Ohio State continues to see the fruit of its labor from putting on a massive recruiting weekend.
The Buckeyes continued to make a strong impression on five-star 2024 California safety Peyton Woodyard, who visited Ohio State with his St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) teammates Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa and Matayo Uiagalelei.
“Visiting Ohio was a trip to remember,” Woodyard told Eleven Warriors. “It was an amazing game between two highly ranked national teams. The atmosphere was insane with all of their loud fans.”
In the Buckeyes’ 21-10 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame, Woodyard was impressed with how Jim Knowles utilized his three-safety scheme and got to talk about specifics with various Ohio State coaches.
“I had an opportunity to sit down with coach Ryan Day, coach Perry Eliano and coach Knowles,” Woodyard said. “We talked about their defensive approach. The Ohio State defense is both smart and fast, which is my strong suit. You have to be smart because it is a complex defense that uses multiple safeties and my skill set fits well into their scheme.”
Woodyard stayed overnight in Columbus Saturday and got to sit in on team meetings at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday. After a big win, being around the Buckeyes left quite the impression on the 6-foot-2, 188-pound standout.
“The highlight of the trip was watching how excited the players were for each other, especially in meetings on Sunday,” Woodyard said. “They clearly have built not only a strong team, but the brotherhood was evident.”
Keeley had a “very good trip” to Columbus
One of Ohio State’s most important visitors over the weekend was 2023 five-star defensive end Keon Keeley. OSU entered the weekend behind in Keeley’s recruitment, as Alabama is the presumed favorite to land the talented Florida pass rusher. It’s unclear if the Buckeyes did enough to at least pull even with the Crimson Tide, but Keeley’s face entering the stadium certainly indicated he was enjoying himself.
Accompanied by OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Keeley walked onto the field an hour before kickoff and, upon seeing the crowd, muttered a “Wow” and started clapping his hands with a big grin stretched across his face. The 6-foot-6, 242-pound pass rusher spent time with other OSU recruits in attendance and got the opportunity to meet one of his idols, LeBron James.
Keon Keeley got to meet Lebron James at the Ohio State- ND game, Keon is a huge fan of his ! pic.twitter.com/xOFSoOzpWm— JanickKeeley (@JaJakeeley) September 5, 2022
“We had a very good trip to Ohio State, and the game was, of course, the highlight of the trip,” Keeley’s mother Janické told 247Sports.
Keeley is in no rush to decide soon and will likely take official visits to Florida and Alabama before making up his mind.
“Decision wise I am speaking through that with my coaches and family,” Keeley told 247Sports. “It could be within any time period. Before signing day, at signing day. It could be any time period. I wouldn’t say I take a crazy amount of time, but I am definitely going to focus on this season with my teammates. Whether I find a team in the middle or after.”
Williams racks up eight touchdowns
One day before he made the trek to Columbus for Ohio State’s season opener, 2024 OSU running back target Aneyas Williams put on a clinic offensively for Hannibal High School (Hannibal, Missouri).
Williams ran for eight touchdowns in Hannibal’s 53-28 victory over Jefferson City, and no, that’s not a typo. While nobody is arguing those numbers are coming against an opponent on par with St. John Bosco or Mater Dei, eight touchdowns are eight touchdowns.