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Ohio State recruiting: It’s never too early to look to the future

Ohio’s top 2022 prospect will surely be top target for OSU staff

C.J. Hicks

The Ohio State Buckeyes kickoff the season in nearly three weeks. With fall camp well underway, each day is just another hurdle closer to what everyone has been waiting for. As the team continues to take shape and prepare for the opener against the Florida Atlantic Owls, the coaching staff has their plates more than full with responsibilities.

With the 2020 class in focus, that’s where the priority sits at the moment. The beginning pieces have already been built for the 2021 class, and just as soon as the ‘20 recruiting cycle wraps up, it’ll be ‘21 that becomes the focal point. With all these moving parts, it’s never too soon to add another one: the 2022 class of prospects.

Getting to know Ohio’s best in 2022

In today’s recruiting world, it’s impressive how much coverage is given to the top athletes around the country. For Ohio State specifically, Ryan Day has challenged his staff to build a wall around Ohio in their recruiting approach. Not to say Urban Meyer lacked in that area, but Day has said numerous times that his belief is to recruit Ohio very hard and to have a pulse of their recruiting efforts within the three to four hour range of Columbus. Already, Day has secured commitments from notable Ohio guys, including Paris Johnson Jr. in the 2020 class and Jack Sawyer in the 2021 class.

Looking ahead though, yesterday, 247Sports published their very early Top 100 ranking for the 2022 class—and one Ohioan made the cut. Relating back to the Buckeyes, having only one in-state prospect to crack the early Top 100 shows that Ryan Day and company will be all over this prospect doing their best to keep him home. It’s been said countless times already: Relationships are everything. Fortunately, Ohio State and their top in-state 2022 prospect are no strangers to each other.

Checking in currently as the 24th ranked prospect in the nation, Dayton, Ohio’s C.J. Hicks was the lone Ohioan to make 247Sports early Top 100. An impressive looking player both on and off the field, Hicks is already 6-foot-4, 210 pounds with three full prep seasons still to grow and develop. A two-way star, Hicks can play on either side of the field, but having worked out for Ohio State already this past June, coach Jeff Hafley was the one to see first where Hicks could potentially play in the future. An Ohio State offer has not yet come, but with double digit offers to his name already, it’s just a matter of time before the in-state power comes calling. With plenty of time to solidify the relationship with C.J., Ohio State will look to give him every reason to stay close to home.