One of Ohio State’s top linebacker targets in the 2025 class was blown away by his first gameday visit to Ohio Stadium last week.
Four-star Florida linebacker Tarvos Alford told Eleven Warriors his visit to Columbus lived up to his expectations and more.
“The visit was great,” Alford said. “It was pretty much everything I expected it to be. It was great getting my family up there for the first time. They really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was great. I didn’t see an empty seat. Every time they made a play, the crowd got loud. It was crazy. I caught up with coach Jim Knowles, coach Ryan Day, coach James Laurinaitis and coach Tony Alford. They were telling me how I could come in and make an impact right away, and they’d push me when I got there.
“It’s definitely one of the best stadiums I’ve been to so far. The stadium was huge, and all the seats were sold out. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
While in attendance, Alford watched as Ohio State dominated Michigan State 38-3, and he couldn’t help but be impressed with how the Buckeyes’ linebackers performed despite not being at full strength.
“They played really well, especially considering they lost their leader due to (Tommy Eichenberg) being injured,” Alford said of the impression the linebackers left on him. “The backup stepped up and did his job.”
Alford has grown close with Knowles and Laurinaitis, with the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker saying he talks to someone from Ohio State nearly every day.
“We have a very close relationship,” Alford said.
Both Knowles and Laurinaitis have told Alford they see him as a Will linebacker in the Buckeyes’ scheme at the next level. So far in his junior season, Alford has racked up 87 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, ffour sacks, two quarterback hurries, one interception and four pass deflections.
Alford, considered the 93rd-ranked prospect and the 12th-ranked linebacker in the 2025 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings said he doesn’t know when he’ll make a commitment but will go with his gut when the time comes. After the visit, Alford said Ohio State is “definitely a top contender” for him. Other schools Alford is considering include Florida State, Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Louisville and Penn State. While Alford says he doesn’t know when his next Ohio State visit will be, he’s confident he will be back to Columbus again.
“Really, the brotherhood,” Alford said regarding the most appealing thing about potentially playing for Ohio State. “Just how so many coaches on the coaching staff played there and then came back. Just knowing after football, you still have a life with Ohio State.”
Julian Lewis to make first Ohio State visit this weekend
The nation’s top prospect in 2026 will be making his first visit to Ohio State this weekend. Per 247Sports, five-star Georgia quarterback Julian Lewis will be in attendance Saturday for the Buckeyes’ home finale against Minnesota.
"They throw the ball around," Lewis told 247Sports of Ohio State. "The past couple years, they've had a lot of success. I have a good relationship with C.J. Stroud and had good talks with him about the whole thing. Coach (Corey) Dennis over there, we've talked a good amount."
Lewis has been committed to USC since Aug. 22, though he’s also visited Georgia this season. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound signal-caller has thrown for 2,625 yards and 41 touchdowns and only one interception this season, building off a strong freshman campaign in which he threw for 4,118 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Lewis is one of three quarterbacks Ohio State has offered in the 2026 class, with the other two (Jared Curtis and Will Griffin) visiting Columbus last weekend for the Michigan State game. Considering OSU has quarterback wrapped up for the 2024 and 2025 classes, Dennis can focus the majority of his recruiting energy going forward on landing OSU’s 2026 signal caller.
2025 OL Michael Carroll to visit The Shoe again on Saturday
Last weekend, Ohio State hosted 2025 four-star offensive lineman Michael Carroll on an unofficial visit. The Buckeyes won’t have to wait long for a second visit, as the Pennsylvania product confirmed to Eleven Warriors he plans to be back for another visit to OSU this weekend against Minnesota.
Carroll is considered the 230th-ranked prospect and 11th-rated interior offensive lineman in the 2025 cycle. He’s earned 13 Division I offers, including Michigan, Penn State, Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.