Ohio State football looks to tap into California recruiting success again: Buckeyes Recruiting

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State football team will resume its spring training schedule next week as the University returns from spring break, which also applies to the recruiting department.

The Buckeyes continue what will be a busy spring in terms of visitors over the next two months, kicking off Monday with a number of players from California. Lincoln Riley’s arrival at USC makes West Coast recruiting more difficult for OSU, but it doesn’t make it impossible.

Ohio State has landed eight players from California in the modern era and the only three who have come since Ryan Day arrived in 2017 were Mark Jackson (2006), Michael Thomas (2012) – via Fork Union Military Academy – and Marcus Baugh (2013). When he’s gone west in search of talent, he usually pays off, whether it’s two-time All-American guard Wyatt Davis or two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and potential No. NFL CJ Stroud or even hidden gem Chris Olave, who came on as a three-star rookie.

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The 2021 and 2023 classes are the only Day-era cycles the Buckeyes have failed to bring in a California rookie. With nine Sunshine State kids already holding offers — a list that’s sure to grow — they’re hoping the Class of 2024 won’t join that slate given that many of those targets are in positions of need in this cycle. Many of these players will be making unofficial visits this spring.

Here’s a look at the California 2024 goals that are expected to be on campus this weekend:

Player, PositionRank (Pos.)RatingStarsBrandon Baker, OTNo. 38 (no. 1)0.97764-StarAydin Breland, DL no. 44 (#8)0.97484-StarT.A. Cunningham, DLNo. 50 (No. 9)0.97004-StarDakoda Fields, CBNo. 77 (No. 9)0.95914-StarKyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, LBNo. 89 (No. 8)0.96424-StarDylan Williams, LBNo. 108 (#9)0.94614-star

• Brandon Baker, Aydin Breland, Dakoda Fields and Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa are the only three who will come to Columbus with offers already.

• Viliamu-Asa had an offer since first visiting OSU in June 2021 alongside teammates Matayo Uiagalelei and Peyton Woodyard, who were also targets. Uiagalelei ultimately picked Oregon as a five-star rusher in the 2023 class while Bowen — No. 35 player and No. 3 safety — is currently committed to Georgia as a 2024 freshman. Although Ohio State didn’t stop recruiting him either.

• Baker will be interesting to watch coming out this weekend just to check the temperature as it is realistic for Frye to pull this off. Ohio State needs to make a splash in recruiting its offensive line this cycle and has already got off to a good start with Ian Moore and Marc Nave. Finding a way to bring Baker to the Midwest would be the most impressive offensive line recruit since Davis.

• TA Cunningham and Dylan Williams will come to Columbus without an offer. Although it’s probably safer to think that the two will walk away with such. The question with them — and everyone else on this list, for what it’s worth — is whether either will return this summer, whether for day camp or an official visit.

The primary focus is to create the recruiting class of 2024, but those won’t be the only California targets on campus Monday. Here is a list of everyone else expected:

Player, ClassRank (Pos.)RatingStarsPhillip Bell, 2025No. 34 (No. 9 WR)0.98274-StarBekkem Kritza, 2025No. 40 (No. 3 QB)0.97954-StarJadyn Hudson, 2025 SAFN/AN/AN/AKayden Dixon-Wyatt, 2026 WRN/AN/AN/AT.K. Cunningham, 2027 EDGEN/AN/AN/A

To see Ohio State’s full recruiting class of 2024, click here.

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