The Buckeyes already have commitments from the state's top three juniors: Pickerington North defensive end Jack Sawyer, Revere Richfield offensive tackle Ben Christman and Massillon Washington receiver Jayden Ballard.
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The No. 4 prospect is Lorenzo Styles Jr., a receiver from Pickerington Central whose father, Lorenzo Styles Sr., was a standout linebacker for the Buckeyes in the ‘90s.
The top-rated player in the Cox Media Group Ohio coverage area for 2021 currently is Alter running back Branden McDonald, who was among the unofficial visitors at Ohio State on Saturday as the Buckeyes thrashed Cincinnati.
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Other area players who appear in the early 2021 rankings are Ross offensive lineman Kaden Rogers, Northmont safety Rod Moore and Greenon quarterback Cade Rice.
More are likely to gain notice as the year goes on.
Assuming he signs with Ohio State when he is able next December, Carrico will be something of a rarity.
Ohio State has only signed six players from Southeast Ohio since 1999, the most recent being Tyler Gerald, an offensive lineman from Portsmouth who finished his career at IMG Academy, in 2016.
He never enrolled in school.
The last Southeast Ohio player to sign with Ohio State and actually suit up is Joe Burrow, a standout quarterback from The Plains Athens in the class of 2015.
The last player from Ironton to sign with Ohio State is Redgie Arden in 2001. He was also a highly regarded linebacker, but his career was ultimately cut short by injuries.