Top Offensive Tackle Target Olaus Alinen Commits to Alabama over Ohio State

By Dan Hope on July 22, 2022 at 9:08 am
Olaus Alinen

Ohio State’s top remaining offensive tackle target is off the board.

Olaus Alinen, who the Buckeyes recruited heavily with hopes of making him the final piece of their 2023 offensive line class, committed to Alabama on Friday.

A four-star offensive tackle from Finland who plays at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, Alinen made an official visit to Ohio State during the final weekend of June, giving the Buckeyes the chance to make a lasting impression on him before his commitment. That didn’t end up being enough, however, as Alinen chose the Crimson Tide after also strongly considering Miami.

Alinen becomes the second priority Ohio State target to commit to Alabama this week. Four-star Georgia running back Justice Haynes, who had been the Buckeyes' top remaining target at that position, committed to Alabama on Sunday. The Buckeyes will hope to turn the tables on Alabama when five-star Georgia safety Caleb Downs announces his commitment next week, when he will choose between the Crimson Tide, Buckeyes, Georgia and Notre Dame.

As for offensive tackle recruiting, the Buckeyes are expected to continue their pursuit of adding a third offensive tackle to their 2023 class, though their options are now dwindling.

The top candidate might be four-star Maryland offensive tackle Oluwatosin Babalade, who also made an official visit to Ohio State in June and is teammates with recent defensive line commit Jason Moore at DeMatha Catholic High School, though he has already scheduled a commitment for July 31. Five-star Massachusetts offensive tackle Samson Okunlola has long been another top target for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have seemingly faded in his recruitment as they were not among his June official visits. Ohio State has shown interest in four-star South Carolina offensive tackle Monroe Freeling, but the Buckeyes weren’t among his June official visits, either.

Currently, the Buckeyes have four offensive line commits in the 2023 class: Offensive tackles Luke Montgomery and Miles Walker, though Montgomery could potentially play anywhere along the line, and interior offensive linemen Joshua Padilla and Austin Siereveld. They have been targeting a class of five total offensive linemen.

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