return trip to Columbus in the summer, as the three official visits he has set up at the moment are Utah, Stanford and USC. 

NIL deals continue to reach six figures

It hasn’t even been a full year since legislation was passed to ensure college athletes could profit off of their name, image and likeness. Yet NIL deals continue to be an arms race amongst Power 5 colleges, and the deals themselves continue to be all the more lucrative. 

In a fascinating article published by The Athletic this week, it was revealed that an unnamed three-star defensive tackle signed a four-year, $500,000 NIL deal. A four-star wide receiver signed a $1 million deal over a four-year period. If that's the going rate for those types of players, things can get expensive quickly. 

One of the more interesting nuggets in the article concerns Ohio State and its recruitment of five-star wideout Carnell Tate. OSU had long been considered the favorite to land Tate, but On3 recently switched its forecast to Tennessee over the Buckeyes. The article hints Tate’s interest in Tennessee could be NIL-based thanks to Spyre Sports, a sports marketing and media agency associated with Tennessee that has promised to invest a substantial amount of resources into the Vols’ 2023 recruiting class.

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