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Ohio State’s top targets in 2022, big performances by Buckeye commits

Start your week with the latest OSU recruiting news

Five-star QB Maalik Murphy
QB Collective

We’re back here at LGHL on this fine Monday morning. Hopefully you enjoyed your weekend, which, if you're like me, involved spending way too many hours in front of a TV watching football.

Saturday’s slate of college games felt as close to normal as we have had in a while. On the day we saw the return of the SEC, we also got our fair share of massive upsets. No. 3 Oklahoma was defeated by Kansas State 38-35 on their own home field after leading the game 35-14 late in the third quarter. In addition, the defending national champs were knocked off in their season opener, as the debut of Mike Leach’s air raid offense at Mississippi State was too much for No. 6 LSU in a 44-34 shootout.

Of course, things won’t feel fully back to normal until the Big Ten returns to action — which is now just 26 days away! Until then, the only sense of true normalcy for Ohio State fans is the recruiting game, which has remained constant through everything going on in this crazy year. Let’s check in on the latest happenings for Ryan Day and his staff, who are continuing to work tirelessly to make sure the Buckeyes are built for the future.

Standout performances by OSU commits

As you are well aware of by now, Ohio State’s 2021 and 2022 classes are chock full of top-tier talent. After another weekend of high school football, we got to see some of that talent in action once again. There were a number of standout performances for future Buckeyes this past weekend, with really big games from offensive lineman Ben Christman as well as the outstanding trio of linebackers in Dasan McCullough, C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers.

Christman, playing over 100 snaps on an offensive line that paved the way for 350 yards and 21 first downs, helped lead Richfield Revere to a 21-0 win over Westlake. He registered seven pancake blocks from his guard spot, while also tallying three solo tackles and a forced fumble on defense.

Powers had a big night for Marysville, stuffing the stat sheet with 10 tackles, two forced fumbles, and an interception in his team’s 28-0 victory over Olentangy Berlin. Hicks had a similarly dominant performance for Kettering Alter, racking up 10 tackles with two sacks and a forced fumble in a 28-7 win over Cincinnati McNicholas. The last — but certainly not least — member of the 2022 LB trio, McCullough showed out with 15 tackles for Olathe Blue Valley North in a tough 28-21 loss to Stilwell Blue Valley.

Other notable performances of the weekend:

  • Jayden Ballard - two catches for 16 yards, 2-pt conversion
  • Reid Carrico - 190 yards rushing, 3 TD (on only six carries!)
  • Bennett Christian - two catches for 24 yards
  • Andre Turrentine - seven tackles, four catches for 48 yards

Buckeyes’ biggest targets in 2022

Ryan Day and his staff are off to a hot start in 2022, already holding the No. 2 class in the country — behind only LSU — with six total commitments. On Saturday morning, Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts put together his list of Ohio State’s top targets at each position in the class. These are some of the big names to keep an eye on as the focus begins to shift toward the next cycle.

One of the apparent priorities for the Bucks in next year’s class is five-star quarterback Maalik Murphy. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound QB out of Gardena, CA has already amassed a whopping 27 offers for his services, but Murphy has said that Ohio State is one of the schools that has stood out early in his recruitment. The No. 2 pro-style QB and No. 28 player in the class overall does not appear to be close to making a decision, but Day will certainly be pursuing this one hard.

Another two big names on the target board are Caleb Burton and Will Johnson. Burton, a five-star recruit and the No. 1 WR in the 2022 class, is likely the top guy on position coach Brian Hartline’s wish list. He would not be the first big wideout Ohio State has pulled out of Texas — see: Garrett Wilson — and the Buckeyes appear to be one of Burton’s top choices. Kerry Coombs will be trying to steal a Michigan legacy in Johnson, who is currently the No. 3 CB and the No. 8 player in the class overall. OSU was one of the schools in the talented corner’s top 10, and Kurelic believes they are squarely in his top 5.

Some other notable recruitments to stay tuned in on are four-star tight end Benji Gosnell, four-star offensive tackle Blake Miller, five-star linebacker Shawn Murphy, four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa and four-star RB Nicholas Singleton.

Quick Hits:

  • Ohio State 2021 defensive tackle commit Mike Hall is set to return to action this Friday after suffering a broken hand in practice prior to the team’s fourth game of the season. Hall will wind up missing only two games for the now 5-0 Streetsboro, having made 24 tackles with nine for a loss and a sack in his prior three games. Originally expected to be out a bit longer, Hall will get to suit up for his team’s final regular season contest before playoffs begin.