Eyes on the Trail: Williams-Dixon down to five, Ohio speedster turning heads

Welcome to ‘Eyes on the Trail’, our Monday-Friday Ohio State recruiting notebook from the recruiting staff here at Keep it locked in here for the latest in all things Buckeye recruiting.

Sam Williams-Dixon cuts his list to five

One of Ohio’s top prospects made some news on Friday as running back Sam Williams-Dixon not only cut his list to five schools, but also announced that he is transferring high schools.

The three-star prospect will be taking his talents to Pickerington North High School just outside of Columbus, moving him closer to Ohio State’s campus and also moving several rungs up on the competition scale as the Panthers play in one of Ohio’s most competitive leagues.

The Buckeyes made Williams-Dixon’s top five, as expected, along with Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Kentucky. At the moment, Kentucky is probably Ohio State’s top competition but the Buckeyes are in strong position heading into a round of spring unofficial visits.

Ohio speedster turning heads

Ohio State has already offered one in-state receiver in the 2026 class, Cincinnati Withrow’s Chris Henry Jr. But there will undoubtedly be other talented pass catchers in Ohio and one is starting to emerge right around the corner from the Ohio State campus. Pataskala Watkins Memorial product Jaeden Ricketts was a freshman standout playing his high school football roughly 30 minutes east of Columbus this fall.

With sub 11 times already in the 100 meters, Ricketts put his speed on display this past Monday at the Best of the Midwest combine, running a camp best 4.40 40-yard dash.

“I feel like I did pretty good,” Ricketts said of his performance. “Always room for improvement, of course, but I feel like I could’ve done better on my L cone.”

Ricketts more than held his own in the one-on-one portion of the event as well as the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect is quickly establishing himself as a name to know in Ohio’s rising sophomore class. The speedy pass catcher plans to camp with the Buckeyes in June.

“I like how (Ohio State) recruits and I like how they always have some of the best receivers in college football,” Ricketts said of the Buckeyes. “And I like how Ohio State has always been a very successful football team.”

With his freshman track season getting started, Ricketts already boasts personal bests of 10.98 seconds in the 100-meters and 22.46 seconds in the 200-meters. If the football skills continue to develop to go along with that speed, it won’t be long until college coaches start taking notice.

Ohio lineman to visit Ohio State this spring

It is no secret at this point that one of the strengths of this 2024 Ohio class is in the depth it has along the offensive line. The Buckeyes have already offered three in-state offensive linemen and are keeping tabs on several more including Cleveland Glenville tackle Fred Johnson.

Johnson was a standout performer at Monday’s Best of the Midwest combine in Indianapolis, taking home OL MVP honors. Johnson has also recently started to see his recruitment take off, landing a Penn State offer last week.

“I’m visiting Ohio State in April,” Johnson told this week. “I’m also talking to coaches at Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Michigan.”

Johnson, who camped with the Buckeyes last summer, will likely need to do so again to earn an offer.

“It would mean a lot (to earn an Ohio State offer),” he said. “I’ve been waiting for Ohio State, man. It would be a blessing.”

The Buckeyes have already offered two of Johnson’s classmates in tight end Damarion Witten and defensive back Bryce West.

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