Ohio State offer important to young lineman, in-state star rising

On3 imageby:Jeremy Birmingham07/31/20


Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row. Today’s notebook introduces a pair of young offensive linemen with major Ohio State interest and shares an interesting story that sheds light on why 5-star running back TreVeyon Henderson is so successful.

Ohio State getting to know in-state 2022 offensive lineman

Much of the discussion around in-state 2022 offensive line prospects has been centered on a pair of talents with early offers from Ohio State: Tegra Tshabola and Blake Miller.

Neither of those lineman are ranked as high, according to 247Sports.com, as Wayne (Huber Heights) offensive lineman Aamil Wagner, who now checks in as the No. 2-ranked prospect in the state overall, trailing only Marysville’s Gabe Powers in the most recent update. A 6-foot-6, 250-pound tackle, Wagner is the younger brother of former Iowa basketball player Ahmad Wagner, who also starred in football for the Warriors. There’s a lot of raw, unproven upside for Wagner, and he’s garnering attention from big schools around the Midwest — including Ohio State.

“I’m still developing a relationship with the coaches and talk to them every so often,” Wagner told Lettermen Row. “I’ve only been in contact with [Buckeyes offensive line assistant] Coach [Kennedy] Cook. I’m looking forward to building more relationships with the coaching staff.”

Wagner has nine early offers, but his rapid rankings rise seems likely to lead to more. Penn State, Oregon, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and others have liked what the tape from his sophomore season displayed.

“Most of the attention started to build up last season,” Wagner said. “I think I was able to impress a lot of coaches with my film. That, along with my frame and athleticism, led to me getting my offers.”

Ohio State hasn’t offered yet, but Aamil Wagner’s recruiting trajectory is going to be something to watch closely.

Florida 2023 lineman thrilled by Ohio State offer

There’s been a run of offers extended by the Buckeyes in the Class of 2023 lately, and one of them went out to a massive rising-sophomore offensive lineman from Florida.

A 6-foot-7, 310-pound tackle for Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) High School, Payton Kirkland was offered by Buckeyes running backs coach Tony Alford and told Lettermen Row that the offer was a dream come true for him and his family.

“It’s huge for me and my family — it’s something we’ve always dreamed of,” Kirkland said. “My mom has always wanted one of her kids to have an opportunity to attend Ohio State. I’ve been on campus when I was younger and fell in love with it. We’re from Chicago originally, and my sister was taking a campus tour and I tagged along.

“I was like eight or nine years old. It felt like home. Something came over me that told me it’s somewhere I could see myself at in the future.”

The offer from Ohio State, and colleges in general, came earlier than Kirkland expected. But he’s no stranger to big-time family since his uncle Percy was a second-round NFL Draft pick in 1980.

“The Buckeyes told me they know I have the skill set and physique,” he said. “They just wanted to get to know who I am before they invest in me. I honestly didn’t expect to start being recruited until my junior year.”

Kirkland says he expects to get taller — perhaps up to 6-foot-9 — and that his conversations with Ohio State started back in January.

Buckeyes commit TreVeyon Henderson continues grind for greatness

Ohio State 5-star commitment TreVeyon Henderson has all the reason in the world to be frustrated. He’s worked tirelessly to put himself into the position he is in, months away from enrolling with the Buckeyes while he’s waited patiently for the NCAA to allow campus visits again so he could arrange his first visit to his future home. Two weeks ago, the state of Virginia cancelled the fall football season, meaning Henderson was forced to consider transferring out of the state to play his senior year or decide against his early-enrollment plans.

After some difficult conversations, Henderson has opted against transferring and instead will just increase his personal workouts as he prepares for his Ohio State arrival in January. It’s a testament to Henderson’s maturity, his commitment to Ohio State and to his craft. How much is Henderson working? According to Lane Casadonte of ABC 6 Richmond, it’s up to three times a day. To this point, the future Buckeyes ballcarrier isn’t looking back on his decision to lose his senior year.

“I know it will hit me later on, but right now, I don’t really feel anything,” Henderson said. “I know my boys will pull through and get another ring for me.”

Henderson racked up almost 4,000 yards and more than 50 touchdowns as a junior while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Hopewell (Va.) High School.

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