Jim Knowles is making absolutely no secret which linebacker in the 2023 class is his top target.
The new Ohio State defensive coordinator visited four-star prospect Tackett Curtis in Louisiana for the first time this spring and the third time in 2022 as he made the trip to Many High School (Many, Louisiana) for the team’s first spring football practice on Monday. Knowles is recruiting Curtis primarily as a Mike linebacker.
“The visit was nice,” Jess Curtis, Tackett’s uncle and head football coach at Many, told Eleven Warriors Thursday. “Coach was able to spend time with us and see our first practice. It meant a lot that he came to see us.”
Curtis visited Ohio State on March 8 with his family and was impressed with what the Buckeyes had to offer.
“The visit was great, it exceeded our expectations,” Tackett told Eleven Warriors in March. “We had an awesome trip. They have a really good scheme for me and a good defense and I’d feel like I’d thrive in their defense.
“They showed us so much love. They had everybody with us the whole day from early in the morning to the afternoon. There wasn’t a dull moment. We were constantly talking to the coaches and they were putting on programs for us and showing us what they had to offer.”
Curtis’ recruitment is slowly winding down, and the 6-foot-2, 220-pound has three official visits scheduled for next month: Wisconsin June 3-5, USC June 17-19 and Ohio State June 24-26. While he could conceivably add two more visits to his slate, as of now it appears OSU will get the last official visit from Curtis, who plans on making a college commitment sometime before the start of his senior season.
Two 247Sports Crystal Ball projections have been placed in favor of Curtis landing at Ohio State.
Downs locks in Ohio State visit
The last weekend of June is shaping up to be a massive recruiting weekend for Ohio State, as Curtis will be just one of several marquee targets on campus.
Ohio State’s highest-priority safety target for the current recruiting cycle, five-star Georgia safety Caleb Downs, announced Thursday he’ll be making an official visit during that weekend.
Downs took a visit to Ohio State in April and has long been the Buckeyes’ top option at safety. OSU has a terrific chance of landing the 6-foot, 185-pound safety, but it will have to contend with the likes of Alabama, Georgia and other southern schools to secure Downs’ commitment.
Bonsu schedules official visit
Speaking of Bonsu, he’ll be making an official visit to Ohio State one weekend before Downs, as he plans to be on campus from June 17-19.
Official Visit Ohio St June 17th-19th #GoBucks— Jayden Bonsu (@JaydenBonsu) May 4, 2022
Bonsu, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety from New Jersey, was offered by Ohio State on Dec. 2 and previously visited OSU on March 25-26. The three-star prospect has received a Crystal Ball projection to land at Ohio State by 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong.
Alinen sets official visit schedule
Four-star 2023 offensive tackle Olaus Alinen is another top target who will be at Ohio State for the final weekend of June. The Finland native will visit Ohio State after heading to Miami June 3-5, Alabama June 10-12 and Georgia June 17-19.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that a few minutes after Alinen announced his official visit schedule, Ohio State commit Luke Montgomery announced he’ll also be taking an official visit to OSU June 24-26. Montgomery has unofficially adopted the “Captain Buckeye” persona C.J. Hicks adopted for the 2023 class, and has been actively recruiting Alinen and other nationally ranked prospects to join him at OSU.
The one and ONLY Official Visit June 24th - 26th @OhioStateFB— Luke Montgomery (@lukeMonty8) May 3, 2022
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Alinen visited Ohio State in mid-March.
“It was really good, I enjoyed it a lot,” Alinen told Eleven Warriors in March of his visit to Columbus. “It was the whole package. I was able to watch practice, watch a walkthrough and watch film with the coaches. I met all the important academic and strength and conditioning people. I saw coach Day and met some players and spent time with them also. I was able to do almost everything you need to do on a visit.”
Simpson Hunt offered by Buckeyes
Ohio State is taking a swing at a 2023 recruit that’s already made a commitment. Four-star Texas cornerback Calvin Simpson Hunt, a Texas Tech commit, was the latest recruit to receive a Buckeyes offer, as the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect posted the offer from his Twitter account on Wednesday.
According to 247Sports’ rankings, Simpson Hunt is the 210th-best prospect and the 20th-rated cornerback in the 2023 cycle. He committed to Texas Tech on Nov. 22 and has 21 Division I offers. In 10 games for Waxahachie High School (Waxahachie, Texas) last season, Simpson Hunt racked up 29 tackles (5 for loss), one sack, one quarterback hurry, one interception and two pass deflections.
Ohio State has one cornerback committed for the 2023 class in Dijon Johnson, but is looking to add one or two more cornerbacks in the cycle.