There may not have been as many recruiting visitors for Ohio State’s 52-21 win over Wisconsin Saturday as there were for Notre Dame, but the Buckeyes still had no shortage of high-profile targets on campus during the team’s Big Ten opener.
A few dozen recruits made the trek to Columbus, including targets from each of the 2023, 2024 and 2025 classes.
There was plenty for recruits of both sides of the ball to be excited about, with the Buckeyes putting up 52 points on a Wisconsin and keeping the Badgers’ offense in check defensively for the most part.
Of course, the most notable visitor for Saturday’s game was 2023 five-star defensive end Keon Keeley. Keeley took his official visit to Ohio State on Sept. 3 for the Notre Dame game, made an unofficial visit to Florida a week later and returned to Columbus for his second visit to OSU this month Saturday.
When Keeley arrived in Columbus for the Notre Dame game, he was accompanied into Ohio Stadium by Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson and immediately grinned from ear to ear when he saw a sold-out crowd.
This time around, 2023 offensive lineman commit Luke Montgomery was Keeley’s tour guide, as the pair did a photo shoot together before the game and also entered the field together. Keeley continued to be all smiles for the duration of his visit, and was a hit among Ohio State fans, as he was asked by several in the stands for autographs and pictures, both requests Keeley obliged. Keeley also was greeted by nearly every Ohio State coach pregame as well as Mark Pantoni and Gene Smith.
Gene Smith chatting with Keon Keeley and Luke Montgomery: pic.twitter.com/47mJfqHlkC— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) September 24, 2022
The former Notre Dame commit has been thorough in his recruiting process and has an official visit planned to Alabama for Oct. 8. His recruitment is likely to come down to the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes.
Eleven Warriors caught up with five other recruits who attended Saturday’s win and shared their initial impressions from each of their visits:
- Joshua Padilla, 2023 offensive lineman commit: "The visit was good, I talked to Keon, asked him how he liked everything and he said it's between Ohio State and Alabama. I told him the culture here at Ohio State is one of a kind and told him why I came to Ohio State."
- Bryson Rodgers, 2023 wide receiver commit: “I love being a part of the Buckeye family, go Bucks. The offense played excellent. Came out hot like how coach Day wanted them to and they executed. Set the tone early for the entire game when going up 28-0 through the first quarter.”
- Bryce West, 2024 cornerback target: “The visit was great because when you get down there, you really get the hometown love. The atmosphere was great, the fans love you, the coaches love you and show that love toward you. You could see a lot of young guys on that field on Saturday, so if I was to commit there, I could come down to work for a spot and get on the field as a freshman. This was my second time here this (fall), the difference to me was definitely the blackout. With the blackout, the fans were going crazy, the seats were great this time, and just walking around and talking with all the coaches and getting to see all the recruits that you know was great.”
- Ian Moore, 2024 offensive tackle target: “I had a great time. I met a lot of great fans and parents that told me all about OSU. They played great. They did really good against the big guys Wisconsin has on its defensive front. I got to talk to Luke Montgomery a bit and he was asking where I was in the recruiting process. I’m going to Wisconsin next weekend and in the coming weeks after that, I’ll make my decision.”
- Josiah Abdullah, 2025 wide receiver: “Ohio State is a very unique and versatile team. It feels great when I’m here and the atmosphere is something that is very hard to match, if it can be matched at all. I think OSU showed what they can really do, they played well and I’m excited to see what they do in the long run.”
One scheduled visitor who did not end up making the trip was 2025 quarterback Colton Gumino, whose high school team had a mandatory meeting that lasted until 1 p.m. Saturday after the team’s win Friday night. He told Eleven Warriors he is planning on rescheduling his visit for later in the season.