Ohio State hosted a strong list of visitors for their final home game of 2021. One of the top players in attendance made the trip from Florida in 2023 offensive lineman Payton Kirkland.
This was the second visit to Columbus for the Orlando Dr. Phillips star, who also got to campus in the summer. He and his mom enjoyed their trip, which spanned from mid-day Friday to Saturday night.
“It was beautiful,” Kirkland told Buckeye Scoop about the visit. “I got to watch practice on Friday. We also had meetings, did a photo shoot, and got to chill with the staff. I got to speak with Coach Day, Coach Alford, and Coach Stud. They were just asking me how I was liking it and giving me leadership tips.
“On Saturday we went through all the game day stuff and enjoyed the game. The offensive line played great. They have the best offensive line in college football and the best offensive line coach.”
The highlight of the trip was “the game, for sure” for Kirkland, as he got to see Ohio State dominate Michigan State, but he also felt pretty good about everything else he experienced to say the Buckeyes have established themselves as a major contender for his services.
“Top five,” he said about OSU’s positioning, without hesitation, when asked. “Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Michigan State, and Illinois” were also schools Kirkland said he is highly considering.
It seems the Buckeyes have done a great job with the 6-foot-5, 330-pound tackle in the early going, but they’ll have to maintain that momentum to eventually land a commitment.
“I probably won’t make a decision until the All-American Bowl (next December),” he shared. “Honestly, the decision is going to come down to being a matter of how comfortable my mom is with the school.”
The good news for the Bucks is that Kirkland’s mom not only was with him this weekend, but she shared her son’s feelings about the experience and program as well.
“She loves it,” Kirkland said. “She’s a big fan and has been her whole life (of Ohio State).”
Kirkland is a 4-star prospect across the board.