The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Offers Former Notre Dame 2023 Safety Signee Brandyn Hillman, Zabien Brown and Marcelles Williams Put OSU in Their Top Schools and Kobe Black Will Visit Columbus

By Garrick Hodge on March 13, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Brandyn Hillman

Ohio State appeared all but done recruiting the class of 2023 since National Signing Day came and went.

As it turns out, maybe not. 

After signing 20 high school prospects and adding five transfers, the Buckeyes have their eyes on adding another scholarship player to next year’s roster: Four-star Virginia safety Brandyn Hillman, a former Notre Dame signee. 

Hillman, who is considered the 214th-best player in the 2023 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings, re-opened his recruitment on Sunday after he requested out of his National Letter of Intent from the Fighting Irish for “personal reasons,” a request Marcus Freeman complied with. 

In the 24 hours since he received his release from his NLI, he’s picked up 11 offers, including Ohio State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Louisville, LSU, Virginia Tech, UConn, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Virginia and Michigan. Other offers he picked up before his release include Kentucky, USC, Miami, Tennessee, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and more. 

Hillman’s rise in his recruitment was remarkable, as he held zero Division I offers heading into September of his senior season. In December, he committed to the Fighting Irish and was a successful two-way player at Churchland High School (Portsmouth, Virginia) at quarterback and defensive back.

Last season, Hillman recorded 41 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and four pass breakups. Offensively, he threw for 1,054 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 1,265 yards and 22 touchdowns. 

If Ohio State can land Hillman, he’ll join a class that has brought in Malik Hartford, Jayden Bonsu and Cedrick Hawkins as safeties.

Zabien Brown places Ohio State in his top four

One of Ohio State’s cornerback targets in 2024 has trimmed his recruitment down to four teams. 

On Sunday, four-star California prospect Zabien Brown announced a top four of Ohio State, Alabama, USC and Oregon. 

Brown has recently appeared on OSU’s radar, getting an offer from the Buckeyes on Jan. 17. He’s expected to visit Columbus sometime this spring.

In 11 games for Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) in 2022, Brown racked up 32 tackles (one for loss), three interceptions, five pass deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Brown is considered the 73rd-rated player in the 2024 class and the eighth-ranked cornerback. 

Other top cornerback targets for OSU in 2024 include Bryce West, Charles Lester, Miles Lockhart, Aaron Scott Jr., Ify Obidegwu and two more players we’re about to touch on.

Marcelles Williams puts Ohio State in his top 12

Brown wasn’t the only Ohio State cornerback target to release a top schools list on Sunday. 

Four-star 2024 California prospect Marcelles Williams cut his recruitment down to 12 teams, releasing a top-12 of Ohio State, USC, Louisville, Alabama, Colorado, LSU, Oklahoma, UCLA, Texas A&M, Miami, Washington and Tennessee. 

The Buckeyes have targeted Williams since June of 2021, but contact fell off between Ohio State and the St. John Bosco product after the new defensive staff hirings last season. Communication has since re-emerged between Williams and Tim Walton, and he’ll visit Columbus on April 1. Williams is considered the 67th-best player and seventh-ranked cornerback in the 2024 class.

Kobe Black to visit Ohio State later this month

One of the top cornerbacks in the 2024 class is coming to Columbus on a visit soon. Five-star Texas prospect Kobe Black told 247Sports this weekend he plans to visit Ohio State later this month. 

Black, considered the 15th-best player nationally and the second-ranked cornerback, was offered by the Buckeyes on Jan. 10. The upcoming visit to Columbus will be Black’s first time to Ohio State. As it stands, Texas is the front runner to land Black, though schools such as Alabama, Ohio State, USC and more all remain in the mix.

In 12 games for Connally High School (Waco, Texas) last season, Black racked up 36 tackles (2 for loss), two interceptions returned a combined 104 yards and nine pass deflections.

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