The Hurry-Up: Four-star 2025 Linebacker Riley Pettijohn Sets Commitment Date for Saturday While In-state Edge Prospect Justin Hill Will Commit Wednesday

By Garrick Hodge on July 1, 2024 at 4:15 pm
Riley Pettijohn

Ohio State’s top remaining linebacker target in the 2025 class has set a decision date.

Four-star Texas linebacker Riley Pettijohn will commit on Saturday and choose from a final four consisting of Ohio State, Texas A&M, Texas and USC.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker took official visits to all four schools throughout this summer and has been connected with each team to varying degrees throughout the past few weeks. Texas has long been seen as the frontrunners in Pettijohn’s recruitment, but lately, there’s thinking the Longhorns have faded in this recruitment and Ohio State has surged ahead. 

Pettijohn has maintained a close relationship with Ohio State linebackers coach James Laurinaitis and has always lauded the culture and winning tradition in Columbus. There are still a few days remaining that could be full of twists and turns, but as of now, the betting favorite for Pettijohn would probably be the Buckeyes. 

Per 247Sports’ composite rankings, Pettijohn is considered the No. 31 prospect and No. 4 linebacker in the 2025 class. If OSU can land Pettijohn, he’d be the third and likely final linebacker in the cycle, giving Laurinaitis a hell of a recruiting haul in his first season as a full-time assistant coach.

Justin Hill set to commit Wednesday

Pettijohn isn’t the only crucial Ohio State target making a decision this week. The Buckeyes are also eagerly awaiting a decision from four-star in-state edge prospect Justin Hill, who will commit on Wednesday, his birthday. 

Hill is down to four schools, including Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon and USC. He took official visits to all four during the summer. While he was on his Ohio State visit, Jim Knowles, Laurinaitis and Larry Johnson each sat down with him and showcased how he’d be used in Knowles’ defense as the Jack position.

“I got to see all the different ways I could get coached by coach Laurinaitis, coach Larry Johnson, coach Knowles and coach Tim Walton since we have a pretty good relationship with him being an Ohio recruiting guy,” Hill said of his visit. “I feel like that was a big part, just seeing all the perspectives I could get developing me at the next level as a football player and as a man. The scheme I feel like is a fit, I take a lot of pride in being versatile in my game. Just seeing how they view me was big for sure.”

Two days before he makes his college choice, Ohio State sits in a prime position to land the top-60 prospect. 

“I’m just trying to find that home vibe,” Hill said of what he’s searching for in the final stretch of his recruitment. “It’s more like a gut feeling to me. I feel like all the places I’ve cut it down to will help develop me into a great football player. But I just need to find that home vibe with somewhere that I can see myself at for the next couple of years.”

Shekai Mills-Knight puts Ohio State in his top eight

An Ohio State running back target in the 2025 class has narrowed down his recruitment. 

Three-star Tennessee running back Shekai Mills-Knight released a top eight on Saturday consisting of Ole Miss, Ohio State, Auburn, Mizzou, Michigan, Miami, Tennessee and Alabama. 

Mills-Knight took official visits to Miami, Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Ole Miss this summer and added he plans on committing “soon.” 

With Jordon Davison committing to Oregon instead of the Buckeyes, there’s still an open spot for Carlos Locklyn to use for the 2025 class. Mills-Knight could be an option if he chooses to push for him, another option is four-star Alabama running back commit Anthony Rogers. With TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins potentially leaving after this season, going after a transfer portal running back also seems like a possibility.

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