Usually when a big name decommitment happens, there is cause for concern. Especially when it happens at a place like Ohio State, that kind of negative news on the recruiting trail is most often followed by rampant speculation about what went wrong and a worry that other decommitments will soon follow. None of that is the case in this situation.
On Sunday, 2022 safety prospect Dasan McCullough flipped from the Buckeyes to the in-conference Hoosiers. While McCullough had been quite outspoken the past few weeks that his stake at Ohio State was a strong one despite his father Deland McCullough taking the running backs coach job at Indiana, in the end there is nothing Ryan Day or McCullough’s primarily recruiter Al Washington could have done in order to overcome the family connection in Bloomington.
Respect it or not. I do not care. pic.twitter.com/XyCDd1kshe— Dasan Mccullough ¹ (@Dasan2022) April 25, 2021
It was one thing when his father, previously the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, took on the same role at Indiana in April. When the move first happened, McCullough himself shut down any rumors of a potential decommitment, saying he was looking forward to competing against his father on the field. While that family connection was obviously a strong one, it got even stronger when more McCulloughs joined the mix.
In April, McCullough’s younger brother Daeh — a four-star defensive back in 2023 — announced his commitment to the Hoosiers. To add even more family ties to the equation, this past Saturday McCullough’s older brother Deland II, who started his college football career at Miami (OH), announced he would be transferring to Indiana. While McCullough said throughout the process that his father wasn’t pressuring him to leave Ohio State to join him in Bloomington, the opportunity to play alongside both of his brothers proved too great for the Buckeyes to overcome.
It’s tough to blame McCullough for his decision, but it does come as quite the shock. There was some inclination that this move was on the horizon the past few days as McCullough had wiped his social media feeds, usually a good precursor to this kind of thing. The four-star DB was such a strong recruiter for Ohio State, and alongside CJ Hicks was one of the most outspoken of the Buckeyes’ 2022 commits in trying to bring more talent to Columbus. Speaking of Hicks, he and the rest of the guys obviously are not taking the move personally, as they understand family comes first.
While there should be no hard feelings between Buckeye Nation and McCullough, his decommitment is a pretty significant blow to Ohio State. As the nation’s No. 6 athlete and the No. 50 overall prospect in the country, his exit drops OSU’s class to No. 3 in the rankings behind both Georgia and LSU. On top of that, the fact that he will play against them once a year in the Big Ten East just adds insult to injury.
Ohio State will be just fine in the linebacker room moving forward, which is where McCullough projected to play in Columbus. They still have both Hicks and Gabe Powers in the 2022 class, both of whom are top-50 national recruits. In addition, there is still a chance the Buckeyes land Tennessee transfer and former high four-star prospect Henry To’o To’o in the transfer portal this offseason. McCullough’s decommitment stings, but Day and his staff must be able to quickly pick up the pieces and move on as they continue on the race for the No. 1 class.
- Just in case you were still worried that more decommitments could come in the wake of McCullough’s decision, Hicks is leaving no doubt that he’s in it for the long haul. McCullough’s situation is incredibly specific and to no fault of anything at Ohio State, so I wouldn’t be concerned about any sort of ripple effect this would have on the rest of the current commits.