The Hurry-Up: Five-star 2025 Cornerback Na’eem Offord and Four-star Defensive End Damien Shanklin Will Visit Ohio State This Weekend, OSU Offers Abduall Sanders and Simeon Caldwell

By Garrick Hodge on February 2, 2024 at 5:30 pm
Na'eem Offord

The No. 1-ranked cornerback in the 2025 class is making an unofficial visit to Columbus this weekend.

Five-star Alabama prospect Na’eem Offord is expected to make his second visit to Ohio State this weekend, with the Buckeyes having a heap of momentum in his recruitment leading into the visit. 

Auburn has always been a strong player for the 6-foot-1, 185-pound product. But following consistent communication with OSU’s staff and the Buckeyes visiting Offord in Alabama in January, Ohio State has emerged as the frontrunner for the nation’s No. 5 overall-ranked prospect, with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong putting in a Crystal Ball projection this week for Offord to commit to OSU. This weekend’s visit could be crucial for the Buckeyes in eventually securing a commitment from Offord, which would give them the No. 1 and No. 2 (Devin Sanchez) cornerbacks in the 2025 cycle along with another top-100 prospect in Blake Woodby

In his junior season for Parker High School (Birmingham, Alabama), Offord recorded 17 tackles, five interceptions and four pass deflections. A two-way player at Parker, Offord also ran for 310 yards on 46 carries with eight rushing touchdowns in 2023. He added 14 catches for 208 yards and two receiving touchdowns and was the team's primary punt returner, returning two punts for a touchdown.

Offord isn’t the only notable visitor coming to Columbus this weekend, though. Four-star Indiana defensive end Damien Shanklin is expected to visit OSU as well and is certainly on offer watch.

Shanklin, ranked the 172nd-best player and the 17th-rated edge prospect in the 2025 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings, holds more than 20 Division I offers, including Duke, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee, Texas, Toledo, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect racked up 66 tackles (17 for loss), three sacks, an interception and four pass deflections in his junior season. 

Abduall Sanders Jr. earns an OSU offer

Three-star prospect Abduall Sanders Jr. is the latest linebacker to receive an offer from Ohio State in the 2025 class.

Sanders plays at California prep powerhouse Mater Dei and is considered the 426th-best overall player and the 46th-ranked linebacker in the 2025 class. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect has earned 16 Division I offers including UCLA, Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Florida, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington and Washington State.

In Sanders’ junior season for the Monarchs, he registered 48 tackles (eight for loss), 3.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries, an interception, a pass deflection and three forced fumbles.


Simeon Caldwell picks up a Buckeyes offer

Florida safety Simeon Caldwell became the fourth safety the Buckeyes have offered in the 2026 cycle on Wednesday. 

While Caldwell doesn’t yet have a composite ranking, he holds offers from 15 Division I teams including Florida State, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas, Troy and Western Kentucky. 

Caldwell had a staggering number of tackles for a safety prospect as a sophomore, recording 137 tackles (11 for loss) with a sack, five quarterback hurries, two interceptions, a pass deflection, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and two blocked punts. 

OSU visits Lockett, Merritt, Pettijohn

As the contact period ends this weekend, Ohio State made good use of its time on the recruiting trail and visited three key targets in the 2025 class over the past two days.

Keenan Bailey, Brian Hartline and Ryan Day stopped in Texas to see four-star wideout Kaliq Lockett on Wednesday. The four of them posed for a photo to spell out O-H-I-O with their arms. Lockett, a top-40 prospect in the cycle, was offered by the Buckeyes in December. 

“Man, it’s THE Ohio State,” Lockett told Eleven Warriors in December after getting his offer. “Do I really need to say too much? Ohio State is known for putting guys in the NFL at multiple positions and known for being successful outside of football. It’s just a blessing to be offered by Ohio State. You have to understand, man, I’m pumped. 

“(Coach Hartline) basically told me that I have what it takes to be a receiver at Ohio State. He loves my film and loves my personality. And I love his personality as well, he’s a great, great guy.”

Day and Larry Johnson were in Georgia on Thursday to visit priority defensive end London Merritt, who would make a nice pair with OSU defensive end commit Zahir Mathis if the Buckeyes can secure Merritt’s commitment. 

Day also went to Texas on Thursday to see four-star linebacker Riley Pettijohn, another top-40 overall prospect in 2025.

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