The Hurry-Up: Brandon Inniss Proving His Mettle at All-American Bowl Practices, Kristopher Jones Puts Ohio State in His Top 12, Nigel Smith Plans to Take Official Visit to OSU

By Garrick Hodge on January 5, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Brandon Inniss

One wide receiver has been standing out amongst his peers in individual practices leading up to Saturday’s All-American Bowl.

Five-star Ohio State wide receiver signee Brandon Inniss may have been the only five-star recruit the Buckeyes signed in their 2023 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings, but his performance against the best of the best has undoubtedly given fans plenty to be excited about as he’s more than lived up to his billing.

In the first few All-American Bowl practices, Inniss has made plenty of highlight-worthy catches, besting multiple defensive backs for touchdowns and beating former Ohio State target Caleb Downs deep in a one-on-one drill. However, an underthrown pass prevented him from making the play. 

Inniss certainly doesn’t lack confidence, and that was one of the biggest reasons the Buckeyes were drawn to him in the first place. In his senior season at American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Inniss caught 73 passes for 1,336 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a junior, Inniss had to play quarterback for most of the season after the team’s starter suffered an injury. 

“Brandon, from early on, just had a presence about him. He had a leadership early on,” Ryan Day said of Inniss at Ohio State’s press conference during the Early Signing Period. “His play this season, bringing (American Heritage) all the way to the state championship again, after the year before (when he had to play) quarterback, you could just tell he was just a competitor. 

“And now you see what he did this year. He can do so many things. He can play inside. He can play outside. He's a dynamic player and has leadership ability. During the process, he kind of would communicate to the guys in the class in these text chains that these guys would use to talk to each other. He was a big catalyst for this class.”

Kristopher Jones puts OSU in top 12

One of the Buckeyes' top linebacker targets in the 2024 class is narrowing down his recruitment. Four-star 2024 linebacker Kristopher Jones released a top 12 schools list Thursday: Ohio State, Penn State, LSU, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Notre Dame. 

Ohio State is likely to end up in the top tier of Jones’ top 12, considering he told Eleven Warriors Wednesday he plans to visit Columbus soon – likely sometime this summer. Jones has visited Ohio State three times, most recently on Nov. 26 for the Michigan game.

“My visit to Ohio State was great,” Jones said after the visit. “It was my third time up there, and every time, they impress me. “I mostly talked to coach Koy McFarland throughout the trip, and I talked to coach Jim Knowles (on Sunday. He told me with the athletic ability I have and the system he has in place. I could make an immediate impact on the defense.”

Smith says he’ll “definitely” take an official visit to OSU

A four-star Ohio State defensive end target that has visited Columbus numerous times plans to be back at OSU later this year. 

Texas prospect Nigel Smith told Eleven Warriors he plans to use one of his official visits to Ohio State, though he’s unsure when he’ll take that visit. 

“Definitely for an official visit,” Smith said of his future visit plans. 

Smith has visited OSU numerous times over the past year, including attending the Buckeyes’ season-opening win against Notre Dame in September. 

​​“The atmosphere was awesome, and the stadium was packed and loud the whole game,” Smith said after the visit. “(My visit) was different because this time I got to see a big-time game and what that atmosphere is like in Columbus on game day.”

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