Even in the midst of a recruiting dead period, Ohio State finds themselves in a great position. Sitting with 10 commitments in their No. 1-rated 2022 class, the staff is hoping this weekend will provide even more reason to be proud of their incredible start. It’s said time and time again, but the effort this program puts on the recruiting trail gives you the thought that Ryan Day and his crew have reached the peak of their ability. Still, you can’t be sure the best isn’t yet to come.
Regardless, the recruiting has been second to none lately, and that looks to be a theme that will continue on the rest of this 2022 cycle and beyond.
Buckeyes hoping for BOOMs
Thanks once again to the NCAA’s extension of the in-person recruiting dead period, prospects have had their visit plans completely ruined. A detriment to both the kids themselves and the college programs as well, it’s an unfortunate side effect that now seems as if it will never end.
With the Buckeyes specifically, the staff has been wanting to get their top targets on campus. While that technically can happen if the kids choose to come on their own dime, they still won’t be able to see facilities or talk with their potential coaches. In some cases, prospective athletes are taking it upon themselves to visit the schools they are interested in, and while not a perfect solution, seeing campus at any rate helps.
This weekend is a big one, as arguably the hottest name in Buckeye recruiting news, Kyion Grayes, will be making the long trek to Columbus from Arizona for a whopping five-day self-guided visit. Talked about regularly now in regards to Ohio State, Grayes just yesterday saw a huge increase in his recruiting ranking, which now has him as a solid four-star prospect and a top-20 wide receiver nationally. Grayes has really been the guy with the best chance at becoming the next member of the Buckeyes’ 2022 recruiting class for a while now, and this weekend’s visit could be another key step for that coming to fruition.
Connecting the dots, yesterday saw current key members of Ohio State’s 2022 class taking to their Twitter accounts to hint that “something” big is coming in favor of the Buckeyes. Both C.J. Hicks and Dasan McCullough, the leaders in peer recruiting efforts, have made it clear they expect good news, and you’d have to assume the likely choice here is Grayes. If so, this would give the Buckeyes another four-star prospect to their No. 1 class in the country, and also give Brian Hartline a second elite receiver in this next haul.
Who’s ready— CJ Hicks (@imcjhicks) February 25, 2021
Something big happening this weekend— Dasan ❌ccullough ¹ (@Dasan2022) February 25, 2021
A real shot or just dreaming?
In addition to Grayes’ visit, Will Johnson is slated to make his college decision this coming Sunday. The nation’s fifth-best cornerback in the class and the No. 11 player nationally, Johnson is down to USC, Ohio State, and Michigan for his final three. After a couple months of waiting for this decision to finally be official, the three programs still in it for his services will know soon enough, and each of course is hoping to add the five-star to their class.
Johnson is a Michigan native and Wolverine legacy. His father played for Michigan during his college career, and all signs have pointed to him following the same path for some time now. However, after the disarray Michigan showed after the conclusion of their season in terms of coaching hires and who would be coming or going, Johnson really took his foot off the gas concerning his father’s alma mater. Without much blame to be casted his way, it’s easy to see why Johnson may have had second thoughts about going to the in-state program.
Due to his second thoughts, Ohio State was the program that really made serious strides and truthfully was the leader according to multiple people. With Michigan struggling to find consistency and the Buckeyes being the perfect example of that, Kerry Coombs and Ohio State would’ve been the choice had Johnson stuck with his original plans and committed earlier. Sure, some may have thought USC had some momentum thanks to Johnson’s relationship with fellow 2022 classman Domani Jackson, who is currently committed to USC, but it doesn’t appear that the Trojans have any real shot here.
In regards to Johnson’s decision on Sunday, it looks as if Michigan will win out in the end. Pulling a legacy away from their biggest rival would have been huge considering how talented he is, but it would be surprising if Johnson spurns the Wolverines in favor of the Buckeyes. Sure, there’s still a chance for Ohio State or USC, but with the momentum that Michigan has created thanks to hiring a position coach that appeals to Johnson and more, it seems as if the home team may have pulled it out at the last second to land their top-ranked in-state player.
We will have to wait and see for certain, but the bet right now is Johnson winds up in maize and blue. Who knows though. Maybe Johnson surprises folks and elects to head to Columbus for the chance to play for a national title and be the next great cornerback in line to see a first round NFL Draft grade. Either way, Johnson will be announcing his commitment at 3 p.m. on Sunday via his Twitter page.