Priority running back target James Peoples commits to Ohio State

On3 imageby:Matt Parker04/02/23


COLUMBUS — Ohio State knows it has to ace the running back position in the 2024 cycle, and it’s off to a good start: James Peoples has committed to the Buckeyes.

The four-star San Antonio (Texas) Veterans Memorial running back chose Ohio State over a top six that included Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon.

Peoples is the No. 5 running back and No. 86 overall prospect per the On3 Industry Ranking.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound running back announced his decision via social media.

Ohio State and Peoples picked up their relationship quickly as the fall turned into winter. He had only been to campus once — a June camp last summer. But he maintained his interest in Ohio State, and continued to build up his relationship with running back coach Tony Alford.

That relationship has been the driving force for the Buckeyes, and what brought Peoples back to Columbus for a multiday, unofficial visit from March 30-April 2.

He spoke extensively with On3 about what attracted him to Ohio State before his spring visit.

“Coach Alford is so personable. Whenever I talk to him, the conversation is always direct and it’s never a dry conversation,” Peoples told On3. “It’s a natural conversation. When we talk ball, it’s a whole other level of ball — mentally, physically, schematically, and he keeps me involved in what’s going on over there.”

“We have daily communication and it’s the same thing with Coach (Ryan) Day,” the top-100 back continued. “Coach Alford is a smart running back coach and personable, and when I need to talk he’s always there. He’s making me a better person, nurturing me as a student-athlete, and building my character.”

Peoples is commit No. 7 for the Buckeyes in their top-five 2024 class.

He joins five-star Hollywood (Fla) Chaminade-Madonna Prep wide receiver Jeremiah Smith as the skill players in the class so far. The offensive line is impressive with Ian Moore, Deontae Armstrong, Devontae Armstrong and Marc Nave in the class.

Four-star Sunbury (Ohio) Big Walnut linebacker Garrett Stover remains the lone defensive prospect in the class.

Ohio State certainly isn’t finished on the recruiting trail either.

The Buckeyes are looking for another running back to join Peoples in the class. But for now, Veterans Memorial running back James Peoples is the lone back.

More importantly, he is going to be a Buckeye.

Make sure to follow Lettermen Row for more news following the announcement of four-star running back James Peoples committing to Ohio State.

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