CARROLLTON, Ga. — Ohio State’s quarterback search in the 2024 class has had no shortage of twists and turns. Right now there are a couple of big dominoes out there that could influence which way things go for the Buckeyes this cycle at the most important position in sports.
Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes product Prentiss ‘Air’ Noland is one of the big dominoes right now for Ohio State. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound lefty has emerged as one of the Buckeyes’ top options at the position and is naturally receiving the type of attention you would expect to come with that label.
“Coach Day, coach Hartline, coach Dennis, they’re recruiting the heck out of me,” Noland said. “I know they’re one of the schools that is coming in late, but I understand where they’re at with the quarterback position, they had a decommit. They just want to make sure they’ve got the right guy for the position.”
Ohio State is getting a late start on building relationships with all of their quarterback targets, but the presence of true freshman tight end Jelani Thurman, a former teammate of Noland’s, is helping bridge that gap.
“I talk to Jelani almost every day, that’s my guy,” Noland said. “Me and Jelani talk about Ohio State almost every day. We’re in contact almost every day just like when he was here at Langston Hughes (High School). He loves it up there in Columbus and I can’t wait to visit.”
Thurman’s presence has been a plus for Ohio State as the Buckeyes try to play catch up on a few other schools who have been in the mix longer with Noland. While Noland isn’t going to base his decision off of a friendship, it does add some appeal to the situation in Columbus.
“That’s definitely a factor,” Noland admitted. “But at the end of the day you have to pick the school that truly fits you. I think Jelani picked Ohio State because it best fits him. I know he’s going to give me some input and talk about coach Day, coach Dennis, coach Hartline, just all of the coaches there. I think Ohio State is definitely going to be a contender (for me).”
The Ohio State offense speaks for itself, however, and Noland definitely understands the importance of putting yourself into a system that can develop you.
“Ohio State is a quarterback oriented offense,” Noland started. “They are known for producing quarterbacks, and as a quarterback, you want to be a part of that system. You’d love to excel in a system like that. Their offense is very explosive.”
A potential milestone moment is upcoming in Ohio State’s pursuit of Noland. The four-star signal caller will embark on a two-day visit to Columbus on March 31st and April 1st. From building relationships, to getting a feel for the program and campus, this will be an important trip for both parties to see where things are heading in this recruitment. The Buckeyes will need to soon decide on whether or not to put forth an offer to Noland, and Noland will need to decide if the vibe in Columbus is a fit for him.
“Just the environment that I feel, the atmosphere, getting to know the coaches more,” Noland explained. “So getting to know those guys and seeing what’s around Ohio State and what’s inside Ohio State with the people and everything.”
Ohio State is battling Texas A&M, a long-time contender for Noland, as well as Alabama and others. But it’s no secret what this will likely come down to, system fit and comfort level.
“Knowing what school is best for me and not, not only me, but what my family likes,” he started. “Some schools are going to come in early and some schools are going to come in late, it’s just all about what school fits you.”
Noland was among the top performers at Sunday’s Atlanta Under Armour Next camp, and left the camp with an invite to the Under Armour All-American game in January.