On Monday, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson was busy recruiting The Peach State for the Buckeyes, stopping to see several high-priority prospects.
Alongside Ryan Day, Jim Knowles and Tim Walton, Johnson did an in-home visit with 2023 four-star defensive tackle commitment Kayden McDonald, who committed to OSU on Oct. 31.
Additionally, he also checked in on four-star 2024 defensive end KingJoseph Edwards at Buford High School. The 6-foot-5, 242 defensive end said he appreciated Johnson stopping by to visit him.
“He is one of my favorite coaches,” Edwards told Eleven Warriors this week.
Edwards is considered the 38th-best prospect nationally in 2024, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He visited Columbus earlier this year for the Notre Dame game. He hoped to make a return trip for the Michigan contest but wasn’t able to make the regular-season finale. But Edwards still views the Buckeyes highly in his recruitment.
“We spoke about coming back to Ohio for a visit before the year is over, continuing to work hard in school and staying focused,” Edwards said of his conversation with Johnson.
Reese, Matthews win Ohio Defensive Player of the Year in respective divisions
Reese helped lead Glenville High School to its first-ever state championship last weekend as the Tarblooders beat Wyoming 26-6 in the Ohio Division IV state title match, a game in which the linebacker recorded an interception right before halftime. For his efforts this season, the four-star linebacker was named the Ohio Division IV Defensive Player of the Year.
Glenville’s state championship was also the first-ever by a school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, a feat significant enough that LeBron James congratulated Glenville on its state title Tuesday evening following the Lakers’ loss to the Cavaliers.
Mathews was selected as Ohio’s Division II Defensive Player of the Year after he stuffed the stat sheet in various categories. In 12 games for Winton Woods this year, Mathews had 51 total tackles (5 for loss), four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, six interceptions (three returned for touchdowns), 20 pass deflections and both a punt and kickoff return touchdown.
Additionally, 2024 four-star OSU safety commit Garrett Stover received first-team All-State honors for Division II after a standout junior season.
Several Ohio State commitments will likely be honored by the state on Thursday, when Division I individual honors and all-state teams will be announced. Ohio State commits Will Smith Jr., Luke Montgomery, Malik Hartford, Austin Siereveld and Joshua Padilla all played for Division I schools.
Williams to commit Dec. 16
A 2024 running back with an Ohio State offer is ready to make a college commitment.
Four-star Missouri prospect Aneyas Williams has set a commitment date for 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 at a ceremony at Hannibal High School (Hannibal, Missouri).
In just eight games this season before suffering a season-ending injury, Williams racked up 1,200 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, 900 receiving yards and 2,300 all-purpose yards. Williams picked up his OSU offer in late July, and he visited Columbus on Sept. 3 for the season opener. However, Notre Dame is expected to be the Missouri prospect’s school of choice.
Owens decommits from Louisville
One of Ohio State's top remaining running back targets in the 2023 class has reopened his recruitment. Five-star Texas prospect Rueben Owens announced Wednesday he's decommitting from Louisville following the coaching change from Scott Satterfield to Jeff Brohm.
Following the decommitment of Mark Fletcher last month, OSU quickly reached out to Owens to gauge his interest in the Buckeyes and invited him to take a visit to Columbus for the Michigan game. That visit never materialized, and while OSU will still try to get him on campus before the Early Signing Period begins, it's likely Owens ends up at Texas A&M.
It's entirely possible OSU does not end up taking a running back in the 2023 cycle if it can't land Jamarion Wilcox, considering all of the current running backs on the roster could return next season.