Now, we've moved to the portion of the list with the two schools that have already been mentioned in connection with Downs in the portal in various reports on Jan. 17. Multiple reports have indicated that the Ohio State Buckeyes and Georgia are the leaders in this portal recruitment early on.
Many on the Ohio State side knew that the Buckeyes would be a big player in this portal recruitment if Downs entered the portal this offseason. And now that his name is officially in the transfer portal, the Buckeyes are ready to throw the kitchen sink and more at him.
Wiltfong reported on Jan. 17 that Ohio State "will do everything in their power to land Downs".
Downs has many connections to this Ohio State coaching staff and he likes what the Buckeyes bring as a potential Big Ten and national title contender in 2024 and beyond.
Ohio State was one of the top schools that recruited Downs when he was the No. 1 safety recruit in the nation in the 2023 class in the 247Sports Composite from Mill Creek High School in Georgia. He visited Ohio State multiple times during his recruitment as late as a few weeks before he put pen to paper on signing day to lock-in with the Tide in December 2022.
Head coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes' staff made sure Downs knew he was a priority for them as Ohio State recruited him through the finish line on signing day.