Recruits Impressed by Visits for Ohio State’s Season-Opening 21-10 Win Against Notre Dame

By Garrick Hodge on September 5, 2022 at 8:35 am
KJ Bolden

Ohio State had a successful weekend on the field and in the recruiting realm, as more than 60 recruits were in attendance to see the Buckeyes’ 21-10 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame.

The recruits made their way onto the field for about an hour before the game started and got to interact with plenty of celebrities who also made their way to the game, a list that included Justin Fields, Sam Hubbard, Joe Burrow, Ezekiel Elliott, LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, Terry McLaurin, Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, Curtis Samuel, Cardale Jones, Chris Olave, Jerome Bettis, Jeff Okudah, Baron Browning and Dre’Mont Jones, to name a few. While meeting those guys isn’t going to single-handedly make any of them pick Ohio State, it did go a long way with some. 

But for defensive recruits, holding Notre Dame to 10 points probably had the most profound effect, as they were able to witness firsthand how successful the defense can be under Jim Knowles’ scheme. As for the offense, the unit may have produced less than fans are normally accustomed to, but the Buckeyes have a long track record of offensive success under Ryan Day and still made enough plays to win. 

Eleven Warriors caught up with 16 recruits who attended Saturday’s win and asked for their initial impressions and the highlights from each of their visits. Their answers are below.

  • Four-star 2023 cornerback commit Jermaine Mathews: “The only thing I have to say is Jim Knowles.”
  • Four-star 2023 safety commit Malik Hartford: “First off, the Silver Bullets are back. The highlight was the atmosphere. I’ve never seen a game so electric.”
  • Four-star 2023 offensive line commit Luke Montgomery: “It was amazing to see all the recruits, the fans and obviously amazing to beat Notre Dame. The night and atmosphere was amazing.”
  • Four-star 2023 wide receiver commit Bryson Rodgers: “The game was tremendous, everything they said it would be and more. As a football player, you live to play in a stadium and atmosphere like that.”
  • Five-star 2024 safety KJ Bolden: “The visit to Columbus was nothing but electric from the time I arrived in Columbus until I left the next day, it was nothing but amazing. I love the brotherhood and just how they play together. The Silver Bullets are going to be a problem for any offense this season. They played great last night. The highlight of my trip was being able to witness 108,000 fans cheering on the Buckeyes in the prime time game for Labor Day Weekend to kick off the football season.”
  • Five-star 2024 wide receiver Ryan Wingo: “Ohio State’s offense is very high powered and they can throw it to any wide receiver and they can take it to the crib. Seeing LeBron was probably the highlight.” 
  • Four-star 2024 offensive lineman Ian Moore: “The offense was great. The passing game and the run game really impressed me. The offensive line ran through the Notre Dame defense.” 
  • Four-star 2024 offensive lineman Donovan Harbour: “The atmosphere was amazing and the brotherhood was as well. (Coach Frye) asked me how I liked the game and I told him it was amazing.” 
  • Four-star 2024 defensive end Brian Robinson: “It was an outstanding visit and game, the energy was so leveled up. My highlight was seeing Jim Tressel and Maurice Clarett on the tribute to the national championship team. And running into Chase Young on the elevator.”
  • Four-star defensive end Nigel Smith: “I loved the energy of the entire day from when I got to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to when the game was over.”
  • Four-star defensive end KingJoseph Edwards: “This was my second visit, it’s always a pleasure when I’m at Ohio State. I got on campus around 11 a.m. Saw the team, spoke to coach Day and coach Johnson, and watched them do walkthroughs and team meetings. It was a really good day.”
  • Four-star 2025 running back Jordon Davison: “The visit was great. I thought the offense did great in the second half running the ball. The highlight of the trip was the atmosphere, because who else can have LeBron James show up to your game?” 
  • Four-star 2025 running back Gideon Davidson: “It was an epic experience... I connected with coach Tony Alford and met coach Day. The game staff was outstanding. The atmosphere here at the game was crazy good. The game was won in the second half by the running backs. Ohio State values the run game and I like that a lot. I will be back.”
  • Missouri 2025 tight end Landon Pace: “The highlight for me was seeing Ohio State be tough through the second half and end the game strong.”
  • Ohio 2025 quarterback Ryan Montgomery: “I loved my time at OSU. The game was great and the atmosphere was even better. It was as advertised. I thought OSU offense came out slow but I know they will pick up their groove. It’s the first game of the season so they just need time. But they have all the pieces to be one of the best offenses in America.”
  • OSU 2025 cornerback commit Jontae Gilbert: “Ohio State is the place to be. The defense did good, but some things they have to clean up in the secondary, but overall they did good. The highlight of my trip was walking through the tunnel and watching the guys warm up and play.”
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