The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Has a Chance to Impress Its Own Targets at Notre Dame, Blake Woodby Puts OSU in Top 5

By Garrick Hodge on September 22, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Ethan Long

Ohio State and Notre Dame haven’t just been opponents on the gridiron.

The two prestigious Midwest universities have also competed against each other yearly for various targets on the recruiting trail, with both teams picking up a few wins over the other here and there.

The Buckeyes have bested the Fighting Irish for Luke Montgomery, Justin Scott, Sonny Styles and Carnell Tate, to name a few, while Notre Dame has landed Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, Lorenzo Styles Jr. (initially, at least) and Brenan Vernon, though it’s still open to interpretation how much the Buckeyes really wanted Vernon. 

When the two teams faced off last year in Columbus for the season opener, it was arguably the biggest recruiting weekend of the year for Ohio State. Likewise, with the game being in South Bend this season, Notre Dame could have more than 100 recruiting visitors on campus. 

But several of those prospects are also being recruited by the Buckeyes, so OSU could make a statement to those players in attendance with a strong showing on the field. 

Some OSU targets expected to be in attendance at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday are listed below.

Blake Woodby puts OSU in top five, plans to commit next month

An Ohio State cornerback target for the 2025 class has narrowed down his recruitment and expects to make a decision in the near future. Four-star Maryland prospect Blake Woodby released a top five Thursday of Tennessee, Alabama, Oregon, Clemson and Ohio State, and said he plans on committing sometime next month.


Woodby was offered by OSU on Dec. 12. He’s considered the 79th-ranked prospect and ninth-best cornerback in the 2025 cycle per 247Sports’ composite rankings. 

“I was a big Miami fan when I was younger, but as I started to understand football and the position I wanted to play, I realized Ohio State is DBU,” Woodby told Eleven Warriors after being offered. “I want to play at the next level, and I want to watch the next level. I wanted to watch the best and they produce the best. 

“Just growing up watching Ohio State and seeing all the guys they produce in the league as far as cornerbacks go, it’s just an ultimate level I want to reach one day. It means the world.”

Deondrae Riden puts Buckeyes in top 10

The “Tiger” is one step closer to a college decision. Four-star 2025 Texas running back Deondrae “Tiger” Ridden released a top 10 on Thursday consisting of Ohio State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas, SMU, Ole Miss, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

Riden was offered by OSU on April 30 and is considered the 147th-ranked player and the 14th-best running back in the 2025 class.

In 13 games for DeSoto High School (DeSoto, Texas) last season, Ridden ran for 1,339 yards on 194 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 104 yards.

Brandon Baker to commit Sunday

Ohio State will get its answer soon from arguably its top remaining target in the 2024 class Sunday in five-star offensive tackle Brandon Baker, who plans to commit at 9 p.m. on Sunday, his birthday. Baker will choose from a final five of Ohio State, Texas, Nebraska, Oregon and Florida State. 

Though Baker took an official visit to Nebraska last weekend, his recruitment has long been thought to be a Texas vs. Ohio State race. Two days from his commitment, Texas appears to be the clear frontrunner for the talented California prospect. If OSU misses out on Baker, the Buckeyes will turn their attention to their other top remaining offensive line target, Jordan Seaton, who’s expected to take an official visit to OSU sometime this fall. 

Ethan Barbour commits to Georgia

One of Ohio State’s tight end targets in the 2025 class is heading in a different direction. Four-star Georgia prospect Ethan Barbour announced his commitment to Georgia on Friday, giving the Bulldogs yet another highly-touted tight end over the last few recruiting cycles.

With Barbour off the board, Ohio State will focus its attention primarily on Nate Roberts, Luka Gilbert and Emaree Winston for its 2025 tight end recruiting.

View 2 Comments