It’s been a pretty busy week for Ohio State and their football program. On the actual football side of things, the Buckeyes are back in action this weekend as they head to Bloomington, Indiana for their match-up against the Hooisers under the lights. Certainly, the first priority for the staff is continued improvement and development on both sides of the ball. Now that the team seems to be clicking and heading in the right direction, the ultimate goal this Saturday is another conference win for Ryan Day and his crew.
On the recruiting side, the last 48 hours have been incredibly busy, but also encouraging. Both Tuesday and Wednesday saw commitments in the 2022 class. After waiting for a BOOOM since July, it’s nice to see the ball rolling again for the Buckeyes as they quickly approach the early signing period. With work still to be done of course, this staff will continue their efforts until this currently top 5 class is even better off when pen goes to paper. Fortunately, there’s a ton of upside that looks to be on the way.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
For the 2022 class, specifically on offense, the only position group that really needs addressing is the offensive line. On Wednesday, the commitment of Avery Henry certainly filled part of that gap that remains. Likely one to two spots at most were up for grabs, and Henry’s commitment could be taken as someone Ohio State wanted to add because of his size and potential, or because their other top targets look to be trending elsewhere. Regardless, have faith Ohio State’s haul in the offensive trenches will be key to the overall caliber of the class.
Still, if one spot is up for the taking in the 2022 cycle, Ohio State has a few options they could end up with. Names like Kam Dewberry, Earnest Greene, Aamil Wagner, and a couple of others have been the ones most associated with the Buckeyes as of late, but there’s still the aspect of having to deal with other programs that are in the running also vying for their respective services.
One name that was linked to Ohio State at the beginning of the 2022 cycle is Kiyaunta Goodwin. The fifth-ranked offensive tackle and Indiana native has been committed to Kentucky since April of this year, but prior to that verbal pledge to the Wildcats it was almost a lock that Ohio State was the leader in his recruitment. Having a great relationship and liking what he saw from Kentucky gave him reason enough to commit, and that forced Ohio State to look elsewhere, though they’d always keep a watchful eye on the 6-foot-8 monster offensive tackle.
In a bit of a new development, on Wednesdayy it became apparent that Ohio State might not be totally out of it for Goodwin as he “wants to visit Ohio State soon” per Director of Recruiting for 247Sports, Steve Wiltfong.
If Ohio State can in fact get back in the running, that would give the Buckeyes another true tackle in the class. In offensive line recruiting, it’s an asset to land tackles as it’s much more common and easy if we’re being honest to make a tackle a guard at the next level rather than a guard having to transition to the outside. Time will tell, but if a visit is coming, that should tell you all you need to know about the Buckeyes and their chances.
Ohio State may be building a mini pipeline in South Florida
Earlier this week Ohio State landed a commitment from Kenyatta Jackson out of Hollywood, Florida’s Chaminade-Madonna Prep. This gave the Buckeyes now two players from the same prep program, as fellow 2022 defensive back commit, Ryan Turner is also from the same high school.
It’s been seen before numerous times in the Sunshine State that Ohio State’s staff can swoop in and land multiple top targets at a Florida prep power on the recruiting trail, regardless of the year. When looking at a more national power, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, Ohio State was able to land both Joey and Nick Bosa and even guys like Trevon Grimes as well, who later transferred to Florida to family reasons. Still, the pipeline to Ohio State from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was present enough to be a real theme in multiple recruiting cycles for the Buckeye coaching staff.
Additionally, Ohio State also struck gold multiple times with Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy. Players such as Shaun Wade, Marcus Crowley, and even Tyreke Johnson who is now at Nebraska all played for the Buckeyes and were the original school each committed to.
Currently, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to think that Ryan Day and crew are starting to build a little pipeline out of Chaminade-Madonna after these two 2022 commitments. It looks as if they’re not done either, as 2024 target Jeremiah Smith, who has been offered by the Buckeyes, makes it no secret how he feels about Ohio State, as his current Twitter profile picture is him in a Ohio State uniform and his “pinned tweet” is his Buckeye offer announcement.
If Ohio State wants to continue their strong presence at this Florida destination, Smith could be the next in line. He will be in town next week for the showdown against Penn State under the lights, so another chance for him to see the sights and staff should further help the relationship building process. It does look like another pipeline could be in the works thanks to the efforts by this coaching staff in an always talent-rich Florida.