Football Recruiting

Ohio State Signs 20 on 2023 National Signing Day

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State received 20 national letters of intent on Wednesday as a part of National Signing Day.

Below is the full release from Ohio State.

Ohio State Signs 20 to National Letters of Intent
Buckeyes have a top-five ranked class by every major recruiting service

COLUMBUS, Ohio Another top-five ranked recruiting class is headed to Columbus, as Ryan Day announced that 20 student-athletes signed national letters of intent to further their academic and athletic careers with Ohio State.

The Buckeyes’ class, which is No. 1 by every service among current Big Ten schools, comes in at No. 4 overall by 247Sports, No. 3 by On3 and No. 4 on Rivals.com. Six of the prospects are top-100 rated players by 247Sports, including the classes’ No. 1 overall player: WR Jeremiah Smith of Miami Gardens, Fla. The Buckeyes signed five composite five-star prospects according to 247Sports’ rankings, the most of any program in the country.

“We got a lot of things covered with this class and that’s really good moving forward,” Day said at his signing day press conference on Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “A lot of hard work was put in by a lot of people for this class and we’re fired up about that.”

Ohio State also had success in its home state, inking three of the top five players in Ohio. That group is particularly strong in the secondary, highlighted by CB Aaron Scott of Springfield and CB Bryce West of Cleveland Glenville.

Overall, the Buckeyes signed players from 10 different states. The class has 11 players on offense, including four offensive linemen, and nine on defense. Ohio State’s secondary was bolstered with the addition of five players – three cornerbacks and two safeties – along with two linebackers and two defensive linemen. Eddrick Houston, from Buford, Ga., is the units top rated player overall, checking in at No. 26 in the 247Sports composite ranking while holding a five-star designation.

While Smith is the highest-ranked player on the offensive side of the ball, that group was bolstered by another top-100 overall ranked players at wide receiver – Mylan Graham(No. 29 by 247Sports) – along with quarterback Air Nolandof Fairburn, Ga., who is the No. 57 overall player and No. 6 quarterback. The Buckeyes also signed two running backs and two tight ends.

In addition to the two cornerbacks from Ohio, Ohio State received signed NLI’s from twin offensive linemen Deontae and Devontae Armstrong, from Elyria and members of the state champion St. Edward program, linebacker Garrett Stover from Galena, running back Sam Williams-Dixonfrom Pickerington and tight end Damarion Witten from Cleveland.

Ohio State Football – December 2023 Signing Day Roster

Name                             Pos.      Ht.       Wt.       Hometown/Last School
Deontae Armstrong       OL        6-6        280       Elyria, Ohio/St. Edward
Devontae Armstrong     OL        6-5        297       Elyria, Ohio/St. Edward
Mylan Graham               WR       6-1        185       New Haven, Ind./New Haven
Eddrick Houston            DE        6-3        275       Buford, Ga./Buford
Max LeBlanc                 TE        6-4        227       Chattanooga, Tenn./Baylor School
Miles Lockhart              CB        5-10      185       Chandler, Ariz./Basha
Jaylen McClain              SAF      6-0        185       Rahway, N.J./Seton Hall Prep
Eric Mensah                   DL        6-3        290       Stafford, Va./Mountain View
Ian Moore                      OL        6-5        305       New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine
Air Noland                     QB        6-3        195       Fairburn, Ga./Langston Hughes
James Peoples                RB        5-10      203       San Antonio, Texas/Veterans Memorial
Payton Pierce                 LB        6-1        220       Lucas, Texas/Lovejoy
Leroy Roker                   SAF      6-1        175       Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot
Aaron Scott                    CB        6-2        190       Springfield, Ohio/Springfield
Jeremiah Smith              WR       6-3        200       Miami Gardens, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna Prep
Garrett Stover                LB        6-0        205       Galena, Ohio/Big Walnut
Gabe VanSickle             OL        6-5        315       Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville
Bryce West                     CB        5-11      183       Cleveland/Glenville
Sam Williams-Dixon     RB        5-11      203       Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North
Damarion Witten           TE        6-4        215       Cleveland/Glenville

 

Devontae Armstrong • OL • 6-5, 297 • Elyria, Ohio/St. Edward

  • Is one of the top-five ranked offensive linemen in the state of Ohio in 2024.
  • The No. 3-ranked interior offensive linemen in Ohio by On3.
  • Named first team All-Region and All-Ohio in 2023 while helping St. Edward win its third consecutive Division I state title.
  • St. Edward averaged 35.8 points per game and scored 40 or more points six times.
  • Credited with 10 “pancake” blocks in a win against Center Grove (Indiana) to open the season.
  • Is the twin brother of fellow 2024 signee Deontae Armstrong.
  • Parents are Erica Kara and Antone Abram.

 

Deontae Armstrong • OL • 6-6, 280 • Elyria, Ohio/St. Edward

  • One of the top offensive line prospects in Ohio this year.
  • First team All-District and All-State.
  • St. Edward defeated Springfield in the Division I state championship game to win its third-consecutive title.
  • Entering the state championship game, St. Edward was averaging 251.4 yards rushing per game in the playoffs.
  • Is the twin brother of Devontae Armstrong.
  • Parents are Erica Kara and Antone Abram

 

Mylan Graham • WR • 6-1, 185 • New Haven, Ind./New Haven

  • Rated as a five-star prospect by 247Sports and On3.
  • Is the nation’s No. 14 overall player and the fifth-ranked wide receiver.
  • Hauled in 48 passes for 1,149 yards and 13 touchdowns during his junior season in 2022.
  • Averaged nearly 24 yards per catch.
  • In seven games this past fall, averaged over 80 yards per game and caught six touchdowns.
  • Had over 2,000 career receiving yards and 21 TDs in 24 games.
  • Mother is Marcy Graham. Father is D’Angelo Hardy.

 

Eddrick Houston • DE • 6-3, 275 • Buford, Ga./Buford

  • Is Ohio State’s top-rated player on the defensive side of the ball according to 247Sports.
  • Is a five-star prospect and the nation’s No. 6-ranked defensive end.
  • Has an overall national ranking of No. 25 according to 247Sports.
  • In 12 games as a senior this fall, he totaled 45 tackles, 12.0 tackles-for-loss and 5.0 sacks.
  • Buford finished 11-2 this fall and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.
  • As a junior, he finished with 64 tackles, 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 10 sacks and 15 quarterback pressures.
  • Was a MaxPrep’s Junior All-America second team selection.
  • Named to the Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six and Atlanta Journal Constitution Super 11 list prior to the start of the 2023 season.
  • Mother is Siobhan Leslie

 

Max LeBlanc • TE • 6-4, 227 • Chattanooga, Tenn./Baylor School

  • A four-star prospect according to 247Sports and one of the top-ranked tight ends nationally.
  • Is originally from Saint-Bruno, Quebec; he spent his final two years of high school at Baylor School in Tennessee.
  • Led his team to the Tennessee DII-AA state championship game this fall.
  • Caught 39 passes for 695 yards and scored three touchdowns as a junior.
  • Has three older siblings who play college sports: a brother who is a tennis player at the University of Kentucky, another brother who is a decathlete at High Point University and a sister who plays tennis at the University of Portland.
  • Parents are Christine and Sebastien LeBlanc

 

Miles Lockhart • CB • 5-10, 185 • Chandler, Ariz./Basha

  • Is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports and the No. 4-ranked player in the state of Arizona.
  • Selected to the Premier Regional first team defense team.
  • Finished with 39 tackles and 2.0 tackles-for-loss in nine games as a senior this fall.
  • Recorded 69 tackles, 2.5 tackles-for-loss and four interceptions during his junior season.
  • Also played running back for Basha and averaged over seven yards per carry for his career.
  • Helped his team win a state championship as a junior.
  • Parents are Stevie and David Lockhart

 

Jaylen McClain • SAF • 6-0, 185 • Rahway, N.J./Seton Hall Prep

  • Is one of the top players in the state of New Jersey, checking in at No. 3 by On3 with a four-star designation.
  • Totaled 126 tackles with three fumble recoveries, one blocked punt and one blocked field goal to earn first team all-conference and all-state honors in 2023.
  • Had 83 tackles and an interception during his junior season in 2022.
  • Also played wide receiver for Seton Hall Prep and is a member of the track and field team.
  • Parents are Syreeta and Maurice McClain

 

Eric Mensah • DL • 6-3, 290 • Stafford, Va./Mountain View

  • The No. 7-ranked player in the state of Virginia by On3.
  • Named the Commonwealth District Defensive Player of the Year and first team defensive line at the conclusion of his senior season.
  • Also earned Class 6 Region B Defensive Player of the Year honors.
  • Mountain View went 22-3 over the last two seasons with an 11-1 record in conference games.
  • Fluent in the African language ‘Twi’
  • Mother is Barbara Agyemang and father is Kwabena Mensa

 

Ian Moore • OL • 6-5, 305 • New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine

  • Is the top-rated offensive linemen in the 2024 recruiting class; the No. 7-ranked interior offensive linemen and a four-star prospect by 247Sports.
  • Named Mr. Football Offensive Lineman in the state of Indiana and was one of 10 finalists for the state’s overall Mr. Football award.
  • Paved the way for a New Palestine offense that averaged 255 rushing yards per game during his senior season.
  • The Dragons scored 36 points per game and finished 11-3 with a Class 4A regional title.
  • Also played on the defensive side of the ball and finished with 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks.
  • First team All-Indiana by the Indiana Football Coaches Association.
  • Received IFCA Top 50 honors as both a junior and senior.
  • New Palestine was 23-4 and 14-0 in conference games over Moore’s final two seasons.
  • Parents are Sherri and Terry Moore

 

Air Noland • QB • 6-3, 195 • Fairburn, Ga./Langston Hughes

  • Is one of the nation’s top-ranked quarterbacks and overall players regardless of position.
  • According to 247Sports, is the No. 57 overall player, the No. 6 quarterback nationally and a five-star prospect.
  • Completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,140 yards and 22 touchdowns in 11 games as a senior.
  • Was an Elite 11 finalist last summer and will play in the 2024 All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
  • Threw for over 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in high school, including 4,095 and 55 TDs as a junior in 2022.
  • Teamed with current Buckeye TE Jelani Thurman and led Langston Hughes to the Georgia Class 6A state championship in the fall of 2022.
  • Had a 25-yard game-winning touchdown pass against Carrollton in the opening game of the 2023 season, a contest that was televised nationally on ESPN.
  • Mother is Audrey Gill

 

James Peoples • RB • 5-10, 203 • San Antonio, Texas/Veterans Memorial

  • Is the nation’s No. 4-ranked running back and a national top-100 prospect.
  • A four-star prospect by the major scouting services.
  • Returned from an injury this fall and rushed for 216 yards on just 11 carries – all in the first half – in a 56-0 victory that earned him San Antonio Express-News Athlete of the Week honors.
  • Carried 191 times for 1,904 yards and 28 touchdowns during his junior season in 2002.
  • Will play in the 2024 All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in his hometown of San Antonio.
  • Averaged over 10 yards per carry in each of his final two high school seasons.
  • Was a finalist for San Antonio Express-Times Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2022.
  • Parents are Nakisha and James Peoples II

 

Payton Pierce • LB • 6-1, 220 • Lucas, Texas/Lovejoy

  • Four-star prospect who is a national top-200 rated player.
  • A finalist for the High School Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top prep linebacker.
  • In 14 games as a senior, finished with 181 tackles, 40.0 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks.
  • Added four forced fumbles and two blocked kicks.
  • Named the District 7 5A Most Valuable Player.
  • Earned Dallas Morning News’ Defensive Player of the Week honors after a 22-tackle performance that included 4.5 tackles-for-loss in a playoff win over the top-ranked team in the state.
  • Was just as productive as a junior, collecting 131 tackles, 21.0 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and five forced fumbles.
  • Selected to play in the 2024 All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in San Antonio.
  • Parents are Jamie and Geno Pierce

 

Leroy Roker • SAF • 6-1, 175 • Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot

  • Played his first three high school season at Canterbury High School where he excelled on both offense and defense.
  • Had 54 tackles (36 solo), one sack, one tackle-for-loss and seven interceptions this fall.
  • Also recovered two fumbles and had seven pass breakups in 12 games.
  • Helped lead team to regional finals his senior season.
  • Averaged 16 points per game in his high school basketball career.
  • Also competed in track and field.

 

Aaron Scott • CB • 6-2, 190 • Springfield, Ohio/Springfield

  • Is the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Ohio and checks in at No. 26 overall by On3.
  • Ranked as the nation’s No. 2 cornerback and recently was upgraded to a five-star.
  • Helped Springfield reach the Division I state championship game as a senior; it was the Wildcats third consecutive state championship game appearance.
  • Is the first scholarship player at Ohio State from Springfield since Braxton Miller (2011-15), who attended Wayne High School.
  • The last scholarship player from Springfield High School was WR Dee Miller (1995-98).
  • Had 23 tackles and five interceptions for the Wildcats as a junior in 2022 while also adding seven pass breakups.
  • Played both offense and defense as a senior this past fall; was moved to quarterback where he accounted for nine total touchdowns, including the game-winning TD pass in the state semifinals vs. Archbishop Moeller.
  • Intercepted two passes in 2023 while helping Springfield on a seven-game winning streak to the state finals.
  • Parents are Christa Dearmond and Aaron Scott Sr.

 

Jeremiah Smith • WR • 6-3, 200 • Miami Gardens, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna Prep

  • Is the consensus No.1 ranked player in the country regardless of position.
  • A five-star prospect by every major recruiting service as well as the top-ranked wide receiver.
  • One of five finalists for 247Sports’ National Player of the Year honors.
  • Named the Player of the Year in the state of Florida by MaxPreps
  • In 14 games as a senior, had 88 receptions for 1,376 yards and 19 touchdowns.
  • In his final high school game – a 56-0 win to capture the state championship – Smith caught 11 passes for 170 yards and scored a touchdown.
  • Over the past two seasons, he’s caught 151 passes for 2,474 yards and 39 touchdowns while playing in 28 games.
  • Chaminade-Madonna Prep is the nation’s No. 2-ranked team and finished the season 14-0
  • Smith will be the first wide receiver to earn the No. 1 overall ranking in the 247Sports Composite in 11 years, since Dorial Green-Beckham in 2012
  • In a win over perennial New Jersey state power Began Catholic earlier this fall, he caught 16 passes for 316 yards and three TDs in three quarters of action.
  • Winner of the Nat Moore Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top high school player in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.
  • Is also a talented track and field athlete where he’s won state championships in the 110 and the 400-meter hurdles.
  • Parents are Lativia Newberry and Chris Smith

 

Garrett Stover • LB • 6-0, 205 • Galena, Ohio/Big Walnut

  • The No. 3-ranked player in the state of Ohio and four-star prospect by 247Sports.
  • Has rankings of No. 150 overall and the No. 7 linebacker by On3.
  • Will play in the 2024 All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
  • Totaled 89 tackles, three tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions this fall as a senior while earning first team All-Ohio honors.
  • Added two pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one pass breakup and a blocked punt.
  • Was a first-team All-Ohio pick during his junior season when he finished with 92 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups despite missing three games due to injury.
  • Is the cousin of Buckeye TE Cade Stover.
  • Played safety as a freshman and sophomore before moving to linebacker full-time last season as a junior.
  • Competes in the 100-meter dash, 4×400 relay, high jump and the long jump with the track and field team.
  • Parents are Lindsey and Bubba Stover

 

Gabe VanSickle • OL • 6-5, 315 • Coopersville, Mich./Coopersville

  • A four-star prospect who verbally committed to Ohio State on Thanksgiving.
  • Plays three sports at Coopersville High School: football, basketball and track.
  • Primarily played left tackle as a senior and helped Coopersville finish with an 8-3 record.
  • The Broncos averaged a league-best 35.3 points per game.
  • Parents are Amy and Lynn VanSickle

 

Bryce West • CB • 5-11, 183 • Cleveland/Glenville

  • Helped Glenville win back-to-back state championships at Cleveland Glenville in 2022 and 2023; the Tarblooders went 28-3 over West’s final two seasons.
  • Named the Northeast Lakes District Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Ranked as the #8 CB and #63 overall player by On3
  • Has clocked 10.57 in the 100-meter dash and 6.81 in the 60-meter dash as a member of Glenville’s track and field team.
  • Was a member of the state championship-winning 4×200-meter relay team.
  • Named a junior All-American by MaxPreps in 2022 after helping Glenville finish 15-0; did not allow a touchdown pass while making four interceptions.
  • First team All-Ohio as both a junior and senior.
  • Is an Under Armour All-American.
  • Parents are Shemika Scott and Bryan West

 

Sam Williams-Dixon • RB • 5-11, 203 • Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington North

  • Is the third-highest ranked player at his position in the state of Ohio.
  • Played his first three years at West Holmes High School before making the move to Pickerington North prior to the 2023 season.
  • Averaged 6.7 yards per carry as a senior and scored four touchdowns in only five games
  • Added 997 receiving yards and 10 TDs while helping the Knights reach the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
  • Had nearly 1,800 yards from scrimmage during his junior season and scored 41 touchdowns.
  • Accounted for 76 touchdowns in his final two seasons at West Homes.
  • Mother is Roddreka Dixon.

 

Damarion Witten • TE • 6-4, 215 • Cleveland/Glenville

  • Goes by the nickname “Toe.”
  • Is the No. 17 overall player in the state of Ohio by 247Sports and the nation’s No. 25-ranked tight end.
  • Earned a four-star designation from 247Sports’ composite ranking.
  • Named the Most Valuable Player of the U.S. Army Bowl; caught four passes for 96 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Caught five passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns – with a long of 38 – in a 38-3 win over Archbishop Alter in the state championship game.
  • It was Glenville’s second consecutive title; the Tarblooders were 28-3 over the last two seasons.
  • Earned first team All-Ohio honors.
  • Also plays basketball at Glenville.
  • Mother is Crystal Hopgood and father is Dale Witten.

 

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