The Hurry-Up: Oluwatosin Babalade Picks Up Ohio State Offer, Troy Bowles Puts Buckeyes in Top Eight, Desmond Umeozulu to Take Official Visit to OSU

By Garrick Hodge on May 23, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Oluwatosin Babalade

Ohio State is expanding its options for offensive tackle recruiting in the current recruiting cycle.

The Buckeyes offered three-star Maryland 2023 offensive tackle Oluwatosin Babalade on Friday, making him the 12th tackle OSU has offered in the cycle.

A 6-foot-5, 296-pound offensive tackle, Babalade has picked up 23 Division I offers, a list that includes Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Rutgers, Boston College, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami, Ole Miss and Penn State. He has visits set up for South Carolina and Rutgers in June, and just recently took a visit to North Carolina last weekend. 

Babalade is ranked as the 549th-best prospect and the 48th-best offensive tackle in the 2023 class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He plays at DeMatha Catholic High School with Jason Moore, a four-star defensive end who recently included the Buckeyes in his top five and has scheduled an official visit to Columbus on June 24.

Bisontis leaves OSU off top five

Babalade’s offer came on the same day the Buckeyes were eliminated from the race from one of their top offensive tackle targets in the 2023 class. Four-star New Jersey prospect Chase Bisontis released a top five on Saturday consisting of Texas A&M, Rutgers, Georgia, LSU and Michigan State, leaving the Buckeyes out of the field after they had made the cut in his previously released top eight.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle not including Ohio State in his new top schools list isn’t all that surprising considering Bisontis never took a visit to Columbus this spring, even though he had planned on doing so. With Bisontis now unlikely to take an official visit to OSU, the Buckeyes’ top need in the current recruiting cycle remains a premier offensive tackle prospect or two. 

In addition to the newly offered Babalade, other options for Ohio State at offensive tackle include Olaus Alinen, Samson Okunlola, Ian Reed and Monroe Freeling.

Alinen has already confirmed an official visit to OSU for June 24. Okunlola is still considering taking an official visit to Columbus, while Reed only has one unused slot for his officials, as the Texas resident recently told On3 he plans to visit Clemson, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State and Texas this summer. Freeling recently included OSU on his top seven list but has not set an official visit to OSU as of yet.

Bowles puts Buckeyes in top eight

Ever since Ohio State and former linebackers coach Al Washington parted ways after the 2021 season, recruiting news concerning the Buckeyes was relatively quiet on the Troy Bowles front. 

On Monday, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Florida linebacker confirmed he’s still very much considering OSU, putting the Buckeyes on his top eight along with Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Rutgers, Auburn and Oklahoma. 

OSU defensive coordinator Jim Knowles made a trip to Florida last week to watch Bowles, the son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, play in his high school spring game. He told 247Sports he has scheduled official visits to Oklahoma (June 3), Georgia (June 10) and Ohio State (June 24). 

“They didn’t just send some random recruiter down here,” Bowles told 247Sports when asked about Knowles. “They sent their defensive coordinator. So, I know they care. That’s definitely going to factor into my decision.”

Bowles told 247Sports he hopes to make a decision by the start of his senior season. Ohio State is hoping to take two linebackers in the 2023 class, and other top options include Tackett Curtis and Arvell Reese

Umeozulu to take official to Ohio State

A defensive end with an Ohio State offer has also locked in an official visit with the Buckeyes for the weekend of June 24.

Four-star Maryland defensive end Desmond Umeozulu announced Monday that he will make four official visits next month: North Carolina (June 3-5), South Carolina (June 10-12), Pittsburgh (June 16-18) and Ohio State (June 24-26). 

Umeozulu picked up his OSU offer on Jan. 19, then visited Columbus in early March to watch a spring practice. His trip to Ohio State in June will be his second visit to campus.

Nation includes OSU in top eight

A cornerback with an Ohio State offer is keeping the Buckeyes in consideration for his college choice. 

Four-star 2023 Georgia cornerback Ethan Nation included OSU in his top-eight schools list Friday along with Auburn, Clemson, Oregon, USC, Michigan, Alabama and Texas A&M. 

Nation has not visited Columbus since last summer, and is likely leaning toward either Clemson or Auburn at this point. But Ohio State could make a more prominent push for Nation if he takes another trip to OSU in June.

The Buckeyes currently have one cornerback committed in the 2023 class in Dijon Johnson, and would like to take three. Other options include Kayin Lee, Christian Gray, Sharif Denson, Daniel Harris and Calvin Simpson-Hunt

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