Heat Check: Three New Names Crack Ohio State's Recruiting Board, While Three Five-star Prospects Sit at the Top

By Garrick Hodge on April 16, 2024 at 12:45 pm
Jaime Ffrench
Jaime Ffrench

Spring football has come and gone.

Since the last edition of the Heat Check, Ohio State has landed five new commits, bringing the Buckeyes’ total to 13 for the 2025 cycle. Two targets from last month’s board, Tarvos Alford and London Merritt, are now members of the class. Between that and some other adjustments based on how the spring went, we have three new names on this month’s board.

As always, rankings for Eleven Warriors’ monthly recruiting editorial have no perfect formula but are based on a combination of many factors, including roster needs for the Buckeyes in future seasons, the caliber of the player and how likely that player is to come to Columbus on National Signing Day.

DAVID SANDERS JR. OT 1 2 ★★★★★ Clemson•Alabama•Georgia•South Carolina•Tennessee
TREY MCNUTT S 2 7 ★★★★★ Notre Dame•Penn State•Tennessee•Michigan•Oregon•Georgia
JAIME FFRENCH WR 3 4 ★★★★★ Florida State•Miami•Tenneessee•Texas
JUSTIN HILL DE/LB 4 5 ★★★★ Alabama•USC•Miami•Georgia•Kentucky•Michigan
JORDON DAVISON RB 5 11 ★★★★ Texas•Oregon•Texas A&M•Alabama•Georgia•USC
FAHEEM DELANE S 6 1 ★★★★ Oregon•Alabama•Texas•LSU•Virginia Tech
DORIAN BREW CB 7 3 ★★★★★ USC•Texas•Texas A&M•LSU•Oregon
DOUGLAS UTU OT 8 NA ★★★★ Tennessee•Michigan•Alabama•Oregon
BO JACKSON RB 9 NA ★★★★ Georgia•Alabama•Kentucky•Tennessee•Auburn•Ole Miss
DAMIEN SHANKLIN DE 10 NA ★★★★ Notre Dame•Tennessee•Texas•LSU•Michigan•USC
MICAH DEBOSE OT 11 8 ★★★★ LSU•Florida•Alabama•Auburn•Florida State
DAKORIEN MOORE WR 12 12 ★★★★★ LSU•Oregon•Texas

David Sanders Jr. 

Ohio State has no greater positional need in the 2025 class than an elite offensive tackle, and Sanders would fill said need as the No. 1 ranked tackle this cycle. There’s some cautious optimism from Ohio State about the chances of landing the highly touted North Carolina prospect as well, but it will face no shortage of competition. The Buckeyes will get Sanders on campus for an official visit later this summer, which will be crucial in their efforts to land the 6-foot-6, 270-pound product. 

Trey McNutt

Ohio State has already landed two safety commitments in 2025, but it would still like to add a premier prospect to its already strong start to the class. Enter Trey McNutt, who has visited Columbus multiple times, is a Buckeye legacy and the No. 1 ranked safety in 2025. McNutt is in no rush to make a decision and will take all of his official visits, but it’s hard to envision him ending up anywhere else besides Columbus when he finally makes a decision. 

Jaime Ffrench 

Ohio State continues to be in a great position with the five-star wide receiver talent from Florida. Ffrench visited Columbus this spring and will take an official visit later in June, so it’s hard not to like where the Buckeyes sit in his recruitment at the moment. Potentially adding Ffrench to the class would give Brian Hartline yet another talented wide receiver to add to the already loaded wideout corps in Columbus. 

Justin Hill

Hill is a perfect candidate to play Jack in Jim Knowles’ defense, even though that position hasn’t been used much recently. Things are still looking good with Ohio State and Hill, though the Buckeyes will have to stay aggressive to keep the Winton Woods product in-state.

Jordon Davison 

When Tony Alford left Ohio State for Michigan, it was immediately fair to wonder how it would impact running back recruiting. For Jordon Davison, at least, the answer is not much. Davison has a built-in relationship with new running backs coach Carlos Locklyn from his time at Oregon. After a brief period of uncertainty, Ohio State seemingly is back in the driver’s seat for the talented running back from California. 

Faheem Delane

Ohio State still feels good about where it stands with the high-caliber safety from Maryland, but his upcoming official visit in June will be crucial to seal the deal with the country’s No. 2 safety. 

Dorian Brew

Brew is an elite cornerback prospect and with his legacy status feels like a must-get for Ohio State, but other schools continue to surge in his recruitment, namely USC. There should be some more clarity on Brew’s recruitment this summer and he’ll take an official visit to Columbus, allowing OSU an opportunity to gain more momentum with Brew. 

Douglas Utu

Utu keeps a relatively low profile, but it’s notable that the Las Vegas resident has taken two visits to Ohio State in his recruitment, most recently last week for the Buckeyes’ spring game. He wouldn’t be making those visits if there wasn’t legitimate interest on Utu’s end in potentially playing for the Buckeyes, and as we’ve made clear, landing high-caliber offensive linemen in the 2025 cycle is priority No. 1 for Ohio State.

Bo Jackson

Like Davison, Jackson already has a pretty strong relationship with Locklyn and was recruited hard by Oregon. The hiring of Locklyn makes it much likelier the Buckeyes eventually land the talented Cleveland product and No. 4 ranked tailback this cycle. Marquise Davis, on the other hand, has fallen off this month’s board since Locklyn hadn’t recruited him at Oregon and Tony Alford continues to put on a full-court press for him at Michigan. Things could always change quickly, but as of now it’s difficult to envision Davis ending up Ohio State’s class at the moment. But a potential pairing of Jackson and Davison would certainly be worth dreaming about.  

Damien Shanklin

Shanklin gets the nod for this month’s board because of his upside, but Mariyon Dye isn’t too far away from cracking the list. With two defensive ends committed to OSU already, the Buckeyes may only need one more true defensive end this cycle (not counting Hill). That could come down to Shanklin or Dye. Shanklin has a commitment date set for Sept. 21 and Ohio State is in a good spot here as of now, so it will be interesting to see how things play out.

Micah DeBose

Not much has changed on the DeBose front from last month. The Buckeyes are hosting DeBose on an official visit on June 14 and have at least a puncher’s chance in this recruitment, but LSU appears to be in the driver’s seat for now, though Ohio State is hot on the Tigers’ heels.

Dakorien Moore

Ohio State continues to have a chance of flipping the talented five-star product from LSU, (same with two other schools), but it’s probably fair to take the field over the Buckeyes right now. Moore took a spring visit to Columbus in March. He was supposed to visit again last weekend but postponed that trip until later this month. He’ll also take an official visit in the summer.

Honorable mentions

Four-star linebacker Riley Pettijohn was the first prospect who just missed the cut this month. Pettijohn is Ohio State's top linebacker target remaining on the board by far, but keeping him away from Texas will be no small feat.

Running backs: Jeff OvertonByron Louis, Anthony Rogers, Dierre HillMarquise Davis and Shekai Mills-Knight

Offensive linemen: Jayvon McFadden, Joshua Blackston, Jack Lange, Avery Gach and Kaden Strayhorn

Defensive linemenZion GradyNasir Wyatt, Damien ShanklinMaxwell Roy, Myron CharlesJarquez CarterMariyon Dye, Trajen OdomKole BriehlerDarrion Smith and Brandon Caesar

LinebackersMadden FaraimoRiley PettijohnGavin NixAbduall Sanders Jr.Elijah Melendez and Max Granville

SafetiesJonah WilliamsKainoa WinstonJadyn Hudson and Messiah Delhomme

Wide receiversKaliq LockettAndrew Marsh, Daylan McCutcheonWinston Watkins Jr.Phillip BellNaeshaun MontgomeryVernell Brown III, Taz Williams Jr.Talyn TaylorQuincy Porter and Edward Coleman

View 40 Comments