Huge upside, unique athleticism make Hero Kanu major Ohio State target

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham



Whether or not there are there ‘must get’ prospects in recruiting is up for debate but there’s no doubt that some recruits are, for whatever reason, more important for Ohio State in a specific recruiting cycle. For the Buckeyes and the Class of 2023, those players are becoming clear. Who’s on The List? Today we’re adding California standout Hero Kanu, one of the country’s most unique 2022 prospects.

COLUMBUS — Every year, dozens of Europe’s best young football prospects make a tour around American colleges, including Ohio State.

The group, led by Cleveland-native Brandon Collier, has never had a prospect like Hero Kanu.

Kanu, a 6-foot-5, 293-pound former soccer player born in Germany, is different. His size and speed alone would make him a Division I prospect no matter where he’s from. But his unique work ethic and approach to learning the game of football create something unique. In a whirlwind month of June, Kanu — the No. 13-ranked defensive lineman in the Class of 2022 — visited 16 different colleges. He camped at each one, driven by a desire to compete and to build relationships.

His newness to the game means how he’s coached is as important as who is coaching him.

“I’ve worked out at every single camp,” Kanu said in June. “I’m considering the way I am being coached. Everything is about the relationship I have with the coach. The development, the culture. The stability.”

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Hero Kanu has a big personality and even bigger upside on the football field. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

At every single camp, Hero Kanu has impressed. He’s well-ahead of the curve considering his inexperience. He listens, he learns and he quickly applies what he’s taught. That makes him the perfect kind of defensive tackle for Larry Johnson and Ohio State. Kanu has almost unlimited upside, and that’s why Johnson has made him a priority, especially in the last month.

That relationship is going to matter in a big way.

“I like the way he coaches,” Kanu told Lettermen Row. “He’s very calm and goes into the details to make you better. Every single time, every single drill is something that is going to make you better. I really liked that about him.”


And Ohio State likes a lot about Hero Kanu as well.

Crazy upside, rare athleticism and a thirst to get better every day make him a truly rare 2022 prospect. That’s why he’s the latest addition to The List from Lettermen Row. Jeremy Birmingham and Spencer Holbrook break down this recruitment and what makes him so important for Ryan Day and the Buckeyes.