With just about two weeks until the early signing period, Ohio State’s 2021 class is pretty close to being all but finished. Though the staff still wants to fill a couple remaining spots with the best available guys in the country, it will be a relief for Ryan Day and his crew to have all of their current commits guys locked in. As this class sits at No. 2 and still a real chance to be the top class when all is said and done, 2022 has taken over as the talk of the town.
Of all the fortunate areas of Ohio State’s incredible recruiting run each year, one aspect that has to be highlighted is the staff’s ability to build relationships early and often. As the Buckeyes did in 2021, a good chunk of their class was filled relatively early in the cycle. This allows Day and his guys to get head starts on building the foundations in the following years. What you are seeing right now is a trend. The ability to recruit ahead of yourselves is paying off for OSU, and it is clear when you see the 2022 class already atop of the nation’s rankings with nine players already committed.
OSU in contact literally everyday
Though it may not have been the original plan, Ohio State’s 2021 offensive line recruiting looks to be completed with plenty of talent to help reload the room. What didn’t go according to plan was the fact that the Buckeyes didn’t land their top targets at offensive tackle. Not a deal-breaker to the class by any means, it just would have been ideal for coach Greg Studrawa to land a five-star guy which would allow him to get a head start on future targets to keep the trenches in great shape.
With their experiences in 2021, Ohio State is looking at 2022 a bit differently and doing all they can to ensure the class has their top-rated guys along the offensive line early in the game. As mentioned, when you lock in those types of players it allows you to focus the attention to future classes and other areas of need, allowing greater time to build relationships — which are everything in recruiting. The plan in 2022 looks to be to land the top in-state guys first and continue trying to recruit nationally, bringing in the elite targets everyone is after from there.
One prospect the Buckeyes are clearly all in on is Indiana native Kiyaunta Goodwin. A name not new to Ohio State recruiting followers, Goodwin is the No. 24 offensive tackle in the class and the fourth-best player from his home state. With over 50 offers to his name, Goodwin’s stock speaks for itself, but perhaps his most impressive feature, especially in his own mind, is the incredible transformation he underwent in such a short time.
At 6-foot-7, 300 pounds, Goodwin may be one of the fiercest looking dudes on a football field. Not always as lean as he looks now, you can tell the OT has taken his training to heart and has been doing all he can to be the best player possible both currently and at the next level as well. At 425 pounds in eighth grade, Goodwin has put in an incredible amount of effort in the gym to reshape his body, now running a ridiculous 4.9 40-yard dash time at his size.
Ohio State came into the picture is from the very beginning. Having visited the Buckeyes twice unofficially both in 2018 and 2019, it wasn’t until this past August that Goodwin landed the OSU offer. Since then, he has clearly been one of the top targets for Studrawa, and Goodwin as well has made it pretty clear how highly he thinks of the Buckeye program.
In fact, Goodwin and Ohio State are in communication daily, and that has to make you feel pretty good about their chances at pulling this top-caliber lineman from Southern Indiana. There may only be three predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball for the nation’s No. 195 prospect, but with all three being in favor of the Buckeyes, this may be considered a job well done for Studrawa and company sooner than later.
All-State honors for the dynamic duo
Fresh off their third state championship run, touched on in yesterday’s State Secrets, once again Kyle McCord and Marvin Harrison Jr. are back in the headlines. The pair of 2021 Ohio State commits have had quite the successful run during their high school years being teammates, and while that is of course the plan for them again once in Columbus, yesterday there was one more prep career accolade to receive for the dynamic duo from Pennsylvania.
2020 Pennsylvania MaxPreps All-State high school football team.— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) December 2, 2020
No. 3 St. Joseph's Prep leads the way with eight selections overall and six on the first team.
: https://t.co/LfuJUGAvgz pic.twitter.com/7eu6GHT2AR
MaxPreps released their 2020 Pennsylvania All-State team selections, and of course both McCord and Harrison Jr. were on the list. As if being the nation’s third-best quarterback in the class and the 15th-best receiver in the country weren’t enough, both are also top 100 prospects per the 247Sports Composite Rankings, as well as top-five players in their home state.
Remarkably enough, the Buckeyes just continue to poach the best talent from their bordering neighbors to the east, and with elite talents like McCord and Harrison in the fold, that could spell harm for conference foe Penn State, which of course would’ve loved to keep these guys home.
- Per Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts, four-star outside linebacker Malaki Hamrick has the Buckeyes not just in his final five schools of interest, but also a favorite of the schools still being considered. Odds are the home state Tar Heels of North Carolina are the other top contender to land the 13th best outside backer in the class.
- Class of 2022 IMG Academy prospect Dominick James says the top two programs recruiting him the hardest right now are Florida and Ohio State. Ranked as the nation’s 11th-best defensive tackle, James plans to come out with a top schools list relatively soon, and says the Buckeyes will definitely be in that top five or top 10 when released.