It is a great day: the start of Ohio State spring football. After a wild spring in 2020, the Buckeyes and programs all over the country are doing their best to obtain some sense of normalcy this offseason. A welcomed part of that are spring practices, which are crucial for the Buckeyes who will be using the time to prepare for the fall and really start several key position battles — especially at the quarterback spot.
Talking about actual football practices really brings excitement, and while they get underway today, it’s the first steps to seeing what this fall could look like as Ryan Day enters year three at the helm of the program.
Update on the rumor mill
Four-star prospect Kiyaunta Goodwin to many is thought to be the most important recruiting target left on Ohio State’s board for the 2022 class. Goodwin has really transformed his body in the last year, causing his recruiting stock to increase dramatically as he now checks in as the nation’s fifth-best offensive tackle in the class, a top-50 player overall, and the best player in his home state of Indiana. You likely already knew all that if you’ve been in tune with the recruiting efforts of the Buckeyes, but this update is in regards to some rumors that have been swirling regarding which school may be stealing some momentum.
Being a Midwest native, Goodwin’s offer from Ohio State has given many the notion that the Buckeyes are the frontrunners to land his services. While there’s only three Crystal Ball predictions so far, the 247Sports analysts agree with that sentiment, as each are in favor of Ohio State. Still, other suitors have and will be in play until a commitment is given, but this week saw some headlines that have linked Goodwin’s latest momentum towards Alabama.
While there’s still plenty of time in this one, Ohio State has to be weary of Alabama after what happened in the 2021 cycle when Nick Saban and company were able to steal away JC Latham from the Buckeyes who for months was thought to be a heavy Ohio State lean. However, on Thursday Director of Recruiting for 247Sports Steve Wiltfong gave his thoughts on the matter, and issued perhaps a sigh of relief for Ohio State fans.
According to Wiltfong, sources close to the Goodwin camp indicated to him that the Buckeyes are still the team to beat. The rising OT has ideas of coming out with a top five schools list soon, and it’s the Ohio State campus that he’s most recently visited — although he didn’t make his visit to Columbus real public. These tidbits should ease any true fear of other programs trying to sway Goodwin their way, but knowing how talented the Charlestown product already is and seeing his clear potential, those schools won’t be backing off any time soon.
If the NCAA does right by these kids and allows recruits to visit schools starting on June 1, then expect Goodwin to visit each of the top five programs he is most strongly considering relatively quick, with a decision to follow soon after. Odds are Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, and Kentucky are in the fold with the fifth school somewhat up in the air. If you’re wondering right now who is sitting in the best shape, the Buckeyes are right there at the top. Locking down Goodwin would give the Buckeyes that elite out-of-state offensive tackle they have wanted to have the past several classes, and they’re in a solid spot to do just that.
Dead period not keeping 2022 RB away
Due to this in-person recruiting dead period, countless high profile targets have taken it upon themselves to visit the top schools they are considering. Whether it’s in regards to Ohio State or nationwide, recruits aren’t letting the NCAA determine everything, and while not the perfect solution, these players are seeing the campuses of their choice even if they can’t speak with their potential coaches. This week, the Buckeyes had a key target on their campus, and while the coaching staff would’ve loved nothing more than to play host, they still received an all-important visit from a player they’re pushing for.
2022 running back target Dallan Hayden is one of the two guys the Buckeyes would like most to add to their 2022 class at the running back position, with the other being Nicholas Singleton. Hayden currently checks in as the No. 22 running back in the class, and while his grade might not be as “high” as Ohio State fans are used to seeing, the staff raves about his play and would love to land his commitment. As they continue to solidify their relationship with the Columbus-born running back, getting him on campus to speak with the staff is always goal number one, but Hayden apparently couldn’t wait that long as he took matters into his own hands.
Had a great time at The Ohio State University yesterday . Thanks for taking me @Ran4UT!!! pic.twitter.com/Ti5fgVSSLl— Dallan Hayden1️⃣ (@DCH__2) March 18, 2021
Yesterday via his Twitter account, Hayden showed off his visit to see Ohio State. As mentioned, these types of visits are 100% on the kids and their families, but shows how highly guys like Hayden think of the Buckeyes. Dallan’s father, a Tennessee alum, is the one who took him to see campus. The 247Sports Crystal Ball hints at Hayden following his dad’s footsteps, but the Buckeyes would love to say otherwise. Though he was able to see everything except the coaching staff and facilities, odds are Ryan Day and Tony Alford will want Hayden back when they’re able to show him everything else the program has to offer.
- Ohio State continues their pursuit of Indiana native Caden Curry, who currently checks in as the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country in the 2022 class. Ohio State has been extremely successful already in landing several top tier defensive guys in this 2022 cycle, but definitely want Curry in the fold to add on. The staff continues to prove he is a priority, as this week they have communicated via Zoom yet again. Indiana has two big time guys within their border for this cycle, and the Buckeyes are hoping to steal away both Curry and Goodwin before this class wraps up.