When Ohio State hosts Oregon on Saturday afternoon, it will have been 657 days since the Buckeyes last played in front of a packed Ohio Stadium. But the fans aren’t the only ones eager to be in that kind of atmosphere once again.
“I think recruits have been talking about coming to this game since they saw it on the schedule,” head coach Ryan Day said during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s great to have families see the crowd and get the experience of a game day, which we’re hoping it’s one of the best we’ve had in a long, long time around here.”
“What a big game with a Pac-12 team coming in here. Every time you visit campus, it’s a different experience. This is obviously a unique one, the first time back, and we’re really hoping that the crowd is excellent.”
While it should be a memorable day for those in the stadium, Day noted the staff will be primarily focused on beating the Ducks and not so much on interacting with the recruits and their families on the sidelines pregame. That, of course, is why the Buckeyes conducted most of their allotted official visits during a busy month of June.
“This is all about winning the game right now,” Day said. “I assume (the recruits) understand that they’re not going to get as much attention as they typically would.
“The more people you bring on campus, the less attention you can spend with each person, but there’s also a part of being being here on game day and seeing this type of environment.”
That said, the Buckeyes will welcome three official visitors to campus this weekend, including Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove four-star defensive tackle Caden Curry; Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star offensive guard Earnest Greene; and Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove four-star defensive tackle Christen Miller.
They’ll be joined on campus by several commits from the class of 2022, including Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter five-star linebacker C.J. Hicks; Marysville, Ohio, four-star linebacker Gabe Powers; Chandler, Ariz., four-star wide receiver Kyion Grayes; Suwanee (Ga.) Lambert four-star wide receiver Kojo Antwi; and West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West duo of four-star cornerback Jyaire Brown and four-star offensive tackle Tegra Tshabola.
While this list is subject to change, other notable targets from the class of 2022 expected to attend Saturday’s game include Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne four-star offensive tackle Aamil Wagner and Hammond (Wisc.) Saint Croix Central four-star offensive guard Carson Hinzman.
Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star tight end Ty Lockwood, the lone member of the Buckeyes’ 2023 recruiting class, is also set to make his way to campus for the first time since he committed.
Lockwood will have the opportunity to spent time with the likes of Pickerington (Ohio) Central five-star safety Sonny Styles; Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star defensive tackle Matayo Uiagalelei; Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek four-star safety Caleb Downs; Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catholic four-star running back Justice Haynes; Findlay, Ohio, four-star offensive tackle Luke Montgomery; Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan; Orlando Dr. Phillips four-star offensive tackle Payton Kirkland; Roswell, Ga., four-star cornerback Ethan Nation; Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne four-star offensive guard Joshua Padilla; and Massillon (Ohio) Washington three-star running back Willtrell Hartson.
Uiagalelei, in particular, will be joined by several of his high school teammates, including four-star safety R.J. Jones, four-star cornerback Jshawn Frausto-Ramos and three-star safety Ty Lee in the class of 2023 and four-star linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, four-star safety Peyton Woodyard and four-star cornerback Marcelles Williams in the class of 2024.
Last but certainly not least, Fort Mill (S.C.) Catawba Ridge four-star quarterback Jadyn Davis will be back in Columbus for the third time in four months, as he camped at Ohio State in June and attended the program’s Buckeye Bash and BBQ in late July.
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