The Hurry-Up: Mark Pantoni in Favor of Adding Potential Summer Signing Day, Four-star 2024 QB Air Noland to Visit OSU March 31

By Garrick Hodge on February 16, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Mark Pantoni

To put the finishing touches on Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class, OSU general manager Mark Pantoni put in overtime between signing 20 high school seniors in December and helping the Buckeyes land five transfers.

“Overall and in this NIL world, I think we're very pleased,” Pantoni said regarding his thought’s on OSU’s 2023 class when he met reporters on Feb. 1. “You know, we signed 20 guys. The number may not be as high, but I think that's mostly because we had a lot of guys return, whether it was Cade Stover, Xavier Johnson, or Tommy Eichenberg. So those are like recruiting wins for us when we can get those caliber of players back and so that's why we're on the lesser side overall. And then with the mindset of, ‘Hey, we know we're gonna have to take a couple portal guys to just get some experience and veteran guys who've kind of played some ball as well.’”

While Pantoni and OSU are effectively happy with the result of the last cycle and transfer portal window, Ohio State’s top recruiting guru acknowledged that the transfer portal window opening in December can make life hectic for coaches while trying to finish off recruiting classes, manage their rosters and prepare for bowl games. 

“The current landscape will add a lot of gray hairs on coach's heads,” Pantoni said. “Championship games, on the road traveling, portal opening with 500-plus kids going in in one day – that's hard. I think we need to look at taking a hard look at the calendar and see how we can fix that.” 

As it stands, there are two transfer portal windows, one in December and another in April after the conclusion of spring football. The limited windows present a challenge in Pantoni’s estimation, but he does like keeping the Early Signing Period in December.  

“I think when the portal was more fluid and not, you know, secluded to those dates, at least then it was more spread out and not 500 kids going in at a time,” Pantoni said. “And so that made things much easier on the portal. I think the early signing day is good in December for the high school kids because at least we can go into the holiday season and bowl season in January knowing that at least those guys are secured.” 

Where Pantoni believes the recruiting calendar can improve is adding another signing period in the summer, ideally after most recruits take their official visits and want to make decisions before their senior seasons.

“Something that I've talked to my colleagues about is potentially like a July 1 signing day,” Pantoni said. “It just to me makes sense that you have all these official visits coming into the month of June, and if they're ready to make the decisions then, why can't they just go ahead and sign? At least that clears out another potential group of guys as well.”

Air Noland to visit Ohio State

While Ohio State continues to search for a quarterback in the 2024 class to replace Dylan Raiola, one of the top signal-callers in the cycle has plans to visit Columbus. Four-star Georiga prospect Air Noland, the former high school teammate of OSU freshman tight end Jelani Thurman, told 247Sports he plans to visit OSU on March 31. 

“The offensive system coach Day, coach Hartline and coach Dennis run fits perfect I feel like for a quarterback like myself,” Noland told 247Sports. “Also, coach Day, coach Dennis and coach Hartline have been recruiting very well. They love the way I carry myself on and off the field. They like my personality, mindset and leadership skills.”

Noland, considered the 119th-ranked player nationally and the 11th-ranked quarterback in the 2024 cycle per 247Sports’ composite rankings, does not yet hold an OSU offer. He holds more than 30 Division I offers, though, including Alabama, Arkansas, Miami, Texas A&M, Auburn, Boston College, Coastal Carolina, Colorado, Houston, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Utah and West Virginia. 

Noland had a breakout year in 2022, throwing for 4,095 yards and 55 touchdowns for Langston Hughes (Fairburn, Georgia). On the ground, he ran for 156 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Terrance Moore will make trek to OSU

Three-star 2024 wide receiver Terrance Moore will also be among OSU’s spring visitors. Moore told 247Sports this week he has tentative plans to visit Ohio State and Oklahoma in March.

Moore caught 45 passes for 1,169 yards with 20 touchdowns last year for Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Florida). Moore picked up his OSU offer on Jan. 13 and has also received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UCF.

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