Five-star running back, interesting receiver option highlight weekend visitors

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham



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 we’re taking a look at the June 11 weekend in Columbus as the Buckeyes open up campus for a second round of official visitors and a couple key unofficial visitors.

Landson Samson will work for Ohio State offer on Saturday

There will be a number of important visitors this weekend but perhaps no visit is more important to the prospect themselves than the visit of Southlake (Texas) Carroll 2022 receiver Landon Samson. When Lettermen Row was in Texas in early May, Samson told us he was coming to Ohio State this week and there’s one reason for that: to show Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes that he’s worth a scholarship offer.

Yes, Ohio State has three wide receivers committed, but the depth that caused a Thursday offer to an FCS-level transfer means there’s a high probability that the Buckeyes bring in a fourth in the 2022 class. Samson took a visit to Nebraska last week and the 6-foot-1, 180-pound 3-star prospect is very interested in the Huskers.

But he wants an Ohio State offer. He’s showing up to earn one and will get that chance during a one-hour workout with Brian Hartline on Saturday. Samson is a special athlete and no one has any questions about that. The question is whether or not he can show Brian Hartline that he has the ability to play the receiver position at a high level.

Samson will arrive in Columbus with teammate and close friend Quinn Ewers rooting him on.

Gavin Sawchuk could make Buckeyes running back recruiting interesting

Ohio State has been closely linked to 4-star running back Dallan Hayden for months and he’s the frontrunner to become the 2022 Buckeyes tailback commitment. Hayden will visit next weekend, June 18-20.

This weekend, Colorado’s Gavin Sawchuk is coming to Columbus and the country’s No. 2-ranked running back is one of just a few players at the position that could be considered on the same level as Hayden. Sawchuk’s recruitment has been somewhat under-the-radar as it pertains to the Buckeyes, but he’s been in regular contact with Tony Alford for a long time.

“The great thing about Coach Alford is there was never pressure to talk all the time,” Sawchuk told Lettermen Row last month. “And be on Zoom meetings all the time. He would check in with me very often and we would chat often, but never made a big deal about it. I have a great relationship with Coach Alford.”

Sawchuk made an official visit to USC last weekend. He’s aiming for a summertime decision and has visits to Oklahoma and Notre Dame still ahead of him. The Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish are the two schools at the top of the list for Dallan Hayden, so there could be some intrigue at the position in the next few weeks.

Jihaad Campbell’s official visit and why it’s so important

Make no mistake: Jihaad Campbell has been a high, high priority for Ohio State for a while now.

The IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) edge rusher has not — until recently — been in much contact with the Buckeyes. Heck, Ohio State hadn’t even been mentioned as a contender for him recently when he first announced his official visit schedule. Something changed recently and whatever caused that gives the Buckeyes a chance to get fully back into the race. That begins this weekend with an official visit to Columbus for the New Jersey native.

When Ohio State had three linebackers committed, it was harder to show the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Campbell where he’d fit into the Buckeyes defense. He and Dasan McCullough could be played in similar roles and now that McCullough is out of the class, the need to replace him with a big-time edge rusher and linebacker like Campbell is paramount for Ohio State. He’s been at the top of the list for the Buckeyes, and now they can prove it.

Clemson and Ohio State both missed out on North Carolina standout Jalon Walker, and now, those two programs are in the fight for Campbell. He visited there early this week and will be at Georgia and Texas A&M in the next two weeks.

Examining the rest of the Ohio State official visitors

Outside of the dudes mentioned above, there are other key visitors coming to town this weekend. Here’s the rundown of the rest of the weekend’s official visitors.

  • OL • Joe Brunner • 4-star • Wisconsin
    • Ohio State has ground to make up on Notre Dame and Wisconsin but the athletic Brunner has been a favorite of Greg Studrawa’s for a while. The Buckeyes aren’t in a hurry to make any decisions along the offensive line until every June visitor comes through but they need to get more realistically into the game with Brunner. That can happen this weekend.
  • OL • Jaylen Early • 4-star • Texas
    • Similar to Brunner, there’s no push for Ohio State to land a commitment from Early but he’s a big fan of the Buckeyes. He plays at Duncanville (Texas) and is a teammate of 5-star defensive end Omari Abor.
  • OL • Carson Hinzman • 4-star • Wisconsin
    • Hinzman is another interesting lineman to watch as the Buckeyes try and sort out their numbers at the position. He’s a bit undersized but an agile and smart lineman with some major offers. Ohio State isn’t one of them yet, but the fact that he’s coming in for an official visit without one speaks to his interest in Ohio State.
  • DT • Curtis Neal • 4-star • North Carolina
    • The Buckeyes have a number of defensive tackle targets on the board but none are as close to a decision as Curtis Neal. He was at Wisconsin last week and this is a Badgers and Buckeyes battle. Neal will miss his senior season as he recovers from an ACL injury and the concerns about that — after a shortened spring season — may mean the Buckeyes are going to need a bit more evaluation time here.
  • DE • Wilfredo Aybar • 3-star • Connecticut
    • Aybar was once considered a major national recruit but has fallen down the list for Ohio State. He has the frame at 6-foot-4,  240-pounds to remain an intriguing edge but with a handful of elite players on the board ahead of him, this weekend’s visit is more of an interview for Aybar than anything else.
  • DB • Austin Jordan • 4-star • Texas
    • Ohio State is in the top three for Jordan and he’s making his first ever visit to Columbus. Texas and Oklahoma remain the most likely choice but the Buckeyes are looking for a fourth cornerback in the 2022 class and if things fall through with Toriano Pride — making a final visit to Clemson before making his decision — then Jordan could get a longer look. The real question with him is if he’s a cornerback or a safety. If he’s more of a safety the odds of him ending up in the Ohio State class are even longer.
  • DB • Ephesians Prysock • 4-star • California
    • The country’s No. 24-ranked cornerback arrived in Columbus on Friday morning for his first visit to Ohio State. Prysock is a 6-foot-3, 170-pound cornerback and is very high on the Buckeyes. There are no other official visits set at this time for Prysock, who plays at Mission Hills Bishop Alemany.

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