With only five-star defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau still on the radar in the 2021 class, almost the entirety of Ohio State’s focus on the recruiting trail has shifted to 2022. The Buckeyes’ group in the next cycle is off to an incredible start, with 10 guys already committed including the nation’s top quarterback in Quinn Ewers, the nation’s top wide receiver in Caleb Burton, and a trio of highly-touted linebackers in C.J. Hicks, Dasan McCullough and Gabe Powers in addition to five-star corner Jaheim Singletary.
The 2022 group is loaded with talent before we’ve even reached the spring, but Ryan Day and his staff can't slow down now. There is lots more work to be done with over half the class still to be filled, and there are some big positions of need all around the field that Ohio State will look to load up with some of the top prospects around the country. That being said, who are the most likely players to be next on the list to take their talents to Columbus?
Taking a look around the 247Sports Crystal Balls, we can get a feel for who the experts believe could wind up becoming a Buckeye in the coming months. The following prospects have a least one prediction in favor of Ohio State at this time, listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Kojo Antwi (four-star WR)
Hometown: Suwannee, GA
Crystal Balls: 50% Ohio State (1), 50% Georgia (1)
Antwi is a player we’ve heard linked to Ohio State before, and is a prospect that Brian Hartline is seemingly very high on. The Buckeyes’ wide receiver coach even went as far as to FaceTime the Georgia native about an hour before the team was set to kickoff against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl — a phone call that had a big impact on Antwi. The nation’s No. 19 WR and the No. 162 overall recruit in the cycle, Antwi may not be as highly rated as some of the other players Ohio State has been recruiting at the position in recent years, but with so much talent in the room and a proven track record of success, Hartline can afford to pick and choose the guys he believes in.
Aliou Bah (three-star OT)
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
Crystal Balls: 100% Ohio State (1)
Bah isn’t a player we have talked about all that much, but he did receive a Crystal Ball in favor of Ohio State early this past Saturday morning from OSU insider Bill Kurelic. Despite being just a three-star prospect and the No. 43 OT in the country, Bah is clearly highly sought after with his 36 scholarship offers. Coming out of one of the nation’s biggest prep programs at IMG Academy, Bah is already going up against the best of the best at the high school level, and at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds would be another big body to add to the Buckeyes’ offensive line group.
Kiyaunta Goodwin (four-star OT)
Hometown: Charlestown, IN
Crystal Balls: 100% Ohio State (3)
Offensive line is one of the major points of emphasis in the 2022 class for Ohio State, and Goodwin is yet another offensive tackle with Crystal Balls in favor of the Buckeyes. The Indiana native was someone that Ohio State seemingly had a bunch of momentum with early in the process, but things have gone a bit quiet since those predictions rolled in during the fall. Still, the Buckeyes seem to be in good shape with the nation’s No. 10 OT and the No. 102 overall prospect in the cycle. A player who shot up the recruiting boards as he has transformed his body in the weight room, Goodwin would be a great get for Greg Studrawa as he looks to replenish his position group.
Kyion Grayes (four-star WR)
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
Crystal Balls: 100% Ohio State (5)
If you follow Ohio State recruiting even a little bit, Grayes is a name you have heard a ton in recent months. Since decommitting from Arizona in December, it has seemed more like a matter of when rather than if Grayes will commit to the Buckeyes. Once a three-star prospect, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound wideout has earned a fourth star, coming in as the No. 45 WR in the country and the No. 312 player in 2022. Grayes is another guy Hartline is very high on as someone he sees with a career trajectory similar to the Chris Olave mold. Set to visit Columbus at the end of this month, it would not be at all surprising if he was to become the 11th player in Ohio State’s junior class shortly thereafter.
Kenyatta Jackson (four-star WDE)
Hometown: Hollywood, FL
Crystal Balls: 50% Ohio State (1), 50% Clemson (1)
We haven't seen a whole lot linking Jackson to Ohio State, but he did receive a Crystal Ball prediction in favor of the Buckeyes back at the end of December. The nation’s No. 6 WDE and the No. 82 overall prospect in the 2022 class, Jackson is highly sought after with 33 offers from all around the country. At 6-foot-5, 231 pounds, the Florida native would be another huge win for Ohio State’s Sunshine State pipeline, which has already helped to land Jacksonville native and five-star corner Jaheim Singletary in the junior cycle. Larry Johnson has one heck of a track record at producing NFL talent, and we will have to wait and see if this will entice Jackson to take his talents up north.
Xavier Nwankpa (four-star S)
Hometown: Altoona, IA
Crystal Balls: 100% Ohio State (1)
Kerry Coombs has some work to do in rebuilding his secondary, and that begins with replenishing the talent in the defensive backfield. Nwankpa is a player that has been on Ohio State’s radar for a while, as the Buckeyes would obviously love to haul in one of the best in the Midwest. The nation’s No. 7 safety and the No. 76 player overall in the 2022 class, Nwankpa has been seen frequently chopping it up with Ohio State commit Dasan McCullough on Twitter, and the two got a chance to play together at a 7v7 tournament a few weeks ago. McCullough has jokingly called Nwankpa a Buckeye in the past, and he and Hicks are clearly trying to sway the Iowa native to Columbus.