Ohio State football team battling new Big Ten rival for 4-star receiver

The Buckeyes look like they may have an edge in the battle to land one of California's best receivers.
Lori Schmidt / Columbus Dispatch / USA

According to college football recruiting experts, the Ohio State football team has crept ahead in a battle with new Big Ten rival USC for the services of a 4-star receiver.

The receiver in question is Phillip Bell of Mission Viejo, California. The 6’2”, 195-pound Bell is rated 16th at his position by 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings. Up until his visit with the Buckeyes this past weekend, it was thought he was leaning towards USC. One of 247’s recruiting experts had even put in a Crystal Ball prediction for the Trojans to land him. But his visit with the Buckeyes went so well that two experts from On3 placed predictions for Bell to commit them.

Bell talked at length to On3 about his latest visit to Columbus. He’s been there four times now. He said the Ohio State staff told him they wanted to check off all the boxes that mattered to him and Bell said they did just that. Receivers coach Brian Hartline did a film session with Bell where he explained how he would be used and where he’d line up. He wants to be developed and is very pleased the OSU coaches understand this.

All of this is fine and dandy, but this is far from a done deal. Bell will be on the USC campus this weekend for his official visit. One thing the Trojans have in their favor is proximity. Bell’s hometown is only 55 miles away. They’ll also probably be able to offer a faster track to playing time because, as we know, the Buckeyes are loaded at receiver.


Bell was originally planning to announce his decision in late August, but he’s now considering early July. If he commits to the Buckeyes, he will be the third receiver to do so for their 2025 recruiting class, which is currently tops in the nation.