The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Offers Top-100 2024 Running Back Taylor Tatum and Four-star Defensive End Marquise Lightfoot

By Garrick Hodge on January 17, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Taylor Tatum

Last week, Ohio State extended 15 offers to prospects in the 2024 class.

On Tuesday, OSU offered two more players from the 2024 class. 

Taylor Tatum

The first recipient of an offer from the Buckeyes this week was four-star 2024 Texas running back Taylor Tatum. 

Per 247Sports’ composite rankings, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Tatum is considered the 73rd-best prospect nationally and the fifth-ranked running back in the 2024 cycle. Tatum has nearly 30 Division I offers, including Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC and Washington. 

In 2022, Tatum helped lead Longview High School (Longview, Texas) to a 14-1 record. In 13 games, he ran for 1,840 yards on 206 carries (8.9 yards per carry) with nine 100-yard rushing performances and 33 rushing touchdowns. He added 12 receptions for 160 yards and three touchdowns on the receiving end, giving him more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. 

Marquise Lightfoot

Lightfoot, a four-star defensive end prospect from Chicago, was the Buckeyes' second offer of the day Tuesday. 

Lightfoot is considered the 353rd-best prospect and 22nd-best edge rusher in the 2024 class. He's picked up more than 30 Division I offers, including Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC and Washington. 

In 11 games for Kenwood Academy (Chicago, Illinois) in 2022, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Lightfoot racked up 122 total tackles (15 for loss), nine sacks, 18 quarterback hurries, four pass deflections, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. 

Michael Smith down to four schools

One week ahead of his commitment on Jan. 24, Ohio State tight end target Michael Smith has cut his school list down to four. The four-star Georgia prospect told Rivals this week the teams vying for his commitment include OSU, South Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas. 

New tight ends coach Keenan Bailey visited Smith at his high school in December, as the Buckeyes continue to press for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound prospect’s commitment. Smith also visited OSU in September for the Wisconsin game and enjoyed his time in Columbus. 

“I’m not that big on staying close to home,” Smith told Rivals. “When I first went up there, the atmosphere and the relationships with the coaches was great. It felt that I was at home, but I was far away from home. The weather difference from Savannah to Ohio is two different things.”

On3 releases final rankings of OSU commits

On3 has released its final national rankings for recruits in the 2023 cycle as the recruiting network put out its final ranking of the top 300 players in the class Tuesday. 

Two of Ohio State’s early enrollees picked up five-star status: Jermaine Mathews, who is now ranked as On3’s No. 1 cornerback, and wide receiver Noah Rogers, ranked the second-best wideout. Brandon Inniss, who is considered a five-star prospect by both Rivals and 247Sports, is rated significantly lower by On3, barely cracking the top 100 as the 94th-rated prospect.  

Fifteen of Ohio State’s 20 signees for the 2023 class finished within On3’s top 300:

OSU commits Bryson Rodgers, Cedrick Hawkins, Joshua Padilla, Miles Walker and Kayden McDonald did not crack On3’s final top 300 rankings. 

Anthony Speca commits to Penn State

A linebacker with an Ohio State offer in the 2024 class has made his college decision, and it is not the Buckeyes. Four-star Pennsylvania linebacker Anthony Speca gave Penn State its second linebacker in the 2024 class by committing to the Nittany Lions on Tuesday. 

Speca had visited OSU several times but opted to stay closer to home. Ohio State remains in pursuit of several other top linebackers in the class including Sammy Brown, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa and Kristopher Jones.

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