After seeing the star power that attended Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame, it was hard to imagine that recruiting weekend could possibly be topped.
Well, the regular season finale against Michigan is going to give Week 1 a run for its money.
While the buildup for the Notre Dame game had several months to take a life of its own, the stakes are at an all-time high for the Buckeyes in their rivalry clash with Michigan. A potential College Football Playoff berth is on the line, and perhaps more importantly to OSU fans, bragging rights for 365 days. Not to mention, a win against the Wolverines would go a long way in making the right impression on key recruits that could bolster recruiting efforts in several classes.
More than 45 visitors are excepted from various cycles, with plenty of high-profile names expected to be in attendance. Unlike the Notre Dame game, recruiting movement could happen very quickly after the game, seeing as the Early Signing Period is less than a month away.
With no shortage of storylines, we delve into the top things we’ll be watching for this weekend (aside from you know, the actual game that decides the Big Ten East title).
A 2023 defensive end could be on flip watch
Four-star Indiana prospect Joshua Mickens will be making his second visit to Columbus this month, after the LSU commit took a trip to OSU on Nov. 12 for the Indiana game, though this one will be an official visit. Mickens picked up an OSU offer on the visit and has since been a key target for the Buckeyes at defensive end, seeing as his skill set is versatile enough to play the Jack position in Jim Knowles’ defense or as a traditional defensive end.
Mickens also could be intrigued by the prospect of staying closer to home and playing for an elite program at the same time. If his official visit goes well this weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mickens pull the trigger and flip to the Buckeyes in the not-too-distant future.
OSU gets yet another chance to impress Damon Wilson
Ohio State’s pursuit of the five-star defensive end from Florida has been a seesaw affair with Georgia, with one school seemingly on top one week and then another surpassing it with a new wave of momentum.
Wilson took an official visit to OSU for the Notre Dame game in September and has since visited Georgia twice, though Ryan Day and Larry Johnson made it a priority to visit him at his high school during the Buckeyes’ off week. This will likely be Wilson’s last visit to either school before committing, so OSU has a chance to make the final impression and eventually land the coveted five-star defensive prospect.
Two other interesting 2023 prospects will be in Columbus
Following the decommitments of Mark Fletcher and Brock Glenn, Ohio State has holes to fill in its current cycle at both quarterback and running back. Potential replacements for the class at both positions will be in Columbus Saturday in four-star South Dakota quarterback Lincoln Kienholz and three-star Ohio running back Trey Cornist.
Neither prospect yet holds an offer from the Buckeyes, though that’s likely to change quickly for Kienholz, and Cornist could also be on offer watch. Kienholz is committed to Washington, so OSU will have to move quickly if it wants to flip him. Cornist is currently uncommitted after decommitting from Georgia Tech, and the Buckeyes will have to weigh how highly they value him in comparison to other targets.
Three-star Georgia running back Jamarion Wilcox, who has an OSU offer, is expected to visit Ohio State in December. Five-star tailback Rueben Owens may also visit OSU in December, though it’s considered a bit of a long shot that the Buckeyes can flip Owens from Louisville. There may be room for two running back prospects in the current class, though, so there’s always a possibility the Buckeyes end up with a combination of Cornist and Wilcox or one of the two and Owens if they can impress the Texas running back enough.
Big-name 2024 prospects galore
Two of Ohio State’s three 2024 commits will be in attendance in four-star offensive tackle Ian Moore and four-star safety Garrett Stover. This will be Stover’s sixth game of the year at OSU, so he’s nearly been to as many home games as his cousin Cade has.
Commits aside, there’s plenty of intriguing prospects projected to be in attendance on Saturday. The most notable names include five-star safety KJ Bolden, four-star wide receiver Mylan Graham, four-star defensive end KingJoseph Edwards, four-star offensive lineman Jordan Seaton and four-star linebacker Kristopher Jones.
Any surprise visitors?
In a moment, we’ll present a full expected visitor list for this weekend. But there’s always the possibility a big-name recruit in the 2023 or 2024 class shows up that is completely unexpected, and could send OSU fans into a frenzy if spotted emerging from the tunnel.
The biggest name that comes to mind for such an occasion would be five-star 2023 safety Caleb Downs, who OSU has stayed in constant communication with even after he committed to Alabama. The Buckeyes have worked hard to get Downs to their game against Michigan Saturday, but if he does decide to visit, the first sign likely won’t come until someone spots him at Ohio Stadium.
Per usual, Eleven Warriors will have plenty of coverage from the big recruiting weekend over the following week and a photo gallery of recruits that attended the game.
In the meantime, a full table of expected visitors is compiled below. Names were collected from our intel, reports from other outlets and announcements from recruits. OSU commits are highlighted.
|DE||DAMON WILSON||★★★★★||#19 NATL | #2 Edge||6-4 | 230||2023|
|WR||BRANDON INNISS||★★★★★||#23 NATL | #3 WR||6-0 | 190||2023|
|WR||NOAH ROGERS||★★★★||#45 NATL | #8 WR||6-2 | 195||2023|
|OT||LUKE MONTGOMERY||★★★★||#46 NATL | #5 OT||6-5 | 280||2023|
|DL||JASON MOORE||★★★★||#62 NATL | #6 DL||6-6 | 255||2023|
|WR||CARNELL TATE||★★★★||#63 NATL | #11 WR||6-2 | 180||2023|
|TE||JELANI THURMAN||★★★★||#105 NATL | #4 TE||6-5 | 230||2023|
|DE||JOSHUA MICKENS||★★★★||#136 NATL | #18 Edge||6-5 | 225||2023|
|S||MALIK HARTFORD||★★★★||#149 NATL | #10 S||6-3 | 175||2023|
|CB||KAYIN LEE||★★★★||#183 NATL | #26 CB||5-11 | 185||2023|
|IOL||JOSHUA PADILLA||★★★★||#200 NATL | #9 IOL||6-4 | 280||2023|
|CB||JERMAINE MATHEWS||★★★★||#214 NATL | #27 CB||6-0 | 175||2023|
|OL||AUSTIN SIEREVELD||★★★★||#239 NATL | #11 IOL||6-5 | 320||2023|
|WR||BRYSON RODGERS||★★★★||#247 NATL | #32 WR||6-0.5 | 175||2023|
|S||CEDRICK HAWKINS||★★★★||#254 NATL | #21 S||6-0 | 175||2023|
|DL||WILL SMITH JR.||★★★★||#323 NATL | #46 DL||6-3 | 260||2023|
|QB||LINCOLN KIENHOLZ||★★★★||#404 NATL | #24 QB||6-3 | 185||2023|
|CB||CAMERON CALHOUN||★★★||#486 NATL | #48 CB||6-0 | 170||2023|
|OL||MILES WALKER||★★★||#503 NATL | #38 OT||6-6 | 285||2023|
|RB||TREY CORNIST||★★★||#1168 NATL | #75 RB||5-11 | 209||2023|
|QB||DYLAN RAIOLA||★★★★★||#1 NATL | #1 QB||6-3 | 220||2024|
|S||KJ BOLDEN||★★★★★||#4 NATL | #1 S||6-1 | 185||2024|
|WR||MYLAN GRAHAM||★★★★||#32 NATL | #4 WR||6-0 | 170||2024|
|DE||KINGJOSEPH EDWARDS||★★★★||#38 NATL | #5 ATH||6-5 | 245||2024|
|OL||JORDAN SEATON||★★★★||#42 NATL | #1 IOL||6-5 | 305||2024|
|OL||IAN MOORE||★★★★||#59 NATL | #3 IOL||6-5 | 295||2024|
|LB||AARON CHILES||★★★★||#66 NATL | #5 LB||6-2 | 220||2024|
|LB||KRISTOPHER JONES||★★★★||#85 NATL | #9 LB||6-2 | 220||2024|
|DE||JACOB SMITH||★★★★||#89 NATL | #7 Edge||6-5 | 225||2024|
|LB||EDWIN SPILLMAN||★★★★||#98 NATL | #10 LB||6-1 | 216||2024|
|RB||JORDAN MARSHALL||★★★★||#105 NATL | #8 RB||5-11 | 195||2024|
|DE||ELIAS RUDOLPH||★★★★||#116 NATL | #11 Edge||6-4 | 220||2024|
|TE||WALTER MATTHEWS||★★★★||#122 NATL | #5 TE||6-7 | 245||2024|
|CB||AARON SCOTT||★★★★||#123 NATL | #12 CB||6-1 | 170||2024|
|RB||STACY GAGE||★★★★||#140 NATL | #12 RB||5-11 | 200||2024|
|DL||JEROD SMITH||★★★★||#145 NATL | #14 DL||6-3 | 265||2024|
|S||GARRETT STOVER||★★★★||#168 NATL | #17 ATH||6-2 | 195||2024|
|S||VABOUE TOURE||★★★★||#201 NATL | #17 S||6-1 | 185||2024|
|OT||LUKE HAMILTON||★★★★||#209 NATL | #11 OT||6-5 | 290||2024|
|WR||RICO SCOTT||★★★★||#261 NATL | #36 WR||6-0 | 185||2024|
|RB||BOO CARTER||★★★★||#267 NATL | #32 ATH||5-10 | 184||2024|
|LB||KARI JACKSON||★★★★||#287 NATL | #23 LB||6-1 | 215||2024|
|CB||MILES LOCKHART||★★★★||#290 NATL | #36 ATH||5-10 | 185||2024|
|OT||DEVONTAE ARMSTRONG||★★★||#348 NATL | #24 OT||6-6 | 283||2024|
|OT||BEN ROEBUCK||★★★||#349 NATL | #24 OT||6-7 | 320||2024|
|WR||ELIJAH MOORE||★★★||#406 NATL | #54 WR||6-4 | 190||2024|
|OT||DEONTAE ARMSTRONG||★★★||#421 NATL | #31 OT||6-7 | 270||2024|
|TE||GAVIN GROVER||★★★||#486 NATL | #21 TE||6-7 | 270||2024|
|CB||TAYSHAWN BANKS||NA||6-0 | 170||2024|
|CB||RAEMON MOSBY||NA||6-0 | 175||2024|
|OL||MASON SHORT||★★★★★||#28 NATL | #3 OT||6-7 | 280||2025|
|LB||JADON PERLOTTE||★★★★★||#32 NATL | #4 LB||6-7 | 280||2025|
|LB||WESTON PORT||★★★★||#62 NATL | #8 LB||6-1 | 215||2025|
|CB||JONTAE GILBERT||NA||NA||6-1 | 175||2025|
|RB||GIDEON DAVIDSON||NA||NA||6-0 | 193||2025|
|S||FAHEEM DELANE||NA||NA||6-2 | 182||2025|
|QB||RYAN MONTGOMERY||NA||NA||6-3 | 200||2025|
|TE||LANDON PACE||NA||NA||6-2 | 200||2025|
|TE||EMAREE WINSTON||NA||NA||6-3 | 230||2025|
|OT||AVERY GACH||NA||NA||6-5 | 265||2025|
|Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports|