One of Ohio State’s top tight end targets in the 2024 cycle loved what he saw from the Buckeyes in their season-opening 21-10 victory.
Four-star Illinois prospect Christian Bentancur was among the many recruits in Ohio Stadium for Saturday’s game, and while the Buckeye offense may have started slow, that didn’t deter the 6-foot-5, 240-pound prospect from being intrigued by what he witnessed on the field.
“Ohio State’s offense was explosive and exciting to watch,” Bentancur told Eleven Warriors.
In particular, Bentancur watched tight end Cade Stover and was fascinated by how they utilized him both split out wide and at the line of scrimmage.
“They moved the tight end a lot and it was crazy to see the atmosphere at the game,” Bentancur said.
Bentancur was first offered by OSU at a recruiting camp in June after impressing OSU tight ends coach Kevin Wilson. Receiving that offer meant a great deal to him.
“It’s crazy to have an offer from one of the top schools in the nation,” Bentancur told Eleven Warriors in June. “It’s just nuts. (Wilson) just said he liked what he saw. He said he just needed to see like how I ran and he liked how I moved and like my flexibility and stuff like that.”
Bentancur is a more developed pass catcher than a blocker, racking up 53 receptions for 1,165 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for Marian Central Catholic (Woodstock, Illinois).
Witten earns OSU offer
Perhaps the Glenville High School to Ohio State pipeline really is starting again in full force. Tuesday, four-star 2024 tight end Damarion Witten became the third player currently on Glenville’s roster to earn an offer from the Buckeyes, joining 2023 linebacker commit Arvell Reese and 2024 four-star cornerback Bryce West.
Witten had impressed Wilson at an Ohio State recruiting camp in June, then returned on Saturday with a host of his Glenville teammates for Ohio State’s 21-10 season-opening win against Notre Dame. Right before he stepped out on the field, he had a short conversation with Wilson, then continued to enjoy the gameday experience at Ohio Stadium. OSU offered him three days later.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Witten is considered the 240th-best prospect in the 2024 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He currently holds seven Division I offers, the other six being Akron, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.
While Witten can make explosive plays in the passing game, he’s also a very willing blocker, which is likely what made him intriguing to Ohio State.
Uiagalelei enjoys OSU visit
One of Ohio State’s most important visitors from last weekend in the 2023 class relished his visit to Ohio State for the Notre Dame game. Five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei had already been to OSU for the Buckeyes’ spring game in April, then returned in June for an official visit, but he was determined to see a gameday atmosphere at Ohio Stadium, so he took another unofficial visit to Columbus.
“I wanted to see a real game at Ohio State, it was my first time to do that,” Uiagalelei told 247Sports. “I think it went well. I wanted to see the atmosphere and the fans and all.”
It was also Uiagalelei’s first chance to see Jim Knowles’ defensive scheme play out in person, and the 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end came away impressed with what he saw.
“They definitely fly around to the ball,” Uiagalelei told the recruiting network. “It was fun to watch. I could see myself playing in that defense. I just love the coaches and the culture they’ve built there.”
A decision likely isn’t coming anytime soon for Uiagalelei, though. Having already taken three official visits to OSU, USC and Oregon, Uiagalelei is undecided on if he’ll take any other official visits, but probably won’t make a decision until closer to National Signing Day.