Ohio State makes final-schools list for top defensive back targets

Ohio State makes final-schools list for top defensive back targets

Jeremy Birminghamover 2 years
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’s notebook focuses on a pair of defensive backs who have narrowed their schools list and includes the Buckeyes.

Lathan Ransom narrows his list ahead of schools

It’s list-making season, and that means a number of the country’s best young football players are working on tightening up their favorite schools ahead of official visits and late-summer commitments.

For Lathan Ransom, the country’s fourth-ranked safety from Tucson, Arizona, that means taking nearly 30 scholarship offers from around the country and narrowing them down to five final options.

Ohio State, Texas, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

It’s been the relationship with new co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley that has driven Ransom’s interest in the Buckeyes to this point.

“It’s the great relationship I have built with coach Hafley and [coach Ryan] Day,” Ransom told Lettermen Row. “Plus, the history of defensive backs they have had at Ohio State and how they can help you prepare for a future after football.”

The Sooners have already had Ransom on campus for an official visit, and he was at Texas unofficially last weekend. In two weeks, he’ll be in Columbus for his extremely pivotal official visit with the Buckeyes, a huge recruiting weekend that gives Hafley and the defensive coaching staff another chance to impress the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Ransom.

Ohio State staying on the mind of Makari Paige

Another big-time defensive back who released his final-schools list and included the Buckeyes is West Bloomfield (Mich.) 4-star standout Makari Paige.

Like Ransom, Paige will make his official visit to Ohio State on June 21, but he’s been a priority for the program even longer than his Arizona counterpart. Outside of their positional similarities, Paige and Ransom have another thing in common: Hafley is a major draw when it comes to Ohio State.

“They do a great job recruiting and building relationships with me,” Paige said. “Coach Hafley has all the smarts too. Also, the strength and conditioning program there is insane.”

Ohio State has just one 247Sports crystal ball prediction in its favor for Paige, but it remains a very viable option and a top contender in his recruitment as they have for much of the last year.

Gavin Blackwell excited for Ohio State visit

The Buckeyes kick off camp season on Thursday, and one rising-junior wide receiver from North Carolina is excited to be making a visit to show off his talents for the coaching staff.

Gavin Blackwell, a 6-foot, 170-pound athlete from Sun Valley (Monroe, N.C.) High School, has Ohio State high on his early list of favorite schools.

“I’ll be there [Wednesday and Thursday],” Blackwell told Lettermen Row. “I talk to Ohio State pretty much weekly. I love it. Ohio State is my dream school and I can’t wait to visit this week.

“The brotherhood that Ohio State has — it’s just different and I’ve always dreamed of playing for them.”

The Buckeyes have extended an offer to the country’s 27th-ranked 2021 wideout, but camp this week will give him a chance to showcase exactly why he’s a good fit for a program that’s recruiting wide receivers at a level different than most schools are. He’ll visit campus with his high school offensive coordinator and his quarterback.

Muhsin Muhammad commits to Texas A&M

The Buckeyes search for a slot receiver is one man shorter today as Muhsin Muhammad III, who was offered in early May, announced his college commitment to Texas A&M on Monday night.

Muhammad’s commitment means the value of players like Cameron Martinez and Mookie Cooper goes up even more for Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes as they search for a fourth receiver to round out the talented class of 2020 group.

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