The Recruitment Council in 2023 is taking shape.
Ryan Day’s recruitment class from 2022 is well positioned to compete for the national recruitment crown. Yesterday’s promise from four-star offensive tackle George Fitzpatrick only strengthened the Buckeyes team on top of the team rankings, and there is probably still room for another 6-8 commitments before all is said and done.
Looking forward to the 2023 class, Ohio State does not currently have a single name in the commitment column. It’s by no means a problem, but history shows that it’s a bit of an outlier.
Jack Sawyer started things off in 2021
The pandemic has definitely played a role in this, as it was impossible for members of the 2023 class to meet with coaches in person for a better part of a year. As the recruiting world reopens in June, things are finally getting heated as we begin to get a glimpse of who Ryan Day and the Ohio State coaching staff are really resetting.
We are probably still several months away from the first full recruitment committee in 2023, but a number of priority goals are starting to emerge; some of which may eventually find themselves in the “must-get” category.
5. Luke Montgomery • Offensive Line • Findlay, Ohio
Ohio State recently lost a game against the Irish when Mentor defensive end Brenan Vernon announced his commitment. It would be an even more surprising event if Luke Montgomery did the same. The Findlay lineman is a different kind of child, and it will be a high task for Notre Dame or any other program to pull 6 feet 5, 260 pounds away from Columbus.
Montgomery is capable of playing on both sides of the scrimmage line, but his future is likely to be the brightest in offense. Yet that has not stopped programs like Notre Dame and Michigan State from recruiting him for defense. Greg Studrawa looks set to run the show for the Buckeyes, and the state’s No. 3 prospect is likely to make his decision sometime next season. He will be an active recruiter for his chosen program.
4. AJ Harris • Cornerback • Phenix City, Alabama
Kerry Coombs already has four talented cornerbacks committed in 2022, and it will be a deep unit in the foreseeable future. But landing a five-star prospect who recently put on a show at The Opening is high on the Buckeyes’ to-do list. Despite being a year younger than most of the attendees, Aljama cornerback AJ Harris caught the eye of almost everyone who was at the event.
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Harris is in high demand by Notre Dame, Clemson and all SEC powers. Despite living just along the Alabama-Georgia border, Harris comes from a military family and has also lived in Germany and California. He took several visits in June and could make a decision here in the coming months. Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes will be hard to beat for the five-star corner from 2023, and it would be a big win over Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame.
3. Kadyn Proctor • Offensive tackle • Des Moines, Iowa
Greg Studrawa has done some work in developing Ohio State’s offensive line. The Buckeyes’ recruitment has also been excellent in the position, but staff have had some trouble landing the prototypical types of left tackle. Five-star JC Latham landed in Tuscaloosa and in 2022, Kiyaunta Goodwin tackled the side of Kentucky over Ohio State and a number of other national powers.
Iowa’s Kadyn Proctor should be a priority at the position in 2023, and the Buckeyes are in a solid spot early. The 6-foot-7, 300-pounder is ranked as the second-best tackle in the class and is a teammate to top 2022 Ohio State safety goal Xavier Nwankpa. Proctor visited Ohio State and Notre Dame in June, and the two Midwest powers were to be cornerstones of his recruitment. He has no plans to commit at any time.
2. Richard Young • Running Back • Lehigh Acres, Florida
Tony Alford is on a mission to achieve the same thing he did for the 2021 class. The Buckeyes are likely to sign only one tailback in the current cycle, and they already have their guy in Memphis’ Dallan Hayden. It’s not easy to land two elite tailbacks in a class, but Alford did just that when he signed TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor last December.
Ohio State is shooting for another pair in 2023, and Florida five-star Richard Young is at the top of the list. The No. 1 player on the position and a top-20 overall prospect, Young has offers from across the country and is likely to see his recruitment come down to Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State. Alford have the Buckeyes in a solid spot, but it’s never easy to beat Tide and Dawgs when it comes to the best backfield goals. Still, this is definitely a match, Ryan Day and Co. can win.
1. Sonny Styles • Athlete • Pickerington, Ohio
Ohio State employees do not have to look far for what we believe is the most important vantage point in the 2023 class. Pickerington Central’s Sonny Styles is likely to follow in the footsteps of one of his family members. His father Lorenzo was an All-Big Ten linebacker and Butkus Award finalist at Ohio State. His older brother, Lorenzo Jr., joined Notre Dame earlier this year.
At 6 feet-4 and 215 pounds, the Sonny Styles are listed as safety on the 247 Sports, but the “athlete” mark is certainly more appropriate. He camped at Ohio State last month and spent time training with Kerry Coombs, Al Washington and Larry Johnson. Styles looks like the perfect new age linebacker prospect or someone who could man the hybrid ball position in the Buckeyes scheme.
Lorenzo Jr. was a heck of a high school recipient, but Brian Hartline had reset guys like Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. early in the process. And it’s certainly hard to argue with what he’s done on the track. The Sonny Styles recruitment gets a whole different feel to it. Alabama and several other major time programs are involved, but it certainly feels like it’s going to be an Ohio State vs. Notre Dame battle for the state’s best prospects.
This is one that the Buckeyes cannot escape.