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Ohio State: J.J. McCarthy sets next visit, Buckeyes offer new OL in Florida

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Ohio State will get another visit from quarterback target J.J. McCarthy. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Ohio State: J.J. McCarthy sets next visit, Buckeyes offer new OL in Florida

Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row. Today we discuss a 2021 quarterback set to visit Ohio State as well as a new offer out in the state of Florida.

2021 QB J.J. McCarthy sets next Ohio State visit

It was two weekends ago that Ohio State welcomed in 2021 quarterback Kyle McCord, and it will be just about a month from now when they bring in another top 2021 target for a second visit: Illinois star J.J. McCarthy.

“I talked to Coach [Ryan] Day on Tuesday and [quarterbacks coach Mike] Yurcich tonight,” McCarthy told Lettermen Row on Wednesday evening. “I will be on campus again March 23rd. I can’t wait to get back.”

McCarthy, 6-foot-2 and 180-pounds, visited the Buckeyes in October and that trip set the tone for what’s turning into an interesting recruitment for Ohio State, which offered the La Grange Park standout in December. He’s probably more familiar with Yurcich than most current Ohio State recruits because he’s been in regular contact with him since last summer, well before the former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator was hired in Columbus.

“I have been in contact with Coach Yurcich since June, so [the relationship] has been been great,” he said. “The message is really clear: They want me at Ohio State. It a great feeling.”

Right now there is just one 247Sports.com crystal ball prediction for McCarthy, and it’s a prediction for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, which isn’t surprising considering the proximity from McCarthy’s hometown to Sound Bend. One issue though: Notre Dame has not offered yet. There’s a slight sense that this recruitment could boil down to the Buckeyes and the Irish, but McCarthy is taking everything in stride and trying to not get ahead of himself.

“What I’ve learned is that every school has a process,” he said. “Some offer early, some don’t. I am OK with either way as long as there is good communication throughout the process.”

But make no mistake: There’s something good brewing between Ohio State and McCarthy.

“I need to visit some more schools this spring, but the Ohio State coaching staff has been awesome to me,” he said. ” I loved my gameday visit and will be back in March and hopefully the summer. I want to see everything Ohio State has to offer because it’s exactly what I want in a program.

“They’ve got a winning tradition and great academics. I can’t wait to get back in March.”

This weekend, McCarthy will visit Texas. He also expects to take a trip to Penn State and Michigan State in March.

Rylie Mills hearing from Ohio State coaching staff

After an “unreal” visit to Ohio State back in October, it seemed things were moving a pretty positive direction for another Illinois star, Lake Forest’s Rylie Mills.

“I’ve been talking to Urban Meyer basically a couple of times a day,” Mills said after that visit. “This trip I was able to talk to him and [Larry] Johnson. Their message was that I would be a great fit in their program, and they want me to come back again. I really liked how involved everyone was, and I hope to get back again after the season.”

Things have changed quite a bit in Columbus since then, of course. Meyer is gone and Day has taken over. What doesn’t appear to have changed is that the 4-star prospect from Lake Forest High School is a priority for the Buckeyes.

“I’ve heard a lot from coach Johnson, [defensive coordinator Greg] Mattison, Coach Day, and [offensive line] Coach [Greg] Studrawa,” Mills said. “I know that in the coaching world there is a lot of change but I’m trying to keep building a relationship with them.”

His relationship with Greg Mattison started while Mattison was at Michigan. The Wolverines are one of the more than 25 teams that have offered the 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman.

“I was definitely not expecting it,” he said of Mattison’s departure from Michigan to Ohio State. “But I know changes in the coaching world happen a lot so I wasn’t too concerned over it. It really excites me [that he’s now at Ohio State]. I have a really good relationship with both he and Coach Johnson and I know they can develop players really well.”

Mills, the country’s seventh-ranked strongside defensive end, hopes to get back to Columbus “soon.”

Ohio State offers Florida lineman Marlon Martinez

The Buckeyes love St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Even though the last few recruiting efforts with Trevon Grimes and Jordan Battle ended poorly, Ohio State isn’t avoiding the South Florida powerhouse. On Wednesday evening, Brian Hartline, who now handles the Raiders campus for the Buckeyes, extended a scholarship offer to 2020 offensive line Marlon Martinez.

Originally from Cuba, Martinez moved to Florida a year ago from New Jersey and now finds himself catching a lot of attention from college programs all over the country. He has offers from 23 schools and the Ohio State offer will likely bring another wave of big-time programs to his door.

“Ohio State is a prominent school and they’ve shown me that they’re very interested so it means a lot,” he said. “I’ve never been to campus, but I know they’re a great program.”

The Buckeyes have three offensive linemen already committed in the Class of 2020. But they are interested in bringing in as many as six, so it’s not surprising to see new offers going out at the position — especially one so athletic at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds.

Birm

Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.