2025 OT David Sanders

Three Recruiting Questions for Ohio State as Spring Evaluation Period Heats Up

The Spring Evaluation Period is upon us and it’s an important time for the recruiting process as assistant coaches can hit the road and get valuable evaluation opportunities on current and new targets alike.

As things begin to ramp up in the coming weeks with spring football in May, the Buckeyes face several questions on the recruiting trail that the Spring Evaluation Period can help answer.

Today, we’re looking at three key situations that Ohio State needs to get some clarity on during this critical stretch of the recruiting calendar.

Who are the Realistic Offensive Line Targets?

Ohio State is in an interesting situation when it comes to offensive line recruiting in the 2025 cycle. On one hand, you can’t rely on true freshmen offensive linemen to help you, so it’s likely that the Buckeyes will need to supplement whatever they sign in 2025 with a transfer portal addition next offseason (or this spring even) to bolster the 2025 O-Line.

The 2026 O-Line class also shows a ton of promise and Ohio State is going to want to load up in that cycle given the talent in Ohio and surrounding areas, making 2025 a little bit less important.

But the best way to overcome the seemingly on-going depth issues upfront is to stack back-to-back-to-back classes together with quality talent and right now there seems to be a lack of great options for Ohio State in 2025.

Yes, the Buckeyes did well on the recent visit with No. 1 overall prospect David Sanders, but Sanders is a long, long way away from being considered a likely addition to this class and needs to be treated as a long shot.

Ohio State appears to be one of the top two contenders for Michigan four-star Avery Gach and that would be a tremendous pick up, but Michigan remains a very strong presence in that recruitment and that is far from ‘in the bag’.

Micah DeBose is a player the Buckeyes would love to have and despite ties to the Cleveland area, DeBose is going to be very difficult to pull out of SEC country.

Long story short? Justin Frye needs to uncover more viable targets this spring. It’s fine to shoot for the stars, but there needs to be a plan in place if/when many of those stars head elsewhere.

What Does the Remaining Defensive Line Board Look Like?

Ohio State has done a tremendous job so far in 2025 of replenishing the defensive end talent pool. Zahir Mathis and London Merritt are two tremendous prospects who can really get after the quarterback. Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods star Justin Hill is a priority target as a hybrid type of player.

But there are several players beyond those three who the Buckeyes are very much in the mix for. Is it Mariyon Dye or Damien Shanklin from Indiana? Maybe both? Where does Cleveland Heights (Ohio) standout Brandon Caesar fit into this? Is the Isaiah Gibson visit a meaningful event or just a free trip?

These are first world problems the Buckeyes are facing but spring evaluations should go a long way to determining which of the uncommitted defensive ends will take priority moving forward.

With defensive tackles, the situation is different. The Buckeyes don’t need as many tackles in this class as they do ends. They like what they have in the pipeline with young talent like Hero Kanu, Jason Moore, and Kayden McDonald, among others, but they’ll still need to grab a pair here and the realistic targets aren’t in as much of abundance.

So while the Spring Evaluation Period should help shape the defensive ends board, it needs to uncover some players to add to the defensive tackles board.

Can a Top QB Target Emerge?

History tells us the next few months will be important for quarterback recruiting in the 2026 class. This is when Chip Kelly can hit the road and watch prospects throw in person and then see some guys in person in June during camp season.

The revolving door of QB coaches in the winter threw recruiting the position into a place of uncertainty. Jared Curtis is off the board and has committed to Georgia, but a slew of new offers were passed out recently and now it is going to be evaluation time. Could someone like a Will Griffin or Dia Bell emerge as ‘the guy’ for the Buckeyes over the next several weeks?

History says it’s possible. It’s also important that the Buckeyes start to figure out the pecking order as the QB dominoes are already in motion for the 2026 cycle.

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