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Recruiting battles add extra intrigue to the Georgia-Ohio State matchup

Recruiting battles add extra intrigue to the Georgia-Ohio State matchup

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Recruiting battles add extra intrigue to the Georgia-Ohio State matchup

Ohio State is one of the few recruiting programs to go head-to-head with Georgia in recent years and win.

Whether it’s running back TreVayon Henderson, offensive tackle Donovan Jackson or wide receiver Kojo Antwi, the Buckeyes are one of the few schools outside of Alabama that have proven they can beat Kirby Smart and Georgia on the road.

Its two finalists are Georgia State and Ohio State. Wilson is the No. 17 overall player in the nation according to the On3 consensus. He is a player who is very worthy of not only a 5-star rating, but a chance to make the College Football Playoff.

Georgia and Ohio State have top-5 classes entering the day and both play to their strengths. Of the nine top-100 commits in Georgia’s class, seven are on defense. Three of Ohio State’s top four commits are wide receivers, and when you add tight end Jelani Thurman, Georgia teammate Bo Hughley, four of the top seven commits are pass catchers.

Wherever Ohio State lands Wilson, he will help continue the pipeline of strong quarterbacks. ​While the Buckeyes are now more known for their high-powered offense, they are the school that produced Nick Bosa, Joey Bosa and Chase Young over the past decade.

“Ohio State is one of the top teams in the country,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “Coach Day has done an amazing job with his team in terms of recruiting across the country, identifying NFL talent and playing in the CFP in recent history. So the challenge is ahead of us and our guys are very excited to do it.”

On the topic: Early Signing Period: 2023 Georgia State Football Recruiting Commitments, Signees, Targets, Live Updates

As for Georgia, Wilson’s arrival would help add talent at the quarterback position, where Nolan Smith and Robert Beal are slated to leave for the NFL. Georgia will be very green at outside linebacker next year. Adding Wilson to a prospect that already includes 4-star prospects Sam M’Pemba and Gabe Harris will certainly give new outside linebackers coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe what he’s been looking for this cycle.

The Buckeyes and Bulldogs will meet on the field later in December when they play in the College Football Playoff. One game or one recruiting battle isn’t going to dramatically change the fortunes of either program, especially if they’re two of the five programs to win a national championship in the College Football Playoff era.

But the battle for Wilson and the battle on the field could change the perception of these two programs in a big way. Ohio State enters this game coming off its second straight loss to Michigan. A loss to Georgia would add even more critics to Ryan Day’s program. Losing on the field and in recruiting is not something you want to do with big fanbases like Georgia and Ohio State.

As for the Bulldogs, they know Ohio State is in the same position Georgia was in last season. The Bulldogs were embarrassed in their final game before the playoffs, losing to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship Game.

That performance and the months of chatter leading up to Georgia’s game against Michigan gave Georgia a chip on its shoulder. The Bulldogs used it to beat Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl.

“Last year after the SEC championship, we came in with a chip on our shoulder because of the loss,” Mondon said. “This year, we came in with the same intensity, without missing a loss. We still have the same fire and intensity.”

There’s also the added wrinkle of Dylan Raiola’s recent decommitment. He is ranked No. 1 in the 2024 recruiting cycle and previously committed to Ohio State this May. Georgia argued to get Ryla, but given the development of C.J. Stroud, Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins, that track record was hard to ignore.

But Raiola backed out of his commitment to the Buckeyes last week. And Georgia, despite the commitment of 4-star quarterback Ryan Puglisi, was quickly mentioned as a possible contender.

Very little went well for Ohio State after its loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes still made the College Football Playoff, but their reward was a game against the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs.

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