Ohio State Linebacker Commit Payton Pierce Had "Unbelievable" Official Visit to Ohio State, Has "A Feeling" Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa Will Be a Buckeye

By Garrick Hodge on June 26, 2023 at 8:35 am
Payton Pierce

Ohio State 2024 linebacker commitment Payton Pierce couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

The four-star Texas prospect flew to Columbus Friday with his family for his official visit to Ohio State, an experience he’ll remember for a long time.

“It was unbelievable,” Pierce told Eleven Warriors. “I was super happy to finally get back up here. I had a great time, all the staff was great and we ate a ton of food. We did a lot of cool stuff, it was one of my favorite weekends I’ve had ever. It was great getting to meet the other players and recruits. It was an unbelievable trip.” 

When Pierce committed to Ohio State earlier this spring, the first person he contacted besides the Buckeyes’ staff was fellow linebacker commit Garrett Stover. Stover had already made an official visit to Columbus earlier this month but returned to campus for an unofficial visit to hang out with Pierce. 

“Garrett came down on Friday and hung out. I met Cade Stover, Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers and went over to their house, I also met JT Tuimoloau,” Pierce said. “Garrett was good, we drove around in his car for a little bit and he ate dinner with us. He was great, it was good catching up with him. Our parents hung out too that night. It was a blast.” 

Pierce also put on his best peer recruiting hat and tried to help Ohio State land four-star California linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, who was on the official visit with Stover. 

“Kyngstonn was awesome. We hung out basically the whole time,” Pierce said. “I was trying to recruit him the best I could, and I think he likes it a lot here. Hopefully, we’ll get him on board. He fits right in with our scheme, the guys on the team and in the commitment class. I got a feeling he’ll be a Buckeye, but who knows.” 

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound prospect also enjoyed dinner at Ohio State the first night, where fellow recruits Bryce West and Damarion Witten both announced their commitments to Ohio State. Pierce enjoyed hanging out with both players and was excited to see them announce they’ll be his future teammates.

“It was like back-to-back commits at the dinner, so we were hanging out with them the whole time,” Pierce said. “They’re pretty funny dudes. It was a bunch of defensive guys which was nice and we played some trivia games in the team room.” 

Pierce spoke to several coaches on his visit, including Ryan Day, Jim Knowles and James Laurinaitis. Day and Pierce discussed how to approach his senior football season now that he’s committed, and also spoke about their love for country music. He also sat in on a few team meetings during the visit.

“Coach Knowles was awesome. He’s one of my favorite coaches,” Pierce said. “It was awesome listening to him during a team defensive meeting, he’s got those really bought in. They have a good time and learn a lot. He’s good at teaching and having the guys locked in and stuff. It made me feel really good that I made the right decision. Coach Laurinaitis was good. He was with Kyngstonn most of the time, but he was great as always. I ate breakfast with him one day and talked some football stuff. Overall, all the staff was great, and we had a great time.” 

Pierce said he and his family plan on making another visit to Ohio State this fall for the Penn State game, if that contest ends up being a primetime kickoff.

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