The Rush: Ohio State offers three-star running back 2023 Jamarion Wilcox, OSU target Winston Watkins Jr. splits with Texas A&M

Ohio State has identified running backs for the Class of 2023 as one of its goals.

The Buckeyes made an offer to three-star Georgia running back Jamarion Wilcox in what could be part of Tony Alford’s plan to replace Mark Fletcher, who was released from Ohio State on Thursday.

Alford has been recruiting Wilcox for months, but with a rollback clearly needed in the current cycle, Ohio State felt it was time to step up and offer The Peach State prospects. According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Wilcox ranks as the 908th best prospect and 61st best running back. He has received 27 Division I offers including Kentucky, Appalachian State, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Mississippi State, Purdue and Wake Forest.

Wilcox had an incredible senior year for South Paulding High School (Douglasville, Georgia), rushing for 229 carries (9 yards per carry) with 29 touchdowns and averaging 187.2 yards per game for 2,059 yards. He’s also caught 18 passes for 287 yards, with one receiving a touchdown.

If Wilcox becomes part of the class, the Buckeyes may continue to look for another running back with a similar pedigree, such as B. Trey Cornist of Ohio. Alford will no doubt be pushing to bring Wilcox on campus for the Nov. 26 Michigan game. Jermaine Mathews, who commits to Ohio State in 2023, has already expressed support for the program, which offers the 5-foot-9, 195-pound prospect.

Watkins separates from Texas A&M

One of Ohio State’s top wide receiver targets in the Class of 2025 is officially back on the market.

Five-star Florida prospect Winston Watkins Jr. was fired from Texas A&M on Friday and said his recruitment is “100 percent open” again.

Watkins had continued to make other visits despite being the second prospect in the Class of 2025 to commit and is now entirely free to explore his options further.

Last June, he accepted his bid for Ohio State after an impressive camp performance in Columbus, consistently winning one-on-one drills and excelling in individual drills. Watkins, the cousin of NFL wideout Sammy Watkins, knows the development history of the OSU wide receiver only too well.

“The receivers they make,” Watkins said in June of Ohio State’s biggest selling point. “Every year they always produce at least two receivers.”

Watkins and 2023 Ohio State commit Carnell Tate will play a high school football game in College Park, Maryland on Friday, a night before the Buckeyes take on Maryland. Watkins plans to make an unofficial visit to Maryland on Saturday, but it will also give him a personal look at the Buckeyes’ offense.

After Watkins was unsigned, Ohio State was one of several teams the 5-foot-10, 170-pound wide receiver called out on social media.

Inniss reiterates Buckeye’s commitment

While Brandon Inniss high school teammate Mark Fletcher, Ohio State 2023 five-star wide receiver, left the Buckeyes’ current recruit league, the Florida wideout left no doubt about his standing at OSU.

Inniss confirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes on Thursday, adding that he will compete in OSU’s Marquee Rivalry competition next week.

Speaking of that game, Inniss and colleague Luke Montgomery haven’t been short on teasing that next week’s attendance list could catch the eye. The current visitors known to us so far can be found here.

In 11 games this season for American Heritage High School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Inniss has caught 48 passes for 900 yards and 12 touchdowns.