The rush: Ohio State offers transfer Offensive tackles Jeremiah Byers and Dillon Wade, Corey Dennis visits Tavien St. Clair and reactions from Jeremiah Smith pledge

The rush: Ohio State offers transfer Offensive tackles Jeremiah Byers and Dillon Wade, Corey Dennis visits Tavien St. Clair and reactions from Jeremiah Smith pledge

The rush: Ohio State offers transfer Offensive tackles Jeremiah Byers and Dillon Wade, Corey Dennis visits Tavien St. Clair and reactions from Jeremiah Smith pledge

Ohio State continues to explore its relocation portal options.

We wrote Wednesday of the Buckeyes offering one of the best offensive tackle prospects in Rhode Island’s gate, facing Ajani Cornelius. You may have lost him because he was sandwiched between the commitments of Lincoln Kienholz and Jeremiah Smith, but the offer from Cornelius was still important because the offensive tackle is probably the biggest need for the Buckeyes to attack in goal given the likelihood that Paris Johnson Jr and Dawand Jones both declare for the NFL draft.

The Buckeyes expanded their net by offering UTEP forward Jeremiah Byers on Wednesday and also extended an offer to Tulsa forward Dillon Wade on Tuesday.

Byers has made 12 starts at right tackle this season for UTEP and ranks as the 18th best offensive tackle overall (79.4) among FBS offensive tackles who have played at least 200 snaps this year per Pro Football Focus. Coincidentally, the 6-foot-4, 331-pound offensive tackle tied for the 17th-best pass blocking rank (83.2) nationally among offensive tackles under Jones. He also ranked 18th in run blocking with a grade of 79.3.

In 855 total snaps this season, Byers allowed just eight total pressures (one sack, seven rushes) in 419 pass blocking snaps while committing eight penalties. He had been with the Miners since the 2019 season and will have up to two years of eligibility remaining.

Meanwhile, out of the three prospects, Wade is the only one who has experience at left tackle. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound prospect’s PFF ratings aren’t as jaw-dropping as the other two prospects offered by OSU, as he ranked 132nd among FBS offensive tackles who played at least 20 percent of the shots of their teams with an overall grade of 65.1. As a run blocker, he rated 65.1 and earned a pass blocker grade of 65.2 with 30 pressures allowed (five sacks, nine hits, 16 hurries) on 448 passing snaps. He also committed six penalties. Like Byers, he too will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

As a refresher, the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Cornelius earned an 89.5 grade, the highest overall grade of any tackle prospect OSU has offered thus far, for the 2022 season. That mark is the third-most FCS-high for offensive linemen behind North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch (91.9) and William and Mary’s Colby Sorsdal (89.6). She also had the second highest run blocking rating in the FCS at 91.0, just behind Mauch’s 91.5.

When factoring in FBS ranks as well, Cornelius had the 13th-highest PFF rank in the country for all offensive linemen (and ninth-best among offensive tackles) this season. As a run blocker, Cornelius had the third-best rank among all FBS and FCS offensive tackles nationally. If there’s a disadvantage to his game, Cornelius has committed 10 penalties in 11 games this season.

According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Cornelius has visited Nebraska and Oregon and plans to visit Ohio State and Tennessee this weekend.

After Samson Okunlola busted the Buckeyes and finally committed in Miami On Thursday, it’s abundantly clear that the Buckeyes would like to grab a tackle through the gate and solve one of their biggest needs sooner rather than later.

Dennis visits St. Clair

Ohio State quarterback coach Corey Dennis now has his quarterbacks for the 2023 and 2024 classes in Kienholz and Dylan Raiola. But the recruitment never stops. Then of course it made it to 2025.

Currently, OSU has only offered two quarterbacks for the 2025 cycle: Ryan Montgomery and Colin Hurley, the latter of whom is already committed to LSU. That could change in the coming months, as the Buckeyes continue to show interest in Ohio quarterback Tavien St. Clair after Dennis visits St. Clair at Bellefontaine High School Wednesday.

St. Clair made two visits to Columbus this fall, once for the Wisconsin game and once during the Indiana game. As a sophomore, St. Clair helped lead Bellefontaine to an 8-3 record by completing 208 of 294 passes for 2,453 yards, 25 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.

Social media reaction to Jeremiah Smith’s pledge

Signing day for the 2023 class may be less than a week away, but one would forgive you if you’re sidetracked by salivating at the potential of what the 2024 cycle could be. OSU already had the No. 1 prospect in the country committed to Raiola , then Wednesday landed the No. 2 prospect in Jeremiah Smith.

As you would expect, a monumental commitment like Smith’s has elicited a lot of reactions from Ohio State pledges and staff. Even from goals, like the 2024 running back Stacy Gage.

We’ve rounded up some of their reactions below.

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