From a recruiting standpoint, the opening weekend of the Ohio State v Notre Dame season was insane.
More than 60 highly hyped potential clients headed to Columbus for the Buckeyes season opener and that will likely be the OSU’s biggest recruiting weekend of the year. But that doesn’t mean Notre Dame was the only big recruiting weekend this fall.
The Buckeyes have another excellent opportunity to make a statement both on the pitch and on the recruiting trail in their Big Ten opener against Wisconsin on Saturday, with dozens of potential clients expected to arrive shortly at the USO. Saturday will also mark the third night game the Buckeyes have played in their first four games.
“It was useful for recruiting,” Ryan Day said earlier in the week of the prospect of playing a night game because it allows prospective out-of-state clients more flexibility to find flights to Columbus than if the team left at noon. .
There are expected to be five five-star prospects across the 2023, 2024, and 2025 classes, along with approximately 18 four-star prospects.
With no shortage of high-profile visitors heading to Columbus, here are four key recruiting storylines worth following over the weekend.
The return of Keon Keeley
Obviously, the biggest title of the weekend is Florida five-star defensive Keon Keeley, one of Ohio State’s biggest remaining priority targets in the 2023 class, is returning to Columbus this weekend, just three weeks after his visit. officer at the USO on 7 September 3.
When Keeley disengaged from Notre Dame in August, speculation circulated in the recruiting industry that it was only a matter of time before he was headed to Alabama. While Tuscaloosa may still be where the 6-foot-6, 242-pound prospect chooses to ultimately play, Keeley won’t be making a second trip to OSU this month – at his family’s expense, no less – just for the sake of it. ‘hell or it.
The Buckeyes have done enough to establish themselves as a legitimate contender to score top 247Sports player in 2023. Watch Keeley’s reaction to seeing a sold-out crowd at Ohio Stadium for the season opener.
– Kyle Kelly (@ByKyleKelly) September 3, 2022
Larry Johnson has a real chance of scoring another massive recruiting win for the state of Ohio, and the Buckeyes may at least have pulled off the Crimson Tide as well as of now. But with Keeley expected to make an official visit to Alabama soon, both programs may have their answer as to where the precious pass rusher is sooner rather than later.
The OSU has a chance to make a big impression on other potential five-star customers
Over the Notre Dame weekend, the state of Ohio had the opportunity to make a strong impression on various potential five-star customers from the 2023 and 2024 classes. This weekend, in addition to Keeley, wide receiver commit Brandon Inniss, other five stars expected to participate in the Wisconsin game include 2024 defender lineman Justin Scott, 2024 cornerback Charles Lester III, and 2025 offensive tackle David Sanders, rated No. 1 player in the 2025 cycle by 247Sports composite ranking.
Bringing those potential clients onto campus for a match day visit before their senior seasons could go a long way in strengthening the OSU’s relationship with them and ensuring the Buckeyes are legitimate players for all three until their hires are over.
McDonald on an official visit to the USO
Dude, Johnson definitely has a busy weekend ahead of him, right?
Georgia four-star defensive tackle Kayden McDonald is one of two defensive tackles in the 2023 class scheduled for an official visit to the USO this fall. McDonald’s will pick it up this weekend as Florida prospect Jordan Hall will visit in November for the Michigan game.
McDonald’s is considered a skinny Clemson at the moment and currently plans to commit in the next month, so Johnson and OSU will likely have to push hard for McDonalds if they are to have a chance to add him to their 2023 class.
Saturday will be McDonald’s first visit to Columbus since attending the Penn State game last season.
The key prospects for 2024 will return for a second visit this fall
A handful of recruits visiting this weekend have already been on campus this fall for the Notre Dame match, mainly some key goals for Ohio State in the 2024 class.
These names include Bryce West, Donovan Harbor, Mylan Graham, Garrett Stover, Damarion Witten, and Ian Moore. Moore wasn’t 100% sure he’d be able to make it Saturday due to previous high school engagements, but he confirmed to Eleven Warriors on Friday morning that he’d be there.
Each of those players mentioned has a significant interest in the Buckeyes and this is certainly mutual at the end of Ohio State. With the 2023 class nearing the finish line, the State of Ohio would like to start its 2024 class sooner rather than later. Potential clients wishing to visit Columbus twice in a month may be the best candidates to deliver minutes to the USO sooner rather than later.
Eleven warriors will have plenty of coverage from the next week’s big recruiting weekend and a photo gallery of the recruits who attended the game on Sunday.
Before that, a full table of expected visitors is compiled below. The names were gathered from our information, reports from other outlets, and announcements from recruits. OSU commits are highlighted.