The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Makes Top Schools for Jordon Johnson-Rubell, Terhyon Nichols and Justin Scott, Buckeyes Offer Tavien St. Clair, Naeshaun Montgomery and Christian Pierce

By Dan Hope on May 24, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Justin Scott
Justin Scott

As recruits around the country are finalizing their summer official visit schedules, a trio of Ohio State targets included the Buckeyes in narrowed lists of top schools over the past two days.

First up, four-star IMG Academy safety Jordon Johnson-Rubell announced his top five on Tuesday, his mother’s birthday, selecting Michigan, Ohio State, TCU, Texas and USC as his finalists.

The ninth-ranked safety and No. 118 overall prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2024 class, Johnson-Rubell is set to make an official visit to Ohio State from June 16-18. The Texas native is one of the Buckeyes’ top targets at safety for the 2024 class, where the Buckeyes do not yet have any commits at his position. Other safeties expected to visit Ohio State next month include top-ranked safety KJ Bolden, four-star Georgia commit Peyton Woodyard, four-star New Jersey safety Jaylen McClain and three-star in-state safety Reggie Powers.

Another defensive back target included the Buckeyes in his top schools on Wednesday when four-star in-state cornerback Terhyon Nichols listed Ohio State in a top six that also includes Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State and Pittsburgh.

The cornerback from Cincinnati’s Withrow High School, who received his offer from Ohio State on May 9 just two days after participating in the Under Armour Next camp in Columbus, told 247Sports that he is still working on setting up an official visit to Ohio State. He currently has official visits scheduled with Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Penn State and Michigan, leaving room for only one more June visit with either Cincinnati or Ohio State. He would still be able to make official visits to more schools later in the year as the five-school official visit limit will no longer be in effect as of July 1.

The most highly touted prospect to include Ohio State in a list of top schools this week is five-star Chicago defensive tackle Justin Scott, who shared a top five on Wednesday that also includes Georgia, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame.

Miami is currently viewed as the frontrunner to land Scott, the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2024 class. That said, Ohio State will have the chance to make a lasting impression on Scott, who was originally scheduled to make a commitment in January before postponing his decision, as the Buckeyes are scheduled to host the last of his June official visits from June 23-25.

Buckeyes offer three 2025 prospects

The Buckeyes offered their third quarterback in the 2025 class on Wednesday. Bellefontaine, Ohio’s Tavien St. Clair, the 26th-ranked quarterback in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the 2025 class, received an offer from Ohio State after Corey Dennis watched him throw on Wednesday.

St. Clair joins fellow Ohio quarterback Ryan Montgomery and Michigan five-star Bryce Underwood, the top-ranked quarterback in the class, as 2025 signal-callers who have been offered by Ohio State.

Considering St. Clair has already visited Ohio State multiple times, it’s likely the Buckeyes will immediately become one of the frontrunners in his recruitment. St. Clair is entering his junior year at Bellefontaine High School, where he completed 208 of 294 passing attempts (70.7%) for 2,453 yards with 25 touchdowns and only four interceptions as he led the Chieftains to an 8-3 record last season.

Ohio State entered the race for another top wide receiver in the 2025 class on Wednesday when it offered Naeshaun Montgomery, the 12th-ranked wide receiver and No. 78 overall prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the upcoming junior class.

Ohio State joins a list of more than 20 schools that have offered Montgomery including programs such as Florida, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M and USC.

Montgomery plays for Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he is coached by Jack Daniels, who previously coached former Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon at Dwyer High School. As a sophomore, Montgomery had 251 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on just 16 catches while helping Cardinal Newman win its first 11 games of the year before it fell to Ohio State commit Jeremiah Smith and Chaminade-Madonna in the regional finals of the playoffs.

Ohio State also offered a linebacker in the 2025 class Wednesday when four-star Chicago prospect Christian Pierce became the latest linebacker to receive an offer from Jim Knowles.

Ranked as the No. 31 linebacker and No. 277 overall prospect in the 2025 class, Pierce now holds offers from more than a dozen schools including Akron, Arizona State, Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, Texas and Wisconsin. The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker recorded 100 total tackles in his sophomore season at Chicago’s Brother Rice High School.

Pierce’s older brother, Roderick Pierce, is a 2023 Michigan signee at defensive tackle. Pierce told Eleven Warriors, however, that he won’t choose the Wolverines simply because his brother did.

“I feel like having my brother helping me with my recruiting process is a great tool for me, it’s gonna help a lot, but I feel like me and my brother are completely different people and his home is completely different from what my home is, just looking for what fits best for me,” Pierce said.

Pierce said he has not yet scheduled any visits but that he hopes to visit Ohio State among other schools this summer.

Corey Dennis visits Ryan Montgomery

Speaking of Ryan Montgomery, the younger brother of Ohio State offensive tackle Luke Montgomery, Ohio State continued its pursuit of the four-star quarterback on Wednesday as Dennis also visited Montgomery and his coaches at Findlay High School.

Wednesday was the second time in just over a month that Dennis made the trip northwest from Columbus to Findlay to visit Montgomery, as Dennis was also in Findlay on April 21. Montgomery and Dennis also speak regularly by phone, and Montgomery told Eleven Warriors at the Under Armour Next camp earlier this month that his relationship with Dennis is “getting stronger every day.”

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