The Hurry-Up: Keon Keeley's Decision Could Be Down to Ohio State and Alabama, Four-star 2024 TE Damarion Witten Enjoyed His Visit to OSU, 2025 OL Jake Cook to Visit Columbus Saturday

By Garrick Hodge on September 26, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Keon Keeley

After two visits this month to Columbus, Ohio State has to feel good about where it stands with five-star 2023 defensive end Keon Keeley

While it should be noted no commitment appears imminent, and Keeley likely fully intends to make his scheduled official visit to Alabama on Oct. 8, the talented pass rusher and his family wouldn’t have made a trip to OSU on their own dime if the Buckeyes weren’t in clear consideration for the 6-foot-6, 242-pound standout. 

While Keeley did take an unofficial visit to Florida on Sept. 10, this is essentially turning into a two-horse race between the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes. 2023 Ohio State offensive line commit Joshua Padilla said Keeley told him as much while on the visit. 

“The visit was good, I talked to Keon, asked him how he liked everything and he said it's between Ohio State and Alabama,” Padilla told Eleven Warriors. “I told him the culture here at Ohio State is one of a kind and told him why I came to Ohio State.”

On both visits, Keeley was all smiles entering Ohio Stadium, and his celebrity only grew on his second visit, with fans asking him for autographs and for pictures. He was also a popular man among Ohio State’s football staff with nearly every OSU coach coming over pregame to say hello, along with Mark Pantoni and Gene Smith. 

On Keeley’s end, his mother Janické told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong the second visit was by all accounts successful. But a decision doesn’t seem approaching any time soon. 

"Looking forward to our Alabama visit and will take a few weeks to think," Janické told 247Sports.

Witten enjoys OSU visit

One of Ohio State’s top tight end prospects in the 2024 class was among the recruiting visitors in attendance for the Buckeyes’ 52-21 win against Wisconsin on Saturday. Four-star Ohio tight end Damarion Witten visited OSU for the second time this fall with a host of his Glenville teammates, including 2023 linebacker OSU commit Arvell Reese and 2024 cornerback target Bryce West

“I think the visit went great,” Witten told Eleven Warriors. “It was a great game from OSU.” 

Witten picked up his OSU offer a few days after his first gameday visit on Sept. 3 for the Notre Dame game and has already received a 247Sports Crystal Ball projection in Ohio State’s favor. OSU would like to take two tight ends in the 2024 cycle, and Witten and four-star prospect Christian Bentancur seem to be the highest-priority targets at this point. 

If Ohio State can land both Witten and West with Reese already in the fold for 2023, the once-famous Glenville pipeline may be officially reopened. It’s certainly a thing on the players’ minds. 

“It’s definitely powerful because I know Arvell well, when we get there, he tells you ‘This is the place you want to be, there’s no better place to be than (Ohio State),’” West told Eleven Warriors Sunday. “Then Damarion, I talk to him a lot about colleges and I can see that he really likes Ohio State too.”

Cook to visit for Rutgers game

Ohio State’s upcoming contest against Rutgers Saturday won’t have nearly the same recruiting buzz as the Wisconsin or Notre Dame games, but it should still have several prospects in attendance on visits.

One of them will be 2025 Ohio offensive lineman Jake Cook, who camped with Ohio State twice this summer and also visited twice in the spring. 

Cook, who plays for Westerville North, has picked up six offers to this point, including Akron, Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Marshall, Massachusetts and Miami (Ohio). The 6-foot-5, 295-pound lineman has also received interest from Illinois, but the Fighting Illini have not extended an offer as of yet. 

View 21 Comments