Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you. Check-in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Today we examine the Ohio State recruiting class of 2022 and try and assess where Ryan Day and his coaches still need to make some moves.
Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day
What positions are they done with for the 2022 class and which ones do they still need to focus on and who are the most likely to fill those spots?
— Jeremiah (@SYRmotsag) July 6, 2021
The Buckeyes wrapped up wide receivers recruiting in the Class of 2022 on Monday when Kojo Antwi picked Ohio State over Texas A&M, Georgia, USC and Alabama. Antwi is the fourth receiver to pick the Buckeyes in this year’s class, and that allows Brian Hartline to lend some of his recruiting chops to help reel in other top targets — if necessary.
Wide receiver isn’t the only position wrapped up already in 2022, though. Barring any changes to the current list of commitments, it’s safe to assume the Buckeyes are all set at quarterback, running back and tight end. Doing the math, that leaves four positions left to work at from here until December.
So, without getting too in-depth here, let’s take a look at some of the intriguing storylines at each of those spots as we enter another four-week dead period.
Ohio State has one offensive lineman committed
One of the earliest commitments in the 2022 class, Tegra Tshabola remains the lone offensive lineman in the Buckeyes class. It’s going to be very interesting to see who joins Tshabola because theÂ goal for Ohio State has been to only take three offensive linemen in this cycle — and there are a lot of players who are very real possibilities to commit.
George Fitzpatrick is trying to make a decision soon, and the Buckeyes are near the top of his list. Ohio State is very firmly in the mix for Billy Schrauth, Addison Nichols, Aamil Wagner and Carson Hinzman. I personally don’t see any way that Ryan Day could say no to Earnest Greene, Kam Dewberry, Tyler Booker or Zach Rice if they wanted in.
It sounds like a good problem to have, doesn’t it? I’m not entirely sure that it is. The wildcard here is timing. The pecking order within the Woody Hayes Athletic Center isn’t totally known, so some tough decisions could be on the way here.Â MyÂ opinion is that the Buckeyes should take four linemen in 2022, but again the current plan is three.
Larry Johnson will have to restock the defensive line
The 2021 recruiting class got aÂ big boost on the defensive line on Sunday. That’s when J.T. Tuimoloau committed to Ohio State, and that decision does take a little pressure off of things in the 2022 cycle. But the Buckeyes need at least four defensive linemen.
Three of them should be defensive tackle types, and that list is still led by Caden Curry. Beyond him, there’s a number of options including Hero Kanu, Chris McClellan and Kenneth Grant. Ohio State would love two elite edge rushers and remain a real player in the recruitment of Omari Abor, Enai White and Kenyatta Jackson. Both Jackson and White have hinted that a decision could come sooner rather than later.
Ohio State doesn’tÂ need another linebacker, would like one
Ever since Dasan McCullough decommitted and flipped to Indiana, there’s been a fairly easy-going approach to replacing him. That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes aren’tÂ tryingÂ to replace him, but there’s been no rush for Al Washington to do that. C.J. Hicks is the best linebacker prospect in the country, and Gabe Powers is a top-40 player. So, the two commitments in the fold are certainly capable.
Does it make more sense for the Buckeyes to turn that focus to 2023 rather than adding a player that wasn’t an early and obvious first choice? That’s going to be a debate that runs into the fall.
Defensive back recruiting isn’t done, one way or another
Kerry Coombs has four cornerbacks committed and one safety in the Class of 2022. That’s a pretty good start for the Buckeyes. But the plan has always been to take seven defensive backs this cycle if possible.
That now seems very possible, because the two biggest priorities are both players that Ohio State is inÂ great shape with. Xavier Nwankpa and Zion Branch are both going to have a spot as long as they want it. So as long they’re into Ohio State, there’s not likely to be many new names added. It’s going to just be a push toward a commitment for the Buckeyes with both players.
Where things can get interesting isÂ if a currently committed player decides to reopen his recruitment. The piranhas are circling and trying to create doubt for the four young cornerbacks Coombs has the in fold. Finding a way to keep that group in tact is as big a priority as adding Nwankpa and Branch.
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