Sonny Styles is unquestionably most important 2023 recruit for Ohio State

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham



Whether or not there are there ‘must get’ prospects in recruiting is up for debate but there’s no doubt that some recruits are, for whatever reason, more important for Ohio State in a specific recruiting cycle. For the Buckeyes and the Class of 2023, those players are becoming clear. Who’s on The List? The first member of the 2023 class is Sonny Styles.

COLUMBUS — There are dozens of highly-ranked, very talented young football players in the Class of 2023 being courted by Ohio State.

None are more important than Sonny Styles.

The Buckeyes have offered 63 different rising juniors to this point — but the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Styles has the athletic potential to be an All-American safety or linebacker. He’d probably be an All-American-level defensive end if he decided to play that position at the next level, too.

Styles is, quite simply, one of the most versatile and talented Ohio-born football prospects in the last few decades. He’s also the son of a former Buckeyes linebacker who grew up in the shadow of Ohio Stadium, starring at nearby Pickerington Central.

If there’s ever been a must-get recruit for Ohio State, it’s Sonny Styles.

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Sonny Styles has a rare blend of size, speed and instinct. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

And Styles knows how much he’s been prioritized by the Buckeyes. It started over a year ago and has continued since, with the Ohio State coaching staff talking to Styles as much as they’re allowed to.

“I’ve been talking to [Al Washington] the most, since August or something,” Styles said in April. “As soon as I had my first game [as a sophomore], he pulled the trigger. I know he believes in my abilities. He believes in me a lot.”

It’s easy to believe in Sonny Styles. His talent is undeniable. He’s as complete a person off the field as he is a prospect on it. Ohio State has recruited Styles as hard as they can, but the road to an early commitment doesn’t seem easy. Notre Dame and North Carolina are in the mix, but with a player like this, every team in the country is going to take a swing.

So the Buckeyes need to be ready for a fight. It’s a fight that they simply must win in 2023.

Sonny Styles, no matter who else commits in 2023, will make or break that recruiting class for Ohio State. That’s why he’s the first rising-junior on The List from Lettermen Row. Jeremy Birmingham and Spencer Holbrook break down this recruitment and what makes him so important for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes.