COLUMBUS, Ohio – Treyaun Webb’s moment is almost here.
The five-star 2023 athlete out of Trinity Christian Academy in Florida will announce his commitment live on CBS sports on Saturday. Webb will choose between Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia.
The Bulldogs had his verbal commitment back in November of 2019, but Webb backed off that decision on Jan. 9, opening the door for new teams and new considerations.
“I decommitted from Georgia because I felt like I made my decision too early,” Webb said. “I made it so soon. I didn’t make it how I wanted to make it. Now I feel like it’s time to make my choice, and I know how I want to do it. I wasn’t really sure back then, but now I’m sure.”
That new path has given Ohio State a chance to land the talented 6-foot, 188-pound back out of Jacksonville. The Buckeyes have gained considerable momentum in the past months, culminating with an unofficial visit back in early June. He loved it so much that he didn’t want to leave. But most importantly, he could see himself leaving home and staying in Columbus.
“I could honestly see myself going far away from home and staying there for the four years,” Webb told cleveland.com in June. “Just because of the time I spent with them and the relationship with the coaches, and my parent relationship with them. It’s all good to me. Everything I looked forward to in a visit was there. It was an overall amazing visit.”
Webb met OSU running backs coach Tony Alford back in eighth grade when Alford was recruiting Crowley. They saw each other this summer for the first time in three years, and have continued a firm line of communication leading up to the decision.
“I have, plenty of times,” Webb said when asked if Alford has reached out since the top three announcement. “He has just been reiterating how much he needs me in this role. He wouldn’t be pursuing me if he knew I couldn’t come in and take over right away in my first day in it. He basically just reiterates how much he needs me and how I am a priority, and he is keeping up with me and my family.”
If OSU gets his commitment, Webb would likely become the first commit of the 2023 class, and join a loaded RB room, consisting of TreVeyon Henderson, Evan Pryor and others. Make no mistake, he welcomes the challenge of earning playing time.
“I am not afraid to compete,” Webb said. “I have been competing my whole life. I live in the state of Florida; all we do is compete.”
Webb is the nation’s No. 34 overall prospect and the No. 4 athlete, according to the 247sports.com composite.
Alford has encouraged that competition, pointing out to Webb how past Buckeyes have found their way into the starting spot.
“Well, he (Alford) brought up the example that J.K Dobbins came when they had Mike Weber, and Ezekiel Elliott came when they had Carlos Hyde,“ Webb said. “These backs, they already had great running backs. But they don’t care, they just come in and know they can compete.”
With three crystal balls in their favor, the Sooners are seen as the leader in Webb’s recruitment. Oklahoma has been consistently in contact with Webb and his family. That consistency starts with Oklahoma RB coach and former NFL player DeMarco Murray.
“He is telling me that I can come in and take over the first day,” Webb said. “Being from Florida, we are different. So we definitely have that at Oklahoma. He and Coach (Lincoln) Riley, they are very consistent. They have been very consistent in this process.”
The connection with Riley stretches beyond a typical coach-recruit relationship. Webb says he and the Oklahoma head coach have the strongest line of communication of all the others in play.
“I can talk to Coach Riley a lot more than I can talk to any other head coaches in the whole country,” Webb said. “I talk to him the most.”
He got a taste of what life in Norman could be like, attending the CHAMPU BBQ with over 50 other recruits back in the middle of June. The Sooners pulled out all the pizzazz, with exotic cars and Oklahoma legends Adrian Peterson, Kyler Murray, Sam Bradford and CeeDee Lamb.
Webb saw more of the facilities when he was at Ohio State, but he didn’t go in the stadium, which he thoroughly enjoyed at Oklahoma.
The Sooners are fresh off a 2022 commitment from RB Gavin Sawchuk and also have RB Raleek Brown in that class. Overall, Oklahoma has nine rostered RBs headed into the 2021 season, according to 247sports.com. That’s three more than Ohio State, depending on if Steele Chambers makes the jump to linebacker.
Webb has taken multiple visits to Georgia and has appreciated their level-headed mentality after he reevaluated his options earlier this year. Like Oklahoma, the Bulldogs have a packed running back room, with 10 rostered backs headed into the 2021 season.
Similar to Alford, Georgia tight ends coach Todd Hartley has known Webb since he was in the eighth grade and has built a strong bond with the star prospect. So has Bulldogs running backs coach Dell McGee, who has showed loyalty to Webb throughout the process.
“McGee, he has been recruiting me and even when I decommitted, he never wavered, he stayed consistent on me,” Webb said. “Straight up, I’m like family there. I always have a home there.”
The friendship factor
Another factor in Webb’s recruitment could be his bond with long time friends Brandon Inniss and Richard Young. Inniss is the top-ranked wide receiver in the 2023 class, and Young is the top-ranked RB in the class. The star-studded Florida trio have been adamant about playing together at the next level.
Webb says those dreams will become reality.
“We are going to play together in college,” Webb said.
Inniss has one crystal ball to Oklahoma as the Sooners are thought to be the leader in his recruitment thus far.
As for Young, well, Webb says he’s coming too.
“Richard is also going to come wherever we go. We all talk about playing together in college every day. Of course, some things might not end up how we planned out. But that’s really the main goal is us playing together in college.”
The duo have discussed teaming up and being Buckeyes, even as far back as when Webb was committed to Georgia. Young told Lettermen Row in June that the Buckeyes had become his leader after his visit to Columbus.
Webb’s commitment could be one of the more impactful in recent years, with the potential to send major targets in the other direction, or point them directly to the Buckeye State.
Top safety target puts Ohio State in his top 5
Zion Branch of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas has put Ohio State in his top five list of schools.
The nation’s No. 49 overall prospect and No. 4 safety made the announcement via his Twitter account on Saturday evening. The Buckeyes join Oklahoma, Clemson, Alabama and USC in the final stretch to acquire the talented prospect.
The list should come as no surprise as Branch attended the Buckeye Bash (June 4-6), Oklahoma’s CHAMPU BBQ (June 18-20) and took an official visit to USC (June 25-27). He will also visit Alabama (Nov. 5) and Clemson (Nov. 12).
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has been keen on the Buckeyes for quite awhile, and remains a priority target to finish out what is currently the top-ranked class in the nation. Leading up to the summer, he was eager to check out the Buckeye culture.
“With Ohio State, they’re really high at the top of my board,” Branch told cleveland.com back in April. “All I need to do really for Ohio State is get out there to Columbus. I need to walk the soil and just see if I can live there. I have had a lot of Zoom meetings with a lot of these schools, and I learn as much information as I can. The main thing now is really just seeing it. For myself and seeing if I can live here and do I fit here.”
Branch comes from the same program as current OSU defensive lineman Haskell Garrett; and OSU 2022 linebacker commit CJ Hicks has started a trend, posting #BranchtoColumbus on Twitter.
2023 tight end targets put Ohio State in their top 7 lists
2023 tight end targets Mathias Barnwell and Mac Markway have put Ohio State in their top seven.
Barnwell, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder out of Riverbend High School in Virginia, made the announcement via his Twitter account, including the Buckeyes with Kentucky, Virginia, Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.
The Virginian is the nation’s No. 93 overall prospect and No. 4 tight end, according to the 247sports.com composite.
Barnwell has four crystal balls to Penn State.
Markway, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder out of DeSmet High School in Missouri, also made his announcement via his Twitter account, including the Buckeyes with Iowa, LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Missouri and Alabama.
The Missourian is the nation’s No. 184 overall prospect and No. 12 tight end.
Markway has one crystal ball to Notre Dame.
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