The Hurry-Up: Florida '24 Linebacker Nicholas Rodriguez Says Ohio State is "Definitely In A Good Place" in His Recruitment and OSU Will Host 15 Official Visitors This Weekend

By Garrick Hodge on June 9, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Nicholas Rodriguez

One of Ohio State’s top remaining linebacker targets in the 2024 class was impressed with his visit to campus last weekend.

Three-star Florida linebacker Nicholas Rodriguez told Eleven Warriors his official visit to OSU on June 2 was a productive one and that he was impressed by what the Buckeyes had to offer.

“The visit went great, I got to spend some time with all the coaches and hang around the players and everything,” Rodriguez said. “It went great.” 

Rodriguez was one of seven prospects on an official visit to OSU last week, with one of his high school teammates, four-star Ohio State running back commit Jordan Lyle, being one of them. 

“It’s always great going up there with a brother,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been talking with me a lot about (potentially going to Ohio State).”

On his visit, Rodriguez met with Ryan Day, Jim Knowles and other Ohio State coaches. Rodriguez said OSU views him as a Will linebacker in Knowles’ scheme. 

“They told me about the tradition and everything going on with the school and how I could fit in, stuff with all of those lines,” Rodriguez said. 

Last season for St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Rodriguez registered 93 tackles (10 for loss), five sacks, nine quarterback hurries, an interception, three pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and a blocked field goal.

“I bring leadership and teamwork, I can be the spark we need on defense and aggressiveness. I’ll give you those big plays,” Rodriguez said of his on-field abilities.  

Other official visits Rodriguez plans on taking this summer include Louisville and West Virginia, and he’s expected to make a commitment sometime this summer. Rodriguez said he views Ohio State as a strong contender in his recruitment. 

“They’re definitely in a good place,” Rodriguez said of OSU. “I want to go where I fit in the best and somewhere that can prepare me for the next level.”

OSU preparing for second official visit weekend

Ohio State’s first official visit weekend saw seven visitors make their way to Columbus. This weekend will more than double that amount, as 15 prospects are expected to take official visits to OSU starting Friday and running through Sunday. 

Eight of those 15 prospects are OSU commits, including wideout Jeremiah Smith, offensive linemen Deontae and Devontae Armstrong, Ian Moore and Marc Nave, linebacker Garrett Stover and running backs James Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon. The seven uncommitted prospects visiting include wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan, offensive lineman Brandon Baker, defensive ends Marquise Lightfoot and Darien Mayo, defensive tackle Jayden Jackson, linebacker Edwin Spillman and safety Jaylen McClain.

Four-star cornerback Cai Bates is on an unofficial visit to OSU and arrived on campus Thursday and will stay through Saturday, while defensive tackle D’antre Robinson will take an unofficial visit to OSU this weekend and likely take an official visit to Columbus later this fall. 

Daniel Cruz puts OSU in top four

Ohio State has made the top four for one of its top remaining offensive line targets in the 2024 class. Four-star Texas prospect Daniel Cruz included the Buckeyes on his trimmed-down school list, along with Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. 

Cruz visited Ohio State last weekend and plans to take an official visit to Texas A&M this weekend and to Texas on June 23, with a decision expected later this summer. The Buckeyes have put themselves in a great position with Cruz following his visit to Columbus, though.

“The main thing I took away from that trip was coach Frye and coach Day’s goals they have for me and have for the program,” Cruz told Eleven Warriors. “Just seeing how much coach Frye cares about things, after seeing some things I do really well in and seeing some things I do badly in, he told me he’s going to maximize my potential and help get me better. He told me he’ll develop me into a first-round or second-round pick. Then coach Day told me about his circle of care and how you fight to be the better version of yourself each day. Honestly, those were big takeaways from that trip.”

Waltez Clark earns OSU offer

Ohio State extended three offers to prospects at its first recruiting camp on Thursday, and we covered two of them here. But the final prospect that left Columbus with an offer was four-star 2025 Florida running back Waltez Clark

Per 247Sports’ composite rankings, Clark is considered the 129th-rated prospect and the 10th-rated running back in the 2025 class. He’s picked up 16 Division I offers, including Florida, Arkansas, Boston College, Florida State, Iowa, Louisville, Notre Dame, Oregon State, South Carolina, UCF and USC. 

Last season, Clark ran for 863 yards on 87 carries with 18 touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 512 yards with four receiving touchdowns. 

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