Recruiting Outlook: Novosad, Uiagalelei Highlight Ohio State’s Weekend Visits

Recruiting Outlook is a regular series on Buckeye Sports Bulletin designed to be your one-stop shop for all news related to the Ohio State football recruiting trail.

June will be a massive month for Ohio State’s recruiting efforts, not only with several camps taking place but with prospects being welcomed in for official visits.

Those official visits begin this weekend, with several prospects in the 2023 class set to visit Columbus. Buckeye Sports Bulletin is breaking down the weekend’s notable visitors in alphabetical order, all of whom have been offered by the Buckeyes.

Linebacker/Defensive End Derion Gullette (6-2, 220)

Hometown: Marlin, Texas

Star/National Ranking: Four Stars, No. 148 OVR, No. 14 DE

Other Offers: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, USC.

Gullette has come on relatively late in the class, offered in December by Ohio State’s former defensive staff, but he will get the chance to meet the new staff this weekend when he makes his first trip to the school.

Despite not having seen Ohio State in person, Gullette included the Buckeyes in his top schools along with Alabama, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M in May. He took an official visit to Oklahoma last weekend and will visit Texas the weekend of June 24.

He’s listed as both a defensive end and linebacker on several recruiting websites, and while his versatility could lead to him appearing at either spot, he likely projects as a linebacker at the next level.

Ohio State does not have a commitment at linebacker in 2023 but is involved with several top prospects, including Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit four-star Troy Bowles (6-1, 205), Many, La., four-star Tackett Curtis (6-2, 218), Fayetteville (Ga.) Whitewater four-star Raul Aguirre and Cleveland Glenville four-star Arvell Reese (6-4, 212).

Cornerback Daniel Harris (6-2, 175)

Hometown: Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep

Star/National Ranking: Four Stars, No. 150 OVR, No. 19 CB

Other Offers: Florida, Georgia, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M.

Harris – who recently picked up his fourth star in the 247Sports composite rankings – is down to a trio of Big Ten schools in Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State as well as Georgia, to which he has official visits planned to all throughout June.

A speedy prospect, he finished with 37 tackles, an interception and a blocked punt in his junior season for Gulliver Prep. He also runs track, and has clocked a time of 10.74 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

With just one cornerback commitment in Tampa (Fla.) Wharton four-star Dijon Johnson (6-1, 190), Ohio State will look to take at least two more corners in this class.

Beyond Harris, the Buckeyes are also in on Saint Louis (Mo.) DeSmet four-star Christian Gray (6-0, 175), Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove four-star Kayin Lee (5-11, 185), Waxahachie, Texas, four-star Calvin Simpson-Hunt (6-0, 175) and Cincinnati Winton Woods four-star Jermaine Mathews (6-0, 175).

Quarterback Austin Novosad (6-3, 185)

Hometown, School: Dripping Springs, Texas

Star/National Ranking: Four Stars, No. 264 OVR, No. 13 QB

Other Offers: Baylor (committed), Colorado, Kansas, SMU, Stanford, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Washington State.

The highest-profile visitor will likely be defensive lineman Matayo Uiagaleilei, who will be touched on later, but perhaps the most important visitor will be Novosad, who has been committed to Baylor since December.

His recruitment by Ohio State has developed rapidly, beginning with his first visit to the school for a camp last week in which he received an offer from the Buckeyes. Now, instead of paying on his own dime to visit Ohio State, the bill can be footed by the athletic department.

In his junior season, he passed for 3,399 yards, completing 63.6 percent of his passed for 40 yards to nine touchdowns. His sophomore year saw him go for 2,887 yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Novosad’s willingness to come up to Ohio and earn an offer, though, indicates that he’s willing to play ball with the Buckeyes, and Ohio State might have found its quarterback for 2023. It isn’t a position of desperate need in the class given the depth in the quarterback room and Dylan Raiola on deck in 2024, but head coach Ryan Day has indicated that he likes to take a quarterback out of high school in each cycle, and this class will likely be no different despite the circumstances.

Another in contention to join Ohio State’s class is Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne Collegiate School four-star quarterback Brock Glenn (6-2, 195), who earned an offer from Ohio State earlier this week.

Tight End Riley Williams (6-6, 230)

Hometown, School: Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic

Star/National Ranking: Four Stars, No. 66 OVR, No. 2 TE

Other Offers: Alabama, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, USC.

Williams checks in as one of the nation’s top tight ends in 2023, and he could be viewed as a luxury for an Ohio State class that already has a commitment in Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star Ty Lockwood (6-5, 225).

The Buckeyes have been looking for a class to take two tight ends out of high school, though, last accomplishing this feat in 2016 when Ohio State took Jake Hausmann, Luke Farrell and Pierre Hawkins, and Williams appears to be game.

He listed Ohio State among his top four schools on Thursday, along with Alabama, Miami (Fla.) and Oregon. His trip to Columbus is one of four official visits he has planned this month to his top four schools, though it won’t be his first trip to Ohio State – he camped with the Buckeyes last summer, earning an offer in the process.

Defensive Lineman Matayo Uiagalelei (6-4, 255)

Hometown, School: Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco

Star/National Ranking: Five Stars, No. 21 OVR, No. 2 DE

Other Offers: Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas, Texas, A&M, USC.

It’s been a slow start for Ohio State’s 2023 class on the defensive line, but things could change once Uiagalelei – the brother of Clemson quarterback Uiagalelei – arrives on campus this weekend.

The No. 2-ranked defensive end in the class, he has official visits scheduled with Ohio State, Oregon and USC in June, and the Buckeyes seem as involved as any of his top schools, which also includes Alabama. This will be his second trip to Columbus, as he was in attendance for Ohio State’s spring game on April 16.

Uiagalelei is the second-ranked defensive end behind Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep five-star Keon Keeley (6-6, 242), who is committed to Notre Dame but has received pressure from multiple schools, including Ohio State.