The Hurry-Up: Four-star 2025 Linebacker Riley Pettijohn Will Take an Official Visit to Ohio State on May 31 and 2026 QB Noah Grubbs Puts OSU in His Top 10

By Garrick Hodge on April 19, 2024 at 5:30 pm
Riley Pettijohn

One of Ohio State’s top linebacker targets in the 2025 class has set an official visit to Columbus for this summer.

Four-star Texas prospect Riley Pettijohn announced he’ll take an official visit to OSU on May 31, then in the following weeks will take trips to USC, Texas and Texas A&M. 

Pettijohn, the No. 34 prospect and No. 4 linebacker in the 2025 cycle per 247Sports’ composite rankings, visited Columbus on March 30. 

“The atmosphere in Columbus was pretty exciting and we enjoyed spending time getting to know the coaches and getting a feel for the program as a whole,” Pettijohn’s father told On3 this week. “He was an All-American defensive lineman at Syracuse. “I think what excited Riley most about Ohio State is the competitive business-like approach the players have and the tradition of excellence there.”

Heading into the summer, Texas is likely the favorite to land Pettijohn at this point. But the Buckeyes will have a chance to make up ground in a hurry on his official visit, and James Laurinaitis has made it clear to Pettijohn that he’s a priority target for the Buckeyes. 

In his junior season, Pettijohn recorded 120 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and an interception.

OSU has two linebackers committed in the 2025 cycle in Eli Lee and Tarvos Alford, and potentially adding Pettijohn to the fold would give the Buckeyes one of the more enviable linebacker corps in the country. 

Noah Grubbs puts Buckeyes in his top 10

Ryan Day and Chip Kelly offered a handful of 2026 quarterbacks this spring that visited campus for spring practices. One of those aforementioned signal callers, Florida prospect Noah Grubbs, has showcased a vested interest in the Buckeyes. He included OSU in his top 10 schools on Thursday along with Notre Dame, Miami, Auburn, Michigan, Florida, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Nebraska and UCF.

Grubbs picked up his offer on his visit on March 25, making him one of nine quarterbacks the Buckeyes have offered in 2026. 

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal caller has nearly 25 Division I offers, including Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Texas A&M, UCF, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

In Grubbs’ sophomore season, he completed 208 of 354 passes for 3,670 yards with 49 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for four touchdowns.

Locklyn says he’s a “relationship builder,” not a recruiter

New Ohio State running backs coach Carlos Locklyn made a favorable impression when he met with reporters for the first time in his Buckeyes tenure on April 10. 

There’s optimism that his charisma and tell-it-like-it-is approach will do well for him on the recruiting trail as well, but Locklyn wanted to make it evident he cares more about truly getting to know the people he’s potentially bringing into the fold rather than strictly recruiting them.

“Guys hire anybody for this position that can recruit, Carlos Locklyn is not a recruiter, I’m an elite relationship builder,” Locklyn said earlier this month. “But I coach this position. I’m a ball coach. That’s who I am, I’m going to pour into these kids and I think you’re kind of seeing it now.”

Locklyn has developed strong relationships with running backs across the country dating back to his time with the Ducks. Some of them are priority targets for OSU in the 2025 class, including Bo Jackson and Jordon Davison. Often, when a coach joins Ohio State’s staff, they find it easier to make an introduction to a potential prospect because of the prestige of the Buckeyes’ program.

While Locklyn is thankful to be in Columbus, he added he doesn’t feel he needs an extra boost from wearing a Block O logo on his chest. He feels comfortable in his faith and what he’s going to sell to prospective recruits. 

“Whatever I put on, I know what I’m going to represent,” Locklyn said. “I know who put me here and I know I represent something higher. I know what my purpose is and it’s to pour into people. This is a great logo, but I wear another logo every day and it’s this cross around my neck. It doesn’t matter what logo I have on, I’ve got that one on and I’m going to go into any house and be able to recruit.”

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