COLUMBUS — Ohio State has added another piece to its 2022 recruiting class as C.J. Hicks, a 4-star prospect from Archbishop Alter (Kettering) has announced his commitment to the program.
“I had a visit online with all the coaches last week,” Hicks told Lettermen Row . “It just feels like they can help me become the man that I need to be in life.”
Hicks made his decision just two weeks after suggesting that he’d like to wait things out a bit.
“I’m still going to take visits and look at my options,” Hicks said after receiving an offer from the Buckeyes in early April. “I want to drop my top five at the end of my junior year and then at the end of that summer commit to a school.”
There was no reason for Hicks to wait, apparently, who announced his commitment on Friday and discussed the decision in an episode of Birminology at Lettermen Row. For an Ohio-born prospect who burst onto the scene for Ohio State last summer following an impressive one-day camp performance, there’s no opportunity out there like the chance to suit up for the Buckeyes.
Lettermen Row is breaking down the choice by C.J. Hicks and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and the national recruiting scene for the Class of 2022.
What C.J. Hicks gives Ohio State on field
When trying to project what a young player can become on the football field, the most important piece of the puzzle is often trying to figure out exactly where he’ll line up and play. That’s still the biggest question when it comes to the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Hicks. The Dayton-area standout lines up primarily as an outside linebacker, but he also plays some at safety. He carries the football at running back and also returns punts and kickoffs for good measure, so he’s proven to be quite versatile already in his young career, which is one of the reasons he caught the Buckeyes attention at such a young age.
Hicks runs well, he’s capable of providing some big hits and also seems to enjoy the contact, which is rare for a young player. More than tangible skills and technical perfection, recruiting players with two years of high school football is about upside, potential and frame — those are three areas that Hicks is well beyond the majority of his peers. If his growth continues as it has in the last year, there’s a good comparison to Malik Harrison that can be made.
What pickup means for Ohio State 2022 recruiting class
The addition of Hicks gives Ohio State two of the top three players in Ohio early in the 2022 efforts as he joins lineman Tegra Tshabola, who picked the Buckeyes over Tennessee, Michigan and others last week. Ohio State has offered four players inside of Ohio, so now the early focus can be on wrapping up Marysville defensive end/linebacker prospect Gabe Powers and Strongsville offensive lineman Blake Miller with the hopes of securing a strong base of in-state players to lead the class.
The Buckeyes are only looking to take two linebackers in the Class of 2021, but that number should be three or four in 2022. So, Hicks is a great starting point in a group that will also include top national targets like potential 5-star Dasan McCullough. Hicks is a very well-respected player among his peers and is close with top players like Braelon Allen, who actually helped Hicks make his announcement by creating the video he used to announce his decision.
Ohio State beat Notre Dame, Michigan, Miami, Florida State, Texas A&M, Cincinnati and more than 20 other programs to land Hicks.
How C.J. Hicks impacts the 2022 recruiting rankings
The third commitment in the Class of 2022 for Ohio State, Hicks joining the fray moves the Buckeyes ahead of Michigan for the most commitments in that cycle. There is no official class ranking being counted yet, but Ohio State’s three commitments are the second most in the nation for 2022, trailing only LSU, which has four. Hicks is Ohio’s No. 3-ranked prospect and sits at No. 162 nationally according toÂ 247Sports.com.
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