Just less than six weeks from now, the start of the Early Signing Period will commence, and OSU will have the majority, if not all, of its 2023 recruiting class wrapped up.
As it stands, Ohio State has 21 commits in its current cycle and the No. 5-ranked recruiting class nationally. None of those prospects appear to be in danger of flipping elsewhere, like when the Buckeyes lost cornerback Terrance Brooks to Texas on National Signing Day last year.
But there are still a few spots left to be filled in the current class, and Ryan Day and the Ohio State football staff plan on being diligent over the next month and a half to finish the year strong. The Buckeyes remain heavily in on five-star defensive end prospects Damon Wilson, Keon Keeley and Matayo Uiagalelei. They’d also love to get Alabama five-star safety Alabama commit Caleb Downs and five-star offensive tackle Samson Okunlola on campus for the Michigan game, but those two visits are far from finalized.
Ohio State would also take four-star Tennessee linebacker Arion Carter should he choose to opt into the class, and the Buckeyes will get a chance to make their pitch to him this weekend when he takes his official visit. In the meantime, what’s the biggest priority from Day as they try to sell OSU to their last few remaining targets?
“Well, we can keep winning because that plays into it big time,” Day said Tuesday of what Ohio State can do to put themselves in the best position to finish the recruiting class strong. “I think that all the recruits want to see is how well you're playing on Saturday and that what you said in recruiting is actually happening. I think a big part of that is on defense, some of the things that we've talked to recruits about on the defensive side, you know, they had to see it with their own eyes, and I think that they're doing that.
“We have our weekly calls, and we touch base with guys, but a big part of this is finishing the season strong and making sure that they see where we're at as a program because as you project out in college football, you want to make sure that you're part of a program that's winning, and that has a lot of stability. That's something that we sell a lot.”
Wheelock confirms OSU visit for Saturday
A three-star 2024 Ohio State offensive lineman target has confirmed he’ll attend Ohio State’s upcoming game against Indiana. Ohio prospect Jake Wheelock told Eleven Warriors this week he’ll be at Ohio Stadium Saturday for his second gameday visit of the season. Wheelock took a trip to OSU earlier this fall for the Buckeyes’ game against Toledo.
“It was by far the best game day experience I’ve had,” Wheelock said after his visit. “I went there last year, and even compared to that, it was still the best. This visit was amazing. I talked to Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, and some other commits. They were super cool. The actual game was super fun to watch, the O-Line is a bunch of phenomenal players, and I can tell coach Frye has them built mentally tough. It was the perfect experience.”
Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye and Wheelock have stayed in contact throughout the season, with Frye stopping in at Stebbins High School during the Buckeyes’ off week to check in on the 6-foot-4, 275-pound prospect.
“He came in briefly just to check in on me,” Wheelock said. “We talked about the status of the team and the game plan for the week. It was brief, but it was another great experience for me. Any chance to talk to him I love. He wanted to reinforce that I am still a top recruit on his board.”
Wheelock recently picked up his first Power Five offer from Virginia Tech and is now considered a three-star recruit per 247Sports.
Steinfeldt plans trip to Columbus for this weekend
Wheelock isn’t the only intriguing 2024 prospect expected to be in Columbus on Saturday. Indiana three-star tight end Aidan Steinfeldt announced he’ll be among the recruits in attendance for the Buckeyes’ contest against the Hoosiers.
Steinfeldt worked out with Ohio State at a recruiting camp earlier this summer and is considered the 549th-best prospect and 25th-best tight end nationally in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has four Division I offers from Indiana, Miami (OH), Minnesota and Western Michigan.