Class of 2025 Big Board: First Look at the Linebackers

Welcome to the Ohio State Recruiting Big Boards. These lists are intended to serve as a guide for the top Ohio State recruiting targets in a given class and at a given position. These are fluid lists that could change multiple times throughout a recruiting cycle. These lists are compiled using three key components; 1. Ohio State’s interest in the player. 2. The Player’s Interest in Ohio State and 3. The Player’s Ability/Ranking.

The linebacker position will be a big priority for Ohio State in the 2025 recruiting class and the Buckeyes are already on the board with an in-state commitment from Akron Hoban’s Eli Lee. The first edition of our Linebackers Big Board boasts some of the biggest names in the class nationally as the Buckeyes go big game hunting.

RankNameHometownHigh SchoolStar Ranking
1TJ AlfordVero Beach, FLVero Beach⭐⭐⭐⭐
2Elijah MelendezKissimmee, FLOsceola⭐⭐⭐⭐
3Madden FaraimoSan Juan Capistrano, CAJSerra Catholic⭐⭐⭐⭐
4Elijah BarnesDallas, TXSkyline⭐⭐⭐⭐
5Nasir WyattSanta Ana, CAMater Dei⭐⭐⭐⭐

1. T.J. Alford – Vero Beach (FL)

Alford is probably the best combination of talent and odds to land in Columbus. The Buckeyes have been relentless in recruiting the Top 100 prospect and continue to battle the Florida schools for his services.

2. Elijah Melendez – Kissimmee (FL) Osceola

Despite the early commitment to Miami (FL), Ohio State has not slowed down its pursuit of Melendez, nor has Melendez stopped communicating with the Buckeyes. At one point in the fall, Ohio State appeared to be in the lead for Melendez and this has the feel of a recruitment that is really just getting started.

3. Madden Faraimo – San Juan Capistrano (CA) JSerra Catholic

Faraimo is very much a top-of-the-board type of talent for Ohio State. The Buckeyes, Notre Dame, and West Coast programs like USC, UCLA, and Oregon are the teams to watch early on. This could be a good litmus test not only for James Laurinaitis’ recruiting chops but for the notion that recruiting California could become a little more realistic for the Buckeyes with the addition of several former Pac-12 schools to the conference.

4. Elijah Barnes – Dallas (TX) Skyline

Another tremendous talent from a major hot bed in the DFW, Barnes is probably a longer shot at this point but that didn’t stop the Buckeyes from sending Laurinaitis, head coach Ryan Day, and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to the school this week. The Buckeyes are prepared to battle here.

5. Nasir Wyatt – Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei

A long time target of Laurinaitis’, Wyatt is another elite national talent. The Buckeyes have struggled to breakthrough at Mater Dei over the years but are looking for one player to get the ball rolling and in 2025, it’s running back Jordon Davison and Wyatt who are taking priority.

Early Outlook

It would be a surprise if the Buckeyes didn’t take at least three linebackers in the 2025 class. The numbers are thin right now and the guys that are proven, are all in their final year or two of eligibility making this a really important class for Knowles and Laurinaitis.

Credit the defensive staff for fishing with dynamite here. The Buckeyes have already offered more than 20 linebackers nationally so the net has been cast wide enough that a few big swings and misses shouldn’t derail what could be a very good class.

Given the sheer number of linebackers being offered and the type of national battles that the Buckeyes are engaged in, this list could see a lot of fluctuation, especially in the bottom couple of spots.

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