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Targeting Western PA: Ohio State’s Recruiting Impact on Pittsburgh Area Prospects



Aliquippa star Larry Moon III.

Whenever an elite talent emerges from the City of Pittsburgh, top-tier programs flock in with offers.

During the 2000s and into the following decade, Ohio State was one of those schools that consistently dished out offers to the up-and-coming talent out of the WPIAL and City League.

The name Terrelle Pryor stands out as one the best players to ever grace a WPIAL football field with Jeannette, where he won two WPIAL titles in 2006 and 2007 and a PIAA championship in ’07.

As the nation’s No. 1 player and quarterback on the Class of 2008, Pryor’s recruitment was one of the most documented stories in the country heading into his decision to commit to Ohio State

He would go on to be the Ohio State starting quarterback from 2008 to 2010 where he won two Big Ten titles and was named the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010.

Pryor, along with many others from the WPIAL received high interest from Ohio State during those times, but it has certainly changed.

Each year, Ohio State has extended an offer to local prospects – except for 2022.

In 2009, OSU shelled out six offers to area kids, which resulted in three commits from Gateway five-star outside linebacker Dorian Bell and five-star cornerback Corey Brown, along with four-star Jeannette athlete Jordan Hall.

From 2006-2015, the Buckeyes provided offers to at least two or more recruits from the Pittsburgh area. Now, they average about one per recruiting cycle.

The most recent offer from the Buckeyes into the WPIAL came on Wednesday when Larry Moon III earned an offer after competing at the Buckeyes football camp. The Class of 2027 defensive back is one of 13 players that hold an offer from Ohio State in that class.

While Moon III’s recruitment process is still rather in its infancy, Ohio State is now certainly in the mix as the young talent also visited the Buckeyes back in March.

The last time the Buckeyes landed a WPIAL prospect came when Marcus Hooker – the younger brother of Ohio State standout and NFL defensive back Malik Hooker – committed in 2018 out of New Castle.

With the Buckeyes presence now felt in the Class of 2027, let’s take a look back over the past 15 recruiting classes and the upcoming cycles to see who Ohio State has targeted out of the Pittsburgh area:


  • Todd Thomas – 4-Star WR from Beaver Falls
  • Tyrone Ezell – 3-Star DT from Steel Valley
  • Dorian Bell – 5-Star OLB from Gateway *Ohio State Commit
  • Corey Brown – 5-Star CB from Gateway *Ohio State Commit
  • EJ Banks – 3-Star Athlete from Montour
  • Jordan Hall 4-Star ATH from Jeannette *Ohio State Commit


  • Chad Hagan – 3-Star OLB from Canon-Mac *Ohio State Commit
  • Cullen Christian – 4-Star CB from Penn Hills


  • Ejuan Price – 3-Star ILB Woodland Hills
  • Mike Caputo – 3-Star S from West Allegheny
  • Dondi Kirby – 4-Star Safety from Gateway


  • Rushel Shell – 4-Star RB from Hopewell
  • Deaysean Rippy – 4-Star OLB from Sto-Rox
  • Demetrious Cox – 4-Star from Jeannette


  • Robert Foster – 4-Star WR from Central Valley
  • Dorian Johnson – 5-Star OT from Belle Vernon


  • Alex Bookser – 4-Star OT from Mt. Lebo
  • Chase Winovich – 4-Star OLB from TJ
  • Dravon Henry – 4-Star S from Aliquippa
  • Malik Hooker – 3-Star S from New Castle *Ohio State Commit
  • Montar Nicholson – 4-Star S from Gateway


  • Sterling Jenkins – 3-Star OT from Baldwin
  • Jordan Whitehead – 4-Star CB from Central Valley


  • Damar Hamlin – 4-Star S from Steel Valley


  • Donovan Jeter – 4-Star DT from Beaver Falls


  • Marcus Hooker – 3-Star ATH from New Castle *Ohio State Commit


  • Andrew Kristofic – 4-Star OT from Pine-Richland


  • Michael Carmody – 4-Star OT from Mars
  • Dayone Hayes – 4-Star WDE from Westinghouse


  • Elliot Donald – 4-Star DT from Central Catholic
  • Derrick Davis – 4-Star S from Gateway


  • None


  • Ta’Mere Robinson – 4-Star OLB from Brashear


  • Quinton Martin – 4-Star RB from Belle Vernon
  • Anthony Speca – 4-Star ILB from Central Catholic


  • Tiqwai Hayes – 4-Star RB from Aliquippa


  • Kyshawn Robinson – 4-Star CB from Westinghouse *Uncommitted


  • Larry Moon III – DB from Aliquippa *Uncommitted

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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