Why committing to Ohio State was a 'no-brainer' for 2025 3-star running back Isaiah West (2024)

Isaiah West just missed Kyle McCord and Marvin Harrison Jr. at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia.

West was entering his freshman season at running back in 2021 when McCord and Harrison were freshman at Ohio State. But the pair's presence was still felt, with every quarterback on the roster trying to be the next McCord, and every receiver trying to be the next Harrison.

Now West hopes to be the next Hawks offensive star to make a name for himself in Columbus, committing to Ohio State June 16 as the team's second running back in the 2025 recruiting class.

“To see what (McCord and Harrison) have done at the next level, see what they’re doing, see the path they paved for me, I’m just trying to emulate it and possibly do it even better,” West said.

West is Ohio State's second commitment from St. Joseph's Prep in the 2025 class. Four-star defensive lineman Maxwell Roy committed to the Buckeyes Monday.

Isaiah West 'puts a lot of stress on defensive coordinators'

St. Joseph’s pass game coordinator Ryne Morrison said West is cut from the same cloth as McCord and Harrison.

Already physically impressive as 14-year-old freshman who made the varsity team immediately, Morrision said that West has become a player who can be utilized throughout the offense, from running back to fullback to multiple receiver positions.

“Like, we had specifically two opponents last year that one of their linebackers on every single play was pointing out ‘32’s right. 32’s on the left. 32’s in the slot…’” Morrison said. "And as a play caller, as a play designer, you can use that to your advantage.”

As versatile as he is, West wants to focus on the position where he's able to use all his talents.

"The best running backs," West said, "they are not just out of the backfield pass catchers, they are not just straight-line runners, they are not just making you miss, they are not just running you over. They do it all.”

West, who Morrison says is “every bit of 6-foot, 200 pounds” and “looks like an NFL running back right now,” had 861 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns as a junior for St. Joseph’s, per 247Sports.

Why committing to Ohio State was a 'no-brainer' for 2025 3-star running back Isaiah West (1)

In West, Morrison said he has an offensive weapon who is “so physically imposing, so powerful, so fast,” he can barrel through a defensive tackle at the line of scrimmage, and he can make a cornerback miss in space off a catch.

“I know it puts a lot of stress on defensive coordinators when you have a guy like that,” Morrison said.

How Isaiah West joined Ohio State 2025 class

West is the No. 533 player in the 2025 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings. He is the 45th highest ranked running back.

Does Morrison think West is underrated? Yes. Does that matter to him and the rest of the St. Joseph’s staff? Not at all.

“If coach (Carlos) Locklyn thinks Isaiah West is a top-five running back in the class, that’s all that matters,” Morrison said.

Why committing to Ohio State was a 'no-brainer' for 2025 3-star running back Isaiah West (2)

According to Morrison, Ohio State running backs coach Carlos Locklyn was recruiting West when Locklyn was still at Oregon. With the Ducks, Morrison said Locklyn did not have a chance as West did not want to go “three time zones away.”

West, meanwhile, said his communication with Ohio State began during his junior season with then-running backs coach Tony Alford, who did not extend him an offer, so West committed to Kentucky March 1.

When Locklyn was hired, West said Ohio State began its full-court recruiting press.

“If you ask anybody in that building, at the Woody, they’ll tell you coach Lock, as soon as he walked into the building, he was vouching for me saying ‘We need to get this guy,’” West said.

West reported an offer from Ohio State May 13, the same day he ended his commitment to Kentucky. He paid the Buckeyes an official visit June 14-16 before joining Ohio State’s 2025 class.

“(Ohio State) really just reminded me of Prep,” West said. “Like just the whole atmosphere, how everybody’s got this laser focus, everybody’s striving for excellence, everything is a competition.”

Could Isaiah West play immediately for Ohio State?

St. Joseph’s had three running backs in the 2024 class that will play college football next season in Taj Dyches (Robert Morris), Erik Sanchez (Delaware State) and Kahseim Phillips (Towson), so West is used to being part of a crowded running backs room.

How crowded it will be in Columbus is yet to be seen.

Why committing to Ohio State was a 'no-brainer' for 2025 3-star running back Isaiah West (3)

The position could be wide open if both TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins turn pro after next season. In that scenario, West would be one of four scholarship running backs along with fellow 2025 commit Bo Jackson, Sam Williams-Dixon and James Peoples competing for the job.

But that’s something West said he’s ready for. Competition and pressure are what made him the player that got Ohio State’s attention.

And while he was not on the same team as Harrison, West has been receiving advice from Harrison's dad, Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison Sr.

“He told me that you want to go to a place where they’re going to make you better, and they’re going to increase your value,” West said. “And I feel like at Ohio State, it was a no brainer.”

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Why committing to Ohio State was a 'no-brainer' for 2025 3-star running back Isaiah West (2024)
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