The Hurry-Up: Damarion Witten Focused on Helping Glenville Win Games and Improving As a Blocker, 2025 Ohio DL Brandon Caesar Picks Up an Ohio State Offer, OSU Commits Shine on Gridiron

By Garrick Hodge on August 28, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Damarion Witten

One week after recording more than 100 receiving yards against a team from Virginia that won a state championship in 2022, Ohio State tight end commit Damarion Witten had a quieter night at the office in Glenville’s 34-10 win over Olentangy Liberty High School, but still found plenty of ways to contribute in the victory.

“We’re feeling great right now, but we have to get back in the lab and come together as a team and do work together,” Witten told Eleven Warriors after helping Glenville to a 2-0 start.  

Witten had a couple of catches on the evening, including one on the opening drive that came up one yard short of a touchdown as the 6-foot-4, 215-pound prospect dove for the pylon but came up just short. 

“I was kind of mad on that play, because I didn’t get a touchdown,” Witten said. “But before that play, I asked my quarterback to trust me and he did, I want to thank him for that. My offensive line created time for him to get me the ball, so I want to thank them for that too.”

Witten was primarily split out wide playing receiver for Glenville the majority of the evening, but had some major contributions in setting up long runs with his run blocking, an aspect of his game he’s made a point to improve over the past few months.

“It really helped me going to camps at Ohio State,” Witten said of improving his blocking. “I want to thank them and coach (Keenan Bailey) for helping me during the summer getting my run blocking together. It really helped us today, because I felt like if we couldn’t run block, we couldn’t get anywhere. Myself and our offensive line went over that all week, because we wanted to pound it this week and create smash-mouth football.

“The most important lesson I learned at OSU is that you have to keep focus. Because if you lose focus, something can happen anytime and you’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He told me to focus, because I’m kind of goofy and a playful kid, but they told me it’s time to get serious because I’m about to be at the next level. I want to thank them for telling me that and keep encouraging me.” 

Witten was also the Tarblooders’ kicker on the evening, handling kickoffs and the lone PAT attempt of the night for Glenville. 

“I’m doing something that can help my team,” Witten said of his kicking duties. “We don’t have a kicker so my coaches wanted me to try it out.” 

On Glenville’s lone PAT attempt, the snap was botched and immediately found its way to Witten, who scooped up the ball and cruised to a two-point conversion.

“We didn’t practice well with our ‘Fire’ play and some other random stuff … but that play right there, it’s something I can do to help the team,” Witten said. “So I just felt like it was something I had to do.” 

While Witten could be deployed out wide on some occasions for OSU at the next level, he’s part of the Buckeyes’ first recruiting class where they’ve had multiple tight ends since the 2016 cycle. Witten joins fellow four-star tight end Max LeBlanc in Ohio State’s 2024 class.

“Max and I, we talk here and there on Twitter,” Witten said. “He was telling me congratulations when I committed and said it’s time to get to work. I think between him, me, Jelani Thurman and coach (Bailey), we can do something with this class.” 

While Witten hopes he can help lead Glenville to back-to-back state championships, he’s eager to start his career as a Buckeye and continue to be teammates with fellow OSU commit Bryce West and reunite with former Glenville linebacker standout Arvell Reese. 

“It’ll mean a lot because I’ve been playing with them since we were young,” Witten said of playing together in college with West and Reese. “It was just a dream come true. The day I committed, Arvell got so happy, so it made me happy that my friends from when I was younger are coming up with me and continuing to do big things.” 

Witten said he’s unsure if he’ll be an early enrollee at OSU or enroll in the summer. As for this fall, he hopes to attend every home game but confirmed he’d be there on Sept. 9 for the home opener against Youngstown State.

Brandon Caesar picks up OSU offer

Ohio State extended an offer to a talented in-state 2025 defensive lineman on Monday.

The Buckeyes offered three-star defensive end Brandon Caesar of Cleveland Heights High School, where he plays alongside fellow 2025 Ohio State target and four-star running back Marquise Davis

Caesar is considered the 432nd-best prospect and the 42nd-rated defensive lineman in 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has more than 20 Division I offers, including offers from Alabama, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee and USC. 

Jeremiah McClellan, Jeremiah Smith, other OSU commits shine in high school action

Ohio State wide receiver commit Jeremiah McClellan arguably had the best performance of any Buckeye commit on the gridiron last week as the Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, Missouri) standout scored three touchdowns in his team’s 55-28 win. One of those touchdowns was just ridiculous.

Wide receiver commit Jeremiah Smith and Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Florida) came through in a big way on national television on Saturday, as Smith helped his team to a 35-14 victory over Maryland powerhouse St. Frances Academy by catching two passes for 19 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown catch. 

Smith wasn’t the only prospect playing on national television this weekend. Running back commit Jordan Lyle and St. Thomas Aquinas faced national powerhouse St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California) on Saturday, and while they came up short in the win column, Lyle broke off several big runs in the contest.

Not to be forgotten are OSU offensive linemen commits Deontae and Devontae Armstrong, who helped lead St. Edward to a 28-7 victory over Maryland powerhouse Our Lady of Good Counsel Sunday on ESPN. OSU 2025 safety target Faheem Delane also competed in that contest and recorded an interception. 

Quarterback commit Air Noland may not have been playing on national television in Week 2, but he led Langston Hughes High School to its second consecutive win after completing eight of 13 passing attempts for 163 yards and a touchdown. 

Five-star wideout Mylan Graham helped New Haven (New Haven, Indiana) defeat Fort Wayne 36-7 after catching six passes for 55 yards.

Quarterback commit Tavien St. Clair notched back-to-back 300-yard performances as he completed 23 of 37 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in his team’s 28-25 loss to Coldwater on Friday. 

Defensively, five-star defensive tackle Justin Scott tallied five tackles (three for loss) in St. Ignatius' 37-20 win, while linebacker commit Payton Pierce recorded 12 tackles (one for loss) and a quarterback hurry in Lovejoy’s 50-37 victory. 

Zaquan Patterson commits to Miami

An Ohio State safety target in the 2024 class is headed elsewhere. Four-star Florida prospect Zaquan Patterson, a high school teammate of Smith, committed to Miami during halftime of Chaminade-Madonna Prep’s game against St. Frances Academy. 

OSU was trailing other top contenders for Patterson entering the season, so a commitment before taking any fall visits didn’t appear promising for the Buckeyes from the start. While there’s always a chance he could visit Columbus later this fall, it’s fair to cross Patterson off the board of potential Buckeye safety targets for now. 

As it stands, every safety Ohio State has offered in 2024 has committed to a school, including its lone commit in Jaylen McClain. OSU may circle back on one of its previous targets in an attempt to flip them later this fall or consider attacking that position hard in the transfer portal later this winter. 

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