There has been lots going on in the world of college football recruiting as of late. From over 1000 players entering the transfer portal within the first two days of it opening, to five-stars decommiting and committing to a new school hours later. In today’s segment of Bullet Points we discuss what sort of effects these trends are having on the Buckeyes.
First off, lets starts with the transfer portal. It’s no secret that the Buckeyes are desperate to find a true No.1 CB and reliable lockdown coverage guy they can leave on an island. Look no further though, because thanks to the portal the Buckeyes are trending in the right direction for the current top transfer portal target in the country in former Virginia CB Fentrell Cypress Jr. Coming into the portal I spoke to a few sources close to Cyrpress that he had Ohio State and Alabama at the top of his wish list.
Looking at the Alabama side, there does not seem to be a real eagerness there as Cypress is hoping for some NIL compensation for his services and the Tide seem to still be content with First Team All American Kool-Aid McKinstry. That has left the door wide open for the Buckeyes to make a play and it seems like they’re certainly going to in order to land a premier shutdown player at the position.
The Buckeyes are also highly likely looking to make a splash on the offensive line as the Buckeyes are about to see both Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones depart as high round NFL draft picks. There’s going to be a major void to fill on the outside and there only seems to be one sure fire player who’s going to be able step up in junior offensive tackle Josh Fryar. The staff seems to be a little nervous about the depth behind Fryar so I expect them to make a move on a couple different guys.
The first player I heard right off the bat was Oklahoma OT Brey Walker. Walker was a former five star tackle who seems to being leaving Norman in hopes of playing for a legit contender. There is already some mutual interest between Ohio State and the Walker side. Walker has been in contact with the Buckeyes staff and things could be heating up soon. The plan is to get the talented tackle on campus before the playoffs begin to see if they are able to wrap up his transfer following the season. USC is also a major threat in this recruitment as well as Michigans staff has reached out to express interest. However, I’ve been told that with Harbaugh possibly parting ways this off-season for the NFL that Walker was a little concerned there.
Another big time name the Buckeyes are looking at is Rhode Island OT Ajani Cornelius who is ranked as the highest offensive lineman in the transfer portal after starting 22 games in the past two seasons and earning himself All-CAA first-team honors. The Buckeyes are yet to offer Cornelius but it could be coming within the next 48 hours. Within the first 48, Cornelius landed a total 25 power five offers. The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder comes with elite size and mobility. I expect the Buckeyes to become a major player in this recruitment by the end of the week.
Finally, it looks like the Buckeyes are going to strike out in the 2023 cycle for a RB as Five-Star Rueben Owens committed to Texas A&M following his decommitment from Louisville just 3 hours before. The Buckeyes and Georgia were major players here but once again the Buckeyes NIL efforts have lost again in the 2023 cycle. Something needs to change in terms of the Buckeye boosters NIL deals if they’re hoping to keep pace with the likes of schools such as Alabama and Georgia.
The Buckeyes are also likely going to strike out with their final RB target, three star Douglasville, Georgia product Jamarion Wilcox. Wilcox has been seen as a highly underrated talent in the 2023 cycle but it appears the Buckeyes staff is still not sold on his abilities. Wilcox looks to likely leaning towards Kentucky and are all in the rising senior.
The rumors of Dallan Hayden’s possible transfer have been swirling lately about him heading home to where his legacy lies with Tennessee. Father Aaron Hayden played for the Vols back in the early 90’s and had a great career where he would go on to be drafted to the NFL. Tennessee is trying to play into the legacy while propping up a massive NIL deal for the talented freshman. The possibility of stopping the recruitment of a 2023 RB like Wilcox could play in favor of the Buckeyes with keeping Hayden in Columbus. Only time will tell, but I suspect this may work out in Ohio State’s favor long term.
As always, stay tuned for more Bullet Points.