Rico Flores Jr.

The Hurry-Up: Rico Flores Jr. Puts Ohio State in His Top Three, Eighth-Grader Tyler Atkinson Lands Ohio State Offer

Four-star California 2023 wide receiver Rico Flores Jr. has narrowed his decision down to three teams. 

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect released a final three Thursday of Ohio State, Notre Dame and Georgia. Flores eliminated Texas and UCLA from contention for his services, as they had both been on the top five he released in February.

A commitment date has already been set for Flores, who will announce his college decision on July 3. Flores sent out a tweet in April that read “it’s going to be hard for anyone to top OSU” and told Eleven Warriors he believed the Buckeyes would be in his recruitment until the end. One month later, it appears OSU will be along with two other finalists Flores will pick from after he takes his official visits.

“Because of the things they offer, first off,” Flores told Eleven Warriors in April of why Ohio State will be tough to top in his recruitment. “They develop you to be in the NFL. What they produce there, I love it. Also the people and the school, everything about Ohio State, I literally loved everything about it. There were no cons at all.” 

Flores last visited OSU on April 7-8 and said he “loved” his trip to Columbus. He also visited Georgia this spring and will take an official visit to Notre Dame on June 10-12. Flores told Eleven Warriors Thursday he plans on taking his official to Ohio State June 24-26.

As it stands, the Buckeyes have one wide receiver committed for the current cycle in Florida wideout Bryson Rodgers. Ohio State would like to take three or four wideouts in the 2023 class, and are incredibly high on five-stars Brandon Inniss and Carnell Tate along with four-star Noah Rogers. Rogers recently told 247Sports he could commit this month, while Inniss could also commit in June or July after his official visits are wrapped up. Tate’s recruitment could also conclude in the summer. 

If OSU lands all three, which it has more than a puncher’s chance of doing, it’s going to be hard to find room in the class for Flores, a talented player in his own right who is considered the 193rd-best prospect and the 26th-best wideout nationally, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. That said, the Buckeyes will have a great chance of landing Flores’ commitment if they make him one of their top priorities.

Ohio State’s wide receiver recruiting for the current cycle could be wrapped up by the time the summer concludes; now, it’s just a matter of seeing how the dominoes fall. 

OSU makes first 2026 offer

Occasionally when I write about recruits that Ohio State is interested in but are still a few recruiting cycles away from actually playing in college, we’ll get fan feedback that resembles something along the lines of “What’s next, you going to write about eighth-graders?” 

Today, I am indeed writing about an eighth-grader. But it’s not without good reason. 

On Wednesday, Georgia defensive end Tyler Atkinson became Ohio State’s first offer from the 2026 class, becoming the first recruit since Quinn Ewers to receive a Buckeyes offer before starting high school. Ewers landed his offer after camping at Ohio State in June 2018, but Atkinson received his offer before the Buckeyes’ summer camp season even began.

Standing at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Atkinson has already picked up six Division I offers, also including Akron, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss. Several other Ohio State targets from Georgia reached out to congratulate Atkinson on his offer, including 2023 four-star defensive lineman AJ Hoffler and 2024 four-star tight end KingJoseph Edwards.

Matthews picks up Buckeyes offer

Four-star 2024 Georgia safety Mike Matthews also received an offer from Ohio State on Wednesday.

Matthews, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound prospect, is ranked as the 73rd-best player and the eighth-best safety nationally. He’s racked up 20 Division I offers to this point, a list that includes Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas A&M and Wake Forest. 

In 11 games for Parkview High School (Lilburn, Georgia) last season, Matthews recorded 27 tackles, an interception, a pass deflection and a blocked field goal. 

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