Cade Stover’s breakthrough in the passing game this year is obviously doing wonders to give Ohio State’s offense yet another element opposing defenses must gameplan for.
But it’s also having a profound effect on recruiting in a positive manner. More tight end prospects are noticing how involved tight ends have become in the Buckeyes’ offensive game plan, and that may make it easier for them to recruit the position in future classes. Four-star 2024 tight end Kylan Fox said as much with his praise of OSU’s usage of tight ends in Monday’s Hurry-Up. It can also only help the pursuit of 2024 targets Christian Bentancur and Damarion Witten.
Where 2025 is concerned, the Buckeyes would love to add an OSU legacy to that class at some point with Missouri prospect Landon Pace, the son of Ohio State legend Orlando Pace.
Landon was back in Columbus for the second time with his family this fall after visiting for the season opener against Notre Dame. Pace was thrilled with Ohio State's performance in a 49-10 victory and appreciated how OSU utilized Stover.
“I say the highlight of my trip was seeing the Buckeyes keeping stepping on the pedal and play a complete game,” Pace told Eleven Warriors.
Another visit to OSU is likely on the docket for the younger Pace, as he said he plans to be back for the “team up north” game on Nov. 26.
Pace picked up his offer from the Buckeyes on June 28, a few weeks after impressing Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day at a recruiting camp earlier that month.
“That really would be special,” Pace said in July of potentially playing for Ohio State one day. “Just to play on the same field as them and stuff like that, that would be awesome.”
Gibson puts Ohio State in top 12
The top-rated running back in the 2024 cycle is narrowing down his recruitment. Five-star Florida tailback Jerrick Gibson released his top 12 Tuesday, including Ohio State amongst the likes of Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon and Tennessee.
BREAKING: Elite 2024 RB Jerrick Gibson is down to 12 Schools!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) October 4, 2022
The 510 197 RB from Gainesville, FL is ranked as the No. 1 RB in the 2024 Class (No. 11 NATL)https://t.co/ZXH0b8OJwq pic.twitter.com/rUi98fsFF0
Gibson, the eighth-rated player nationally per 247Sports’ composite rankings, hasn’t visited Ohio State to this point but told Eleven Warriors in August he’s trying to schedule a gameday visit to Columbus for some time this season that fits his schedule. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back received his offer from the Buckeyes on March 7 and attends IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) and is the high school teammate of current OSU 2023 wide receiver commit Carnell Tate.
In four games for IMG Academy this season, Gibson has run for 331 yards on 46 carries (7.2 yards per carry) and scored four touchdowns. In his sophomore season for Mundy’s Mill High School (Jonesboro, Georgia), Gibson ran for 626 yards on 98 carries (6.4 YPC) and scored four rushing touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 79 yards and a receiving touchdown.
Walker plans visit for OSU on Oct. 22
Considering Ohio State has played its first five games at home this season, it seems a bit odd that the Buckeyes are heading on the road this week and then on a bye the week after, so Ohio State will have to wait a while for its next opportunity to host recruits.
But a fast-rising linebacker prospect in the 2025 class is planning on making an Ohio State visit the next time the Buckeyes play in Ohio Stadium. Georgia linebacker Mantrez Walker announced he will visit Columbus on Oct. 22 for OSU’s game against Iowa.
I WILL BE AT THE LEGENDARY OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY OCTOBER 22TH ! #GoBucks #BIA @CoachM_Patrick @ryandaytime @CoachJimKnowles @MattGuerrieri @CoachKMcFarland @Coach_Eliano @CoachTimWalton @CoachMcGrath22 @OhioStateFB @Coach_Davis22 @JaYHay08 pic.twitter.com/okPCtL3GaW— Mantrez Walker (@MantrezWalker) September 28, 2022
While Walker does not yet hold a composite ranking, he has eight Division I offers, including Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Ohio, South Carolina, UCF and Virginia Tech. He’s also received significant interest from Georgia, Texas and Texas A&M. He’ll hope to add an OSU offer to that collection moving forward.
The 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker has helped lead Buford High School (Buford, Georgia) to a 6-0 record thus far. Ohio State has plenty of targets attending Buford, primarily on the defensive side of the ball, as Walker is teammates with five-star 2024 safety KJ Bolden and five-star 2024 defensive end Eddrick Houston. Both Houston and Bolden visited Ohio State for the Notre Dame game on Sept. 3.