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A Look at the 2024 Ohio State Recruiting Class: Offense

As has become commonplace in the Ryan Day era, the 2024 Ohio State recruiting class features some elite offensive talents.

National Signing Day, albeit not as exciting as years past due to the early signing period, has come and gone. The 2024 Ohio State recruiting class has wrapped up yet another successful recruiting cycle with a top-five class in the nation.

For the first time since 2019, the Buckeyes did not finish with the top class in the Big Ten with Oregon taking the top spot. Given, that Ohio State did take quality over quantity; they earned the commitments of 22 players, by far the fewest of the top-five classes. According to 247Sports, Ohio State had the third-best average ranking per player, only behind Georgia and Alabama. That Alabama mark does include some players who signed but elected to transfer out after Nick Saban retired.

Let’s take a look at the 11 scholarship offensive commits of the 2024 Ohio State recruiting class. This will only feature the incoming freshmen and not those who transferred in (ie. Julian Sayin, despite being a true freshman, is a transfer).

Italics indicate the player is an early enrollee.

Looking at the 2024 Ohio State Recruiting Class: Offense

Quarterbacks (1)

Air Noland

When Air Noland takes a snap for the Buckeyes, he’ll be the first left-handed quarterback to throw a pass for Ohio State since Steve Bellisari in 2001. Noland was a dominant player at Langston Hughes High School in Georgia and earned himself a four-star rating from three of the four major recruiting services. He’s a five-star recruit according to Rivals.

Noland broke out and found himself on the national radar with a strong junior season. The talented quarterback threw for 4,095 yards and 55 touchdowns as he led his team to a state title. Last year as a senior, Noland added 2,140 yards and 22 touchdowns.

As an elite athlete coming in, there was – and still is – plenty of hype to make Noland the first true freshman starting quarterback since Art Schlichter. With the incoming transfer of Will Howard, Noland will have to battle with him along with the two incumbents in Lincoln Kienholz and Devin Brown as well as the incoming freshman transfer, Sayin.

Noland has the talent but time will tell if a spring will be enough. Howard will likely play in 2024 and there is an all-out battle for the job in 2025. Expect Noland to make a strong case to be the next starting quarterback.

Running backs (2)

James Peoples

A four-star recruit and seventh-best running back in the nation, James Peoples comes to Columbus by way of Veterans Memorial High School in Texas.

When asked what his best trait is, Peoples told Eleven Warriors, “My best attribute is my vision. From my agility and quick feet to the way I move,” Peoples said. “But it’s hard (to name one attribute) because I’m a great receiver. I was a receiver before I was a running back, and I’m great at catching the ball, great in open space, and hitting tight holes. But, overall, my vision and ability to hit the hole quickly is probably it.”

Ohio State is getting the complete package with Peoples and should be a regular contributor in 2025 after sitting to learn behind TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins who look to dominate the carries in 2024.

Sam Williams-Dixon

Alongside Peoples, Ohio State signed three-star back out of an Ohio high school powerhouse, Sam Williams-Dixon.

A Pickerington North, Williams-Dixon was a dynamic athlete who played as both running back and receiver for one of the premier football programs in the state. He projects as a Xavier Johnson-type of player for the Buckeyes as he can take snaps anywhere on the field.

Williams-Dixon is particularly skilled with the ball in his hands and can be utilized early on in special packages or on special teams. His athletic flexibility will be a weapon for Ryan Day‘s offense. Like Peoples, Williams-Dixon will likely spend 2024 with sparse playing time to get ready for a bigger role in 2025.

Wide Receivers (2)

Jeremiah Smith

The cream of the crop. The best. Number one. Jeremiah Smith committed to Ohio State and, after a day-long saga, signed with the Buckeyes as the top-ranked player in the 2024 recruiting cycle. This is the first time Ohio State signed the top-rated recruit in the history of ranking recruits.

What’s to say that hasn’t been said? Smith is the real deal. He is a physical specimen, even for Ohio State standards. He is a route-running technician. His big-play ability is nearly unmatched.

Smith went into the early signing period committed to Ohio State but the Buckeyes had to fight for his signature up until the last second. He brought two hats to the signing: one for Ohio State and one for Miami (FL). The Hurricanes made a ferocious push but the Buckeyes fended them off.

Even as a true freshman, Smith is good enough to see playing time in a loaded receiver room.

Mylan Graham

The second receiver in the 2024 Ohio State recruiting class is not one to forget. Despite signing in the shadow of Smith, Mylan Graham is an elite receiver recruit in his own right.

Even though he is coming into a strong receiver room, Graham could also have a fair bit of playing time in his future in the form of special teams. Ohio State likes utilizing younger players on special teams to get them on the field. Graham has the acceleration and ability to make defenders miss which will serve well on kick returns.

He’s a long receiver with great footwork who could work on getting a bit stronger when blocking. Graham was a big fish in a smaller pond out in Indiana, so there may be an acclamation period. Either way, Brian Hartline doesn’t miss and Graham will be a solid player for the Buckeyes when his time comes.

Tight Ends (2)

Max LeBlanc

The six-foot-five, 225-pound tight end is a physically imposing tight end and was one of the best players in the state of Tennessee. Max LeBlanc is a bit more of a receiving threat than Ohio State has had at the position in a while.

As the 15th-best tight end in the nation, LeBlanc enters an enigmatic tight end room. Over the years, Ohio State has had plenty of talent in the room but often underutilized them. That was, of course, until Cade Stover.

LeBlanc is more of a true receiving threat rather than a complete package, so getting him on the field will prove to be a task. He’s a fluid runner and a natural catcher of the football, so that will help. It’s impressive considering he comes to Ohio State with just five years of organized football experience.

Damarion Witten

While rated lower than his peer, Damarion Witten is projected as a better long-term option. Coming from Glenville High School in Cleveland, Witten is the latest Glenville-to-Ohio State product. The Buckeyes have once again prioritized keeping in-house talent.

Currently at six-foot-four and 215 pounds, Witten will need to bulk up a bit as he’s built as more of a receiver. As with LeBlanc, Witten will be buried on the depth chart and will need to work his way up. However, he’s a matchup nightmare who looks like he could end up as a legit receiving threat for the Buckeyes as he develops.

Offensive Line (4)

Ian Moore

An area where the Buckeyes have faltered of late was at least partially addressed in the 2024 Ohio State recruiting class. The first reinforcement on the way is four-star interior offensive lineman, Ian Moore. The New Palestine, Indiana product spent his high school career as a left tackle but projects as more of a guard at the next level. Despite that, he is going to compete with the tackles this spring.

The top offensive lineman from the state of Indiana, Moore joined a couple of his future teammates at the All-American Bowl. Measuring at six-foot-six and 317 pounds, Moore already has the size to compete.

With at least four of the starting five offensive linemen already decided – for better or for worse – Moore is going to be fighting for any kind of playing time he can get. He could be another piece from this class who could make an impact in 2025.

Devontae & Deontae Armstrong

Speaking of Ohio high school powerhouses, the Armstrong twins come to Ohio State after winning back-to-back-to-back OHSAA Division I State Titles. The pair were both three-star recruits and held down the left side of the line for the elite Lakewood St. Ed’s program.

Deontae Armstrong is rated slightly better than his twin and was the left tackle for his program. He’s a bit more lean and athletic and has a slightly higher projected ceiling. He’s an active blocker and is often observed getting downfield to find work.

Devontae Armstrong was the left guard alongside his twin. He’s a tad shorter and heavier, thus he’s projected to stay inside. He already has good strength and was a very solid run blocker.

Gabe VanSickle

The recruiting cycle was not without drama. Justin Frye‘s recruiting and coaching have been under the microscope ever since he took over. It’s not often that Ohio State battles with programs like Northwestern for recruits but it was able to flip Gabe VanSickle and lock up a fourth offensive lineman in the 2024 Ohio State recruiting class.

The Buckeyes went up into enemy territory to pluck the three-star interior offensive lineman from Michigan. The thing that drew coaches to VanSickle was his athletic ability at his size. He moves incredibly well for a six-foot-five, 315-pound guard and excels at pulling. In Ohio State’s offense, there is a need for athleticism, and VanSickle, while projected as a project, can fill that when developed.

Photo Credit: © Jack Williams/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK

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