Recruiting Outlook: Young’s Cancellation Resets Running Back Board, OSU Among Top School For Culver, Gullette

By May 29, 2022 (10:00 am)Football

Ohio State is seemingly out of the running for Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Senior five-star running back Richard Young (5-11, 200), who will not be taking his previously scheduled visit to Columbus on June 24.

Young announced his decision earlier this week, though he added on Twitter that Ohio State will still be among his top schools, though the lack of an official visit – or any visit to Ohio State since last season – would indicate otherwise.

The No. 2-ranked running back in 2023 – as well as the No. 19 overall prospect in his class – will instead take his five official visits to Oklahoma (June 3-5), Alabama (June 10-12), Notre Dame (June 13-15), Georgia (June 179-19) and Oregon (June 24-26). The Crimson Tide are viewed as the favorite for Young, who has made several visits to Tuscaloosa over the last year.

Young’s canceled visit puts Ohio State in somewhat of a bind, as he was viewed as an Ohio State lean for a significant part of his recruitments though that dwindled as time passed from his most recent visit to Columbus in October. This leaves the Buckeyes with a new priority target at running back: Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catholic four-star Justice Haynes (5-10, 200).

Haynes is the No. 3 running back and No. 45 overall prospect in 2023, and has official visits scheduled throughout June with Georgia, Florida, USC and Alabama before ending things with a trip to Ohio State on June 24. He was offered by Ohio State on Feb. 18, 2021, and camped with the Buckeyes last summer.

If Haynes were to stay in the south, Ohio State could be comfortable standing pat with Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage four-star running back Mark Fletcher (6-1, 225), who committed to the Buckeyes in April. Though not as highly ranked as other running back prospects pursed by Ohio State, he is still the No. 8 running back prospect in the class.

Ohio State In Top Lists For Derion Gullette, Chris Culliver

The Buckeyes did receive some good news when it comes to Marlin, Texas, four-star linebacker Derion Gullette (6-2, 220), who had Ohio State among his top seven schools on Thursday.

The Buckeyes were listed along with Alabama, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.

Gullette is the No. 361 overall prospect in 2023 and is scheduled to visit Ohio State for an official visit on June 10. He also has official visits planned with Oklahoma on June 3 and Texas on June 24.

Ohio State is in on several notable linebackers for this upcoming class, 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 (6-2, 220) and Cleveland Glenville three-star Arvell Reese (6-4, 212).

The Buckeyes were also in the top six for Maiden, N.C., three-star wide receiver Chris Culliver (6-3, 174), along with Appalachian State, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. He’s the No. 421 overall prospect and No. 55 wide receiver in 2023, and was offered by the Buckeyes in November.

Though Gullette could conceivably end up at Ohio State, things seem less likely for Culliver, who has several high-priority targets ahead of him at wide receiver for the Buckeyes, including Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage five-star Brandon Inniss (6-0, 190), Rolesville, N.C., four-star Noah Rogers (6-2, 180) and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Carnell Tate (6-2, 185). Additionally, Zephyrhills (Fla.) Wiregrass Ranch three-star receiver Bryson Rodgers (6-2, 170) is already committed in the class.

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