'Put us on the recruiting staff': How 2024 QB Air Noland sells Ohio State football

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Air Noland is looking for a little bit of credit. 

Ohio State's 2024 recruiting class took over top spot in the rankings after five-star tight end Landen Thomas flipped his commitment from Georgia to Florida State on Monday,

“Might as well put us on the recruiting staff,” Noland tweeted Monday night with a laughing emoji and a chestnut/Buckeye emoji. 

His commitment was just one of a slew of recruiting wins for Ohio State in the first 15 days of April. The Buckeyes also landed five-star wide receiver Mylan Graham, four-star running back James Peoples and four-star linebacker Payton Pierce during that time. 

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According to Noland, this is a product of him and his fellow 2024 commits telling other recruits what the Buckeyes are building. 

“Ohio State, it speaks for itself,” Noland told The Dispatch. “But being a quarterback in the 2024 class that’s committed to Ohio State — and I’m locked in, 110% committed, not looking at no other school but Ohio State — I want to make sure I’m putting Ohio State in great hands and the recruit in great hands.” 

Air Noland pitches development, brotherhood at Ohio State

Noland’s pitch begins the same way Ohio State coach Ryan Day pitched him. He visited with the coach as part of an April 1 trip to Columbus.

“There’s no other place better than Ohio State from a development standpoint whether it’s on the field or off the field,” Noland remembers Day saying. “People are going to make sure you are getting developed.” 

Noland is familiar with the track record of quarterbacks in Ohio State’s system who were molded into first-round draft picks. He's seen players take advantage of the opportunities to mature through the strength and conditioning program. He knows the team plays a pro-style offense that shows off the quarterback. 

2024 quarterback Air Noland committed to Ohio State on April 8.

As a quarterback at Langston Hughes High School, where he was teammates with early-enrollee tight end Jelani Thurman, Noland has improved his completion percentage, passing yards and touchdown totals with each season. He threw just four interceptions on 323 pass attempts as a junior after throwing 12 in 251 pass attempts in his first two seasons.

He believes he can continue that trajectory at Ohio State. But Day also sold him on something else. 

“He’s making sure that as a Black quarterback, as a Black athlete, that I’m getting taken care of mentally, physically and emotionally,” Noland said. 

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For Noland, this has been a team effort already in motion with fellow members of Ohio State’s class. 

Noland said he’s building connections with fellow 2024 commitments like offensive linemen Deontae and Devontae Armstrong and wide receiver Jeremiah Smith before they are officially on the same roster next year. 

“You know that’s going to be a teammate of yours in the future,” Noland said. “You want to build a relationship with them throughout the process and make sure they are doing OK with the process and make sure that they’re not getting no or giving no attention to another school but Ohio State. 

“You want to make sure you are building a brotherhood before you even get up to Columbus.” 

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Noland is excited about what Ohio State has done in the 2024 class but knows the work isn’t finished. 

His group chat with fellow Ohio State 2024 commits is still buzzing, he said, talking about what it would take to add players like five-star cornerback Charles Lester III and flip players like four-star safety Peyton Woodyard from Georgia. 

For Ohio State to maintain their status as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, Noland says, it will take all hands on deck. 

“As players, we want to make sure we’re helping our school,” Noland said. “With the coaching staff Ohio State has and with the recruits we have, we all have great experience and we all know what a perfect fit would look like.” 


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