The Hurry-Up: Five-star Safety Peyton Woodyard Locks in Visit for Notre Dame Game, Darron Reed Puts Buckeyes in Top 6, Antione Jackson Picks Up Ohio State Offer

A 7:30 p.m. kickoff ensures Ohio State’s season opener with Notre Dame will be a big recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes.

We’ll have a bit more info in a Thursday morning article on why Week 1 could be the biggest recruiting weekend of the entire season, but a top-priority recruit in the 2024 class has already confirmed months in advance he’ll be in Columbus on Sept. 3: Five-star safety Peyton Woodyard.

“I will definitely be at the game,” Woodyard told Eleven Warriors Tuesday. “That is something coach (Perry) Eliano and I discussed. I’m looking forward to the gameday experience and the preparation prior to the game. I want to see how the coaches interact with the players, specifically coach Knowles and coach Eliano on the defensive side. I’m also looking forward to seeing coach Day coaching in the field.”

While Woodyard isn’t ready to completely narrow down his school list from more than 30 Division I offers, his recruitment could be shaping up to be a battle between the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish.

“Both schools are high on my list, as well as others,” Woodyard said.

Woodyard recently made his second visit to Ohio State in late April and was impressed with what he saw. The Buckeyes’ 2024 class got off to a roaring start with the commitment of five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola, and that commitment may pay off in more ways than one. Raiola has been on record saying he will actively try to recruit his peers to join him in Ohio State’s 2024 class, and he’s mentioned Woodyard specifically by name. Raiola’s commitment to the Buckeyes has captured Woodyard’s attention. 

“Dylan and I talk to each other frequently,” Woodyard said. “I’m really excited for him and his choice. Clearly, relationships matter and I certainly want to play with players that have the same priorities as me. God, family and a national championship.”

Reed puts Buckeyes in top 6

A priority Ohio State 2023 defensive line target is narrowing down his college choices ahead of his July 4 decision date. Four-star Georgia prospect Darron Reed dropped a top six list Wednesday consisting of Ohio State, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Texas A&M and Florida State. 

Although that’s the top six he released publicly, Reed told On3 he’s also considering Clemson and USC and that he has official visits lined up with Clemson (June 3), LSU (June 10), Miami (June 17) and Ohio State (June 24), even though he did not include the orange variation of the Tigers on his top six. 

“The four schools I have official visits scheduled with do have a little edge,” Reed told On3. “There is no order between those four, but they are a little higher than Auburn, Florida State, Texas A&M, and USC.”

Regardless of which schools are actually the top competition, Ohio State has a real chance to land the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman when he announces his decision on America’s birthday. Reed visited OSU April 1-3 and told Eleven Warriors after his visit the Buckeyes were in the lead regarding his recruitment.

“They’re most definitely at the top of my list,” Reed said in April. “Because of the love they show and they have the No. 3 engineering program in the country.” 

Jackson offered by OSU

Four-star 2024 safety Antione Jackson may already be committed to Georgia, but that didn’t stop Ohio State from extending an offer to the Florida product on Wednesday. 

The 6-foot, 170-pound Jackson is considered the 83rd-best player and the 10th-best safety in the 2024 class, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He has 17 Division I offers to this point and committed to the Bulldogs on March 21. He led Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to a 10-2 record last season.

NCAA eliminates 25-man limit to recruiting classes

After meeting on Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council eased its stance on several regulations concerning college football. The first measure passed was to allow FBS conferences to determine their championship game participants, rather than requiring division winners facing off.

The Pac-12 was the first such conference to amend its championship game policy, announcing Wednesday the two teams with the highest conference winning percentages will face off instead of the winners of the North and South Divisions. Other conferences, including the Big Ten, will have the option of adopting that same policy.  

The second policy passed is more relevant from a recruiting perspective, as recruiting classes will no longer be limited to 25 players per recruiting class, as all signing and initial counter limits have been removed for at least the next two seasons. All teams will still have to abide by the 85-man scholarship limit for the entirety of the roster, though, so colleges will still have to be selective while filling out their recruiting cycles.  

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