Q&A: Miles Lockhart Says Ohio State is “The Leader” in His Recruitment, Expects to Play Slot Cornerback at the Next Level

By Garrick Hodge on February 18, 2023 at 10:10 am
Miles Lockhart

One of Ohio State’s top cornerback targets in the 2024 class has already locked in an official visit for this summer.

Four-star 2024 Arizona prospect Miles Lockhart has confirmed he’ll visit OSU June 16-18, along with several other top prospects during a weekend that looks to be shaping up as a massive recruiting opportunity for the Buckeyes. 

After picking up an offer from OSU with a dominant camp performance last June, he followed it up with a strong junior season for Basha High School (Chandler, Arizona). Lockhart made 69 total tackles (2.5 for loss) with four interceptions and 19 pass deflections last season. He led his team to a 12-1 record and capped off the season by winning a state championship 28-21 over Saguaro on Dec. 12. While holding the trophy, Lockhart was repping an Ohio State bandana, a few weeks after he had taken a visit for the Michigan game.

Eleven Warriors caught up with Lockhart this week to discuss his season, his recruitment and future visit plans. This interview has been slightly edited for length and clarity.

Q: Your season ended in spectacular fashion with Basha High School winning a state championship. How cool was it to cap off a season like that? 

Miles Lockhart: It was definitely dope. Like, that's obviously the goal of any team. So it's just a dope thing to bring that to the school, it was the first time that they've ever been there to the state championship. So it was cool to bring that in and it was a real special group to play with. I was glad this year was the year that we won it.

Q: In terms of your individual performance, it was a nice statistical season for you. How would you assess how you played and where do you think you improved the most this year? 

Lockhart: I think I improved overall just everywhere. I don't really set goals, but every year I just try to do better than what I did last year. If you compare my stats from my freshman and sophomore years, they've obviously elevated. But I think my coverage skills, I'm a lot more comfortable and that's why I've improved a lot. And just knowing where I'm supposed to be at the right time.

Q: Obviously you have some upcoming visits coming up, you’ve already locked in an official with Ohio State for June 16-18. Are you taking most of your visits in the summer or will you take some in the spring too?

Lockhart: I’ll take most of them in the summer but may take some in the spring as well. 

Q: With Ohio State specifically, is the next time you’ll be there in June or are you thinking about a spring visit too?

Lockhart: I may go in the spring for the spring game. My dad was on the phone with Jim Knowles and Tim Walton (Thursday), and they want me to come out for the spring game. 

Q: As your recruitment stands right now, what are the top schools standing out?

Lockhart: Oregon, Utah, obviously Ohio State, Northwestern. 

Q: I remember when we spoke right after you got the Ohio State offer, you told me that it would be hard to not classify them as the leader. Would you say they’re still the leader now, or would you say it’s a pretty tight race right now?

Lockhart: Nah, they’re the leader. (Laughs). Just keeping it 100. 

Q: Love the transparency. What makes them the leader at this point right now?

Lockhart: Every school I go to, I just try to compare like, what they have and what they can offer. They just can compete with anybody, obviously they compete for national championships every year, they can give me the education I need. If I go on to the NFL, they'll give me the chance to develop me. It's just a great atmosphere to be in and a great place to be. They offer you a lot of opportunities.

Q: How often do you talk with coach Walton?

Lockhart: Once or twice a week. We’ll either text or he’ll send me something. There’s good communication between him and I. 

Q: In terms of your game at the next level, has he told you whether he sees you as a slot cornerback or an outside cornerback? 

Lockhart: I would say he mostly talks about slot. But I can play outside. I think (it’s mostly at slot) because I’m not a 6-foot-1, 6-2 guy, more like 5-11. So that’s probably why I’ve been in the slot.  

Q: When you’ve watched Ohio State’s defense, what sticks out schematically to you? How is it compared to the defense you run in high school?

Lockhart: Our defense was super good and we had guys flying around all the time. I think that’s what coach Knowles lets the team do. I think he really puts the guys in the right position and they really just have to be there and be smart enough to make the play. That’s what I took away when I was there, just the guys have to be good enough to make those plays. 

Q: You’ve set official visits, do you have an official timeline for when you’d like to make a decision?

Lockhart: I’m committing in July. I’ll take my officials and commit after that. Probably mid-July. 

Q: What’s the decision going to come down to? 

Lockhart: I always say it's relationships with me. If I feel the most comfortable with my position coach, like, I'm gonna be with him every day. And if I'm most comfortable with all the coaches that are there, that's the place that I'm gonna go. And I just want to feel the most welcomed and comfortable as it's already gonna be a hard transition getting into college football and in college life, so just want to be set in and that the other guys are gonna give me a chance wherever I'm gonna go.

Q: Have you talked with any of Ohio State’s commits or fellow targets about what it would be like to be Buckeyes?

Lockhart: Yeah, I’ve talked with Bryce West. We talked about potentially being teammates, and it would be dope to play with each other. I know he’s high on Ohio State as well. I’m also pretty sure he’ll also take that official on the 16th as well. We’ll see. But that’s really the only guy that I’ve talked to.

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