Ohio State is a finalist for a pair of high school teammates from Maryland who the Buckeyes are targeting as potential additions to their 2024 recruiting class.
Four-star defensive end Darien Mayo and three-star wide receiver Elijah Moore, who both play at Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, announced their top schools over the weekend. Both prospects included the Buckeyes as Mayo trimmed his list down to six while Moore has narrowed his recruitment down to five finalists.
Both players have three of the same schools in their top lists: Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan. Mayo’s other finalists are Clemson, South Carolina and USC, while Moore’s other finalists are Florida and Florida State.
Mayo is set to make an official visit to Ohio State from June 9-11, while Moore is expected to make his official visit to Columbus one weekend later.
At defensive end, where Ohio State does not yet have any commitments in the 2024 class, Mayo is among a group of top targets who are expected to visit the Buckeyes in June that also includes five-stars Dylan Stewart and Eddrick Houston and four-stars Nigel Smith, Marquise Lightfoot and Elias Rudolph.
At wide receiver, where the Buckeyes already have commitments from five-stars Jeremiah Smith and Mylan Graham but could still take one or two more, Moore is part of a select group of receivers Ohio State is still pursuing along with Jeremiah McClellan, Keylen Adams and Joshisa Trader.
Buckeyes add PWO transfer defensive end
Ohio State added another preferred walk-on via the transfer portal on Friday when former Robert Morris defensive end Cade Casto announced his commitment to the Buckeyes.
After careful consideration, I am excited to announce I have accepted a PWO at The Ohio State University to further my academic and athletic career! Cant wait to get to work. GO BUCKS#GoBucks @OhioStateFB @R2X_Rushmen1 @N_Murph pic.twitter.com/00BXZsPuDk— Cade Casto (@Cadecasto20) May 19, 2023
A native of Strongsville, Ohio who played for St. Edward High School, Casto signed with Robert Morris as a member of the recruiting class of 2021. In two years with the Colonials, Casto played only sparingly, recording two tackles as a backup defensive end in 2022.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end becomes the second transfer defensive end to join the Buckeyes as a walk-on this offseason along with former Ashland defensive end Landon Smith. The Buckeyes also recently added a preferred walk-on defensive end from the high school ranks, Caden Davis, a Mason, Ohio native who was previously committed to Army as a scholarship player.
Casto was one of two transfers to join the Buckeyes as a preferred walk-on last week, along with former Findlay kicker/punter Austin Snyder, who committed to the Buckeyes last Monday.
Penn State lands Central Ohio QB
For the second time in three recruiting cycles, Penn State has dipped into the Buckeye State for a quarterback.
Two years ago, the Nittany Lions crossed state lines to sign five-star Medina, Ohio quarterback Drew Allar. Quinn Ewers was Ohio State’s quarterback for the 2022 recruiting class at the time Allar committed to Penn State, and though the Buckeyes made an effort to flip Allar after Ewers’ reclassification, Allar – who is now in line to start for the Nittany Lions as a sophomore – never wavered from his commitment to the blue and white.
This time around, Penn State is adding a three-star quarterback who has not been pursued by the Buckeyes – even though he lives just minutes away from Ohio State in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Olentangy High School quarterback Ethan Grunkemeyer, who is ranked as the No. 20 prospect in Ohio, No. 37 quarterback and No. 575 overall prospect in the 2024 class, announced his commitment to Penn State on Saturday, exactly one month after receiving his offer from the Nittany Lions.
After a great conversation with @Coach_Yurcich Im blessed to say Ive received an offer from Penn State University!! @coachjfranklin @DannyOBrienQB @OHSBravesFB @CoachBart11 @AllenTrieu @MickWalker247 @SWiltfong247 @OhioPrepsRivals @Mark__Porter @adamgorney @AllenTrieu pic.twitter.com/zuudc83Jvs— Ethan Grunkemeyer (@e_grunkemeyer) April 21, 2023
Penn State was the most high-profile school to offer Grunkemeyer before his commitment, and he works with the same quarterbacks coach (Brad Maendler) who helped develop Allar (and also currently works with 2025 Ohio State and Penn State target Ryan Montgomery). While most of Grunkemeyer’s Power 5 offers have come within the past two months, there’s reason to believe his recruiting rankings could continue to rise, as he received an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals after participating in the Elite 11 regional in State College on Sunday.
Even so, Ohio State is unlikely to make a late push for Grunkemeyer as it did with Allar, as the Buckeyes landed their quarterback for the 2024 class when Air Noland committed to Ohio State in April.
Heinrich commits to Georgia
One of Ohio State’s top two remaining tight end targets came off the board Monday.
Three-star Florida tight end Colton Heinrich, who was scheduled to make an official visit to Ohio State in June, announced his commitment to Georgia on Monday after visiting Athens over the weekend.
Blessed to join the Dawg nation!!!— Colton Heinrich (@HeinrichColton) May 22, 2023
How bout them Dawgs#Committed #TEtuff @Redskins32 @5manfree @FootballGibbons @KirbySmartUGA @coach_thartley @GeorgiaFootball @TheCribSouthFLA @larryblustein @On3sports @Andrew_Ivins @samspiegs @RyanWrightRNG @ConroyWhyte @SWiltfong247 pic.twitter.com/YfoUt6skJp
While Ohio State already has one tight end committed in Max LeBlanc, the Buckeyes are looking to add a second tight end to the 2024 class. The heavy favorite to be that second tight end, especially now that Heinrich is off the board, is Glenville four-star Damarion Witten, who will make an official visit to Ohio State next month.