It was a big weekend for Ohio State football — both on the field and on the recruiting front. In Ohio Stadium on Saturday, the Buckeyes defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 52-17 in the season opener. Not too far away, a large portion of Ryan Day’s 2021 recruiting class got together in person to get a feel for Columbus and take in an Ohio State game day.
While face-to-face contact with the coaching staff and access inside the football facilities are still not permitted as a result of the NCAA dead period, it was still a great chance for the group of future Buckeyes to get to know one another and take in the sights around campus where they will be spending the next few years.
The ‘Buckeye Bash’, as the event became known, seemed to be a big success, and many commits left feeling very pleased with what they saw over the weekend.
Had a great time down Columbus, Ohio the CITY was !!!!— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) October 25, 2020
Had an amazing time in Columbus this weekend! Cant wait to be back home in a few months! #GoBuckeyes— Sam Hart (@sam_hart82) October 25, 2020
There are really only a few more targets to be had for Ohio State in the 2021 class, with one of those being five-star offensive tackle Tristan Leigh. Leigh and his younger brother were originally expected to be in attendance for Buckeye Bash, but unfortunately they were unable to make the trip.
Really was looking forward to joining the Ohio State class this weekend at the Buckeye Bash, due to some family issues that came up, me and @Aidan_leigh72 will not be attending.#GoBuckeyes— Tristan Leigh (@Leigh71Tristan) October 24, 2020
The absence of Leigh from Buckeye Bash is most likely the final blow to any chances Ohio State had at reeling in the nation’s No. 4 OT late in the process. By all accounts, the Virginia native had been leaning heavily towards LSU and Oklahoma in the past few months. If Leigh could’ve made his way to Columbus, theres a chance he could have gelled with the rest of the Buckeyes’ class and potentially have been swayed towards Ohio State. Now, it seems unlikely they will be able to win him over.
However, it isn't all bad news on the OSU recruiting front, as the 2022 class appears to have something brewing.
Both the 2021 and 2022 classes have been incredibly vocal on social media. Guys have been no stranger to outwardly recruiting players to come join Ohio State’s class, and they seem to always be the first to know when a new commitment is coming.
Well, that appears to be the case here, as on Sunday a handful of the Buckeyes’ 2022 pledges alluded on Twitter to some potential big news on the way.
We got something really big coming...— Dasan Mccullough ¹✊ (@Dasan2022) October 25, 2020
Something HUGE on the way.— Bennett Christian (@BennettC87) October 25, 2020
We goin break the internet just watch...— CJ Hicks ♛ (@imcjhicks) October 25, 2020
It isn’t entirely clear what these tweets are in reference to, but one can put together an educated guess about some potential 2022 commits we could see in the near future. There are a pair of guys who could be the next in line to join Ohio State’s class, the first of which is four-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin.
Goodwin has made a spectacular transformation to his body over the past three years, as the 6-foot-7 bruiser has gone from nearly 425 pounds down to a much more lean and athletic 300. The Indiana native has seen improvement all across the board, now running an incredibly impressive 4.9 40-yard dash at his size while achieving 29 reps of 225 on the bench press.
It has taken a ton of hard work and commitment for Goodwin to get this far, and it has paid off in his significantly improved rankings. Once a low three-star prospect, Goodwin is now a no-doubt four-star talent, and finds himself rated as the No. 16 OT and the No. 154 player overall in the latest Top247 rankings. He now has a whopping 55 offers on his plate, but he has seemed most keen on Ohio State, with all three of his Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Buckeyes.
Another guy to keep an eye on moving forward is four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa. A native of Iowa, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive back is currently listed as the No. 2 safety in the country in 247Sports’ rankings, and the No. 37 player in the class overall. He holds offers from at least 20 different programs, including the likes of Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU, Oklahoma, and many more.
Nwankpa has seemed pretty high on Ohio State in his own right, and has been communicating with current Buckeye commits on social media. In fact, around the same time the 2022 pledges were tweeting out their latest cryptic message, Nwankpa sent out this — which both Bennett Christian and Dasan McCullough have since retweeted.
They on to something— Xavier “X” Nwankpa (@xaviernwankpa01) October 25, 2020
Connecting the dots, it would certainly appear as though Nwankpa’s tweet is a response to the tweets by Ohio State’s 2022 commits, especially given that they were quick to respond. If I were a betting man, I’d say that if a commitment is coming soon, Goodwin or Nwankpa seem like the prime suspects.
- With the All-American Bowl having been cancelled, five-star RB TreVeyon Henderson is taking his talents to the UA All-America Game instead. It will be interesting to see if that event winds up being cancelled as well, but for now it is continuing on as planned.
I want to thank the All American Bowl for the great opportunity, they’ve shown me nothing but love! Due to them cancelling their game, I’ve decided to commit to the UA All American Game!!!! @DemetricDWarren #WEWILL pic.twitter.com/R5taLP4Adq— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) October 25, 2020