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Buckeyes go back to St. Louis, quarterback board shuffled

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Ohio State assistant Kerry Coombs has his eyes on another St. Louis defensive back. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

Buckeyes go back to St. Louis, quarterback board shuffled

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. The latest notebook has updates on two new offers and what the Buckeyes are doing at quarterback for 2022.

Ohio State offers another St. Louis cornerback

The Buckeyes love recruiting St. Louis, and in recent years they have had significant success doing so. That could be one of the reasons that Kerry Coombs and Ryan Day have extended a scholarship offer to 2022 cornerback Toriano Pride.

The other reason? The 5-foot-11, 175-pound defensive back from Lutheran North High School is pretty darned good young football player.

“They told me that they like my speed, my technique and just how I play,” Pride told Lettermen Row. “I’ve been talking, building a relationship with [Kerry Coombs] for a month now, and he’s now pulling the trigger with me.

“This offer is huge to me and very big to my recruitment.”

Why? It’s pretty simple, really.

“For me, personally speaking, I like them because they produce first round defensive backs,” he said. “They send players to the next level at my position.”

Ohio State has signed Ezekiel Elliott, Kamryn Babb, Cameron Brown, Jameson Williams and Mookie Cooper from the St. Louis area since 2013, and it has 4-star cornerback Jakailin Johnson committed in 2021. Pride is Missouri’s No. 4-ranked prospect in the Class of 2022 and the eighth cornerback to pick an offer from the Buckeyes in that cycle.

QB board shuffled after Quinn Ewers commitment

In case it was lost in the mix of the last week’s Big Ten drama, Ohio State saw its 2022 quarterback board shrink by one when the country’s top-ranked rising-junior quarterback, Quinn Ewers, abruptly ended his recruitment by committing to Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns.

That is, of course, a big ol’ win for Texas Tom and Mike Yurcich — especially as 2021 quarterback Jalen Milroe flipped to Alabama earlier this week. But it might not be that big of a loss for Ohio State. Sure, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Ewers was high on the recruiting board for the Buckeyes, but with C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller and Kyle McCord lined up for the future, there’s no shortage of qualified competitors in the quarterback room for Corey Dennis down the road.

On top of that, the gap — if it has to be called that — between Ewers and other top-tier quarterbacks, especially someone like California’s Maalik Murphy, isn’t that wide, if it’s wide at all. The advantage that existed for Ohio State in the pursuit of Ewers ahead of Murphy is that the Texas commit had actually been on campus in Columbus before, where Murphy and the majority of the 2022 quarterback crop had not.

Until recruiting visits are back on the table, there’s not going to be a lot of movement on the evaluation front for Ohio State. But for now, if anyone out there is keeping a personal big board of the Buckeyes top targets, it’s fairly safe to elevate Maalik Murphy from No. 1B to the top spot alone.

Kiyaunta Goodwin shedding weight, adding offers

Speaking of elevating, that’s one way to describe the ascension of Charleston (Ind.) offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin.

Another, entirely different way to describe it would be to suggest that by Goodwin’s efforts to send his weight plummeting has put his potential college career back on the upswing. Since January, the 6-foot-7 tackle — offered by Ohio State last week —  has lost almost 125 pounds and gained the interest of big-time college programs around the region.

“I realized that I have been blessed with a gift and I wasn’t honoring what God gave me,” Goodwin told Lettermen Row when asked about his transformation. “I also want to use football to get my education and open up doors for me, so one day I can take care of my mother.

“I feel like a completely different person. I’m able to run and move so much better and bend a lot better. I never knew how much bad weight I was carrying until now. Also, I have been putting better foods into my body, so I have a lot more energy.”

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Kiyaunta Goodwin (right) met with Paris Johnson following the Buckeyes 2018 win over Indiana. (Kiyaunta Goodwin/Courtesy)

Though Indiana’s No. 5-ranked prospect misses his mother’s famous nachos, he’ll need that extra energy to handle the recruiting buzz he’s generating.

“Since I started losing the weight, Ole Miss offered, Florida State re-offered me [and] Ohio State and Auburn offered,” Goodwin said.

More are certainly coming, but there’s no doubt the Buckeyes offer is on that caught Goodwin’s attention. He’s visited the school in the past and he knows the history of the program well. He also works out with the same trainer who helped Rondale Moore and Wandale Robinson become Big Ten terrors.

“We’ve talked a few times since the offer,” Goodwin said, specifying his conversations with Greg Studrawa. “They compete for a national championship every year. If you go there, you compete against the best every single day in practice, so the games are easy and I love to compete. I mean it’s Ohio State.

“It’s one of the most prestigious schools in the country. It’s close to home and you’ve got the best of the best of everything. My goal is to play professional and take care of my mother and they have a proven track record of that.”

Need more Ohio State recruiting #Stuff? Join the conversation below in the comments and sign up for Scarlet Sunrise, Lettermen Row’s morning newsletter that will get your day started with all the important Ohio State news you need to know. Prefer video? Follow Buckeyes football on YouTube with Lettermen Row. You can also get your recruiting fix by subscribing to Talking Stuff: The Ohio State Recruiting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.


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 and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.