Not only are the Ohio State Buckeyes recruiting well in their home state, but they are taking top talent from neighboring states, too. Craig Young, a three-star athlete from Fort Wayne, Indiana, completed his recruitment by signing with Ohio State today.
According to the 247sports composite, Young is considered the No. 10 prospect from Indiana, and is the 33rd best athlete in the class. Five other Big Ten schools approached the Wayne HS stand out with offers, including Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State. However, the Hoosier state couldn’t keep their own prospect within its borders — proving the power that Ohio State has on the recruiting circuit.
The 6-foot-4, 200 pounder was primarily recruited for the Buckeyes by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, so that would seem to indicate that OSU likes him on offense. But, when you remember that Wilson is also the former head coach at Indiana University, it might be more of a question of familiarity than position.
With an athlete in the fold, what will Young’s role be at Ohio State? Let’s take a look at the scouting report.
[Scouting Report] Craig Young is, first and foremost, an outstanding athlete. He ran a 10.58 second 100-meter dash, and has an incredibly rare combination of size and speed. At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Young has a natural defender’s frame, and the potential to add muscle mass while not losing a ton of speed is a big reason that Ohio State likes Young so much.
There’s not a ton that can be taken from his Hudl tape. It almost exclusively focuses on Young’s play at receiver, which is where he’s spent most of his time in high school. However, with the plan to play defense at Ohio State set, I expect we’ll see Young shift his focus to defense in his senior season.
Because there isn’t film of him playing defense, it’s hard to determine exactly how refined or skilled he is on that side of the ball. What does show up on his film is his elite speed, quickness, great hands, and the kind of aggressiveness that you need an elite defender to have. He exudes confidence, and plays with the kind of body control that some players never develop. He’s strong, and has a ton of physical traits that will carry over to the other side of the ball.
Young will likely end up at either linebacker or safety in Columbus. He’d make a lot of sense in the Darron Lee mold of a speed rusher at outside linebacker, and it wouldn’t be difficult for him to play comfortably at roughly 230 pounds like Lee did. Another converted athlete turned linebacker, Malik Harrison, plays at around 240. If Ohio State wants Young in this spot, he’ll likely lose a little speed when he bulks up, but he has the athleticism and versatility to make this work.
Safety makes more sense if Ohio State is happy with his current size. The tallest safety on the team right now is Brendon White, at 6-foot-2, and Young would make a ton of sense in the “Legion of Boom”, Kam Chancellor mold of tall, athletic, rangy safeties that Ohio State has found success in before, with guys like Malik Hooker. His coverage skills will need worked on, but Alex Grinch is (hopefully) good at his job, and the foundation is there for safety to be an ideal fit for Young.
Young can do a little bit of everything. Here’s some highlights of him at the wide receiver position. You can see more of his highlights on Hudl right here.