Ohio State has only started building a relationship with four-star Texas 2025 linebacker Elijah Barnes.
Yet, there’s already mutual interest between both sides.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles first spoke with Barnes at the beginning of May for an introductory conversation. Nearly a week later on May 10, Knowles visited Barnes in Texas and presented him with an OSU offer.
“The offer was a blessing,” Barnes told Eleven Warriors. “I was excited because I know how big this opportunity is getting an offer from a big-time school. Coach Knowles came up here and offered me, he said that I was the type of person for their defense and that I’m the type of kid he wants to coach and that he wants to build a relationship with me.”
With the offer in hand, Barnes has already scheduled a visit to check out OSU later this summer.
“Absolutely,” Barnes said about his intention to visit Ohio State. “I have plans to visit Ohio in the summer, I’ll get to meet the coaching staff, get to see some of the players and have a good time down there.”
At the moment, Barnes has more than 20 Division I offers, and the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker isn’t ready to narrow things down in his recruitment just yet.
“Like I tell everyone, my mind is not on any top school, I’m still doing my research, trying to take visits and check out programs,” Barnes said. “I’m going to keep working, staying humble and then I will decide when the time comes.”
Barnes is currently considered the 100th-ranked prospect and 12th-best linebacker in the 2025 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. The Texas prospect also participates in track and field and was named the Texas District 11-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year last season while occasionally playing running back.
“It really doesn’t matter where you put me on the field, I’m going to play ball, make plays, make a name for myself and come in with that winning mindset and dominate,” Barnes said.
Nicholas Rodriguez puts OSU in top six
Ohio State has made the cut for one of its remaining linebacker targets. Three-star 2024 Florida linebacker Nicholas Rodriguez released his top six schools on Thursday, which consisted of Ohio State, LSU, Tennessee, Louisville, Miami and West Virginia.
Rodriguez has an official visit to OSU scheduled for June 2, the same weekend his high school teammate and OSU running back commit Jordan Lyle will be taking his official visit to Columbus. Both Rodriguez and Lyle visited OSU in March to take in a spring practice and Lyle committed to the Buckeyes at the end of April.
Rodriguez is one of several remaining OSU linebacker targets, along with Sammy Brown, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa and Edwin Spillman, who the Buckeyes are pursuing to potentially join Garrett Stover and Payton Pierce in the 2024 class.
Edwin Spilman will take official visit to OSU June 9-11
Speaking of Spillman, the four-star Tennessee linebacker announced his four scheduled official visit dates on Thursday. Spillman will visit Florida State June 2-4, Ohio State June 9-11, Tennessee June 16-18 and Georgia June 23-25.
Heading into his visits, Tennessee and Ohio State are both in a great position to contend for the playmaking linebacker. Spillman last visited OSU in November when he attended the Michigan game.
Since it’s the middle of the offseason and June camps and official visits are on the horizon, I figured next week would be a good time to take a vacation. That means there won’t be a daily Hurry-Up next week, though the rest of the Eleven Warriors crew will be keeping up with any recruiting news that happens while I’m gone. The daily edition of the Hurry-Up will return May 30.