Georgia Four-Star Defensive End AJ Hoffler Has Ohio State Leading His Recruitment

In the 2023 recruiting cycle, Ohio State currently only holds just three commitments. Last year by this point Ohio State held eight verbal commitments. With the Buckeyes staff hoping to keep on pace for another top five class in the country, Ohio State has started to ramp up the pressure on some of its priority targets.

One guy in particular who Buckeye nation should start to become familiar with is AJ Hoffler. Hoffler just landed his Ohio State offer or as he calls it, his “Dream Offer” back in November. Hoffler broke down to The Silver Bulletin what it was like getting that offer.

“I was in class when [Defensive Line Coach] Larry Johnson actually texted me for the first time and told me he wants to get to know me, said Hoffler. “He called me with Mark Pantoni that day after school and that’s when it all really started to happen. I went to the game against Michigan State when [Ohio State] blew them out and after the game Coach Johnson had me call my mom because I was only there with my dad, and he offered me right there. I thought he was playing with me.” 

For someone had been working and praying for their dream offer since they started playing football, it was a very emotional experience for Hoffler when Coach Johnson informed him that the Buckeyes were offering him. 

“I just stood there for like a minute straight just standing there, I couldn’t say anything. Coach Johnson was trying to talk to me and get me to speak but I was just in shock”, said Hoffler. “After he went away for a minute that is when I started to tear up a little bit. That’s when all my hard work became real and showed it paid off. I was pretty emotional.”

Although, Ohio State has always been Hoffler’s dream school, he had never been to Columbus prior to visiting with his dad for the Michigan State game. Hoffler talked about how his first trip to Columbus compared to other college football games, and other campuses he’s been to.

“It was way better than any other game I’ve been to so far. I went to Michigan before and they were okay, Ohio State was just more impressive to me I’d say,” said Hoffler. “[Ohio State] had one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen and then with the atmosphere, it was just the experience I’ve had so far.”

Hoffler told The Silver Bulletin that it was hard not to commit right there on the spot when he got the offer because he knew that spots can fill up quick in classes, and he did not want to miss his chance. 

“The staff told me I should take my time with it but I know they just signed three or four D-linemen for the 2022 class so I was thinking I got to commit earlier,” Hoffler stated. “I talk with Coach Johnson at least once every week and he’s never rushing me and were always talking about stuff outside of football and future plans. It feels right.” 

Now there is still plenty of time for the 2023 class to take visits and plan their recruitments out accordingly. But how does Hoffler see his recruitment timeline shaping up?

“I think I’ll be committed by the latest on my birthday August 9th, but I may silently commit before that.” 

With some of the excitement from the initial offer dying down a bit, Hoffler told The Silver Bulletin that he still feels the same way he did back when he got the offer.

“They’re still the one. Nobody really know this but I’m actually going back up for a visit next Saturday to take my mom up there, because she hasn’t seen it yet. I really want her to see what it’s like. Then after that, all I have left to do is have my mom talk with Coach Day and Coach Johnson and we will be good.”