Welcome to Buckeyes Crootin’ 2022 Class-In-Review, with me, Shane Bailey — or as many of you may know me @BuckeyesCrootin on Twitter. In this series I will be discussing and highlighting the strengths of all of the 2022 Ohio State football commitments, along with what to expect when they get to Columbus. If you missed any of my prior articles, I covered RB Dallan Hayden here, WR Kaleb Brown here, Kyion Grayes here and Caleb Burton here as well.
Current 2022 Offensive Commits
Running back: Dallan Hayden
Wide Receiver: Caleb Burton, Kyion Grayes, Kaleb Brown, and Kojo Antwi
Tight End: Bennett Christian
Offensive Line: Tegra Tshabola and George Fitzpatrick
Kojo Antwi | Lambert HS - Suwanee, Ga. | 6-foot, 190 lbs.
Kojo Antwi has one of the best stories of any member of the class of 2022. With that story also comes a drive and determination to be successful on and off the gridiron. Kojo and his family moved to the United States from Ghana when he was just a kid. Fast forward to today and Antwi is now ranked as the 127th prospect nationally, the 18th ranked WR, and the No. 14 overall prospect in the talent rich state of Georgia.
Antwi was the last of the four wideouts to commit to Ohio State in the 2022 cycle, but he is most certainly not least. After watching his tape a few times, it's nearly impossible to pick out a part of his game that is weak. For someone who hasn't been playing organized football for all that long, this is very impressive. He has a feel for the game like he's a 10-year NFL veteran.
To any defensive back trying to play press coverage off the line of scrimmage on this kid, good luck. He is extremely physical off the line and effortlessly beats press coverage to gain a step on his opponents. More times than I could count in his film, the defenders were playing up on the line trying to press him, and more times than I can count it went poorly for them.
He has a good burst off the snap and makes corners pay if they don't flip their hips and keep up with his impressive speed. Antwi explodes out of his cuts, making it a tough chore for any corner to keep him covered all game long.
Leaving the line of scrimmage is only the beginning however, once Kojo gets into his route, it is a work of art. He has great route-running ability and is already far beyond his years of playing football in this regard. Once the corners figured out that he was too strong to press, and they decide to give him cushion, well let’s just say that doesn’t exactly go well from them either. Attacking the blind spot of a defensive back is a unique skill that many receivers try to master, and Antwi has it instinctively.
What I mean by this is that when running his route, once the defender is set up and their hips are turned, he does a great job of then attacking the defenders near hip, leaving them guessing what he is doing as they take the time to turn and attempt to regain their bearings.
This gives the receiver time to make a decisive cut or change directions, giving him precious seconds of time the corner does not have while they are turning and trying to find the receiver again; oftentimes leaving them either unbalanced or a step behind. Antwi does this incredibly well and is a sign of a talented young player who — once he gets coached up by Brian Hartline — will only improve in this area. He is already showing a diverse array of routes in his tree for a young receiver, including already displaying some impressive double-moves and more advanced plays.
Antwi has the flexibility to fit multiple different personnel groupings at the receiver position, which is important in Ryan Day’s offense. He is not reserved specifically as an outside or slot receiver, a trend you will notice fits all of the Buckeyes’ 2022 wideout commits. He has the speed and route running capabilities to play the slot, while also possessing the frame and ball skills to be an outside receiver.
Antwi catches the ball away from his chest and has strong hands, plucking the ball out of the air anytime that it comes near him. His top-end speed once he gets up to gear is more than capable of dusting defenders, but there is always room to improve. He shows great acceleration off the line in getting up to his top gear, and I would bet that also being a track athlete has helped with that quite a bit.
When going up for contested catches you wouldn’t think that Antwi was only 6-foot tall. He is aggressive in coming back to the football and has great hand strength, as evidence by watching the ball just stick in his hands as if he were wearing super glue.
There is of course always room for improvement in his game as he can definitely get faster with more work with Micky Marotti. He has similar size to that of former Buckeye star Terry McLaurin. Whether or not his potential will eventually reach that of McLaurin, who knows, but he definitely has all of the tools to get there. Antwi does not need to add much in terms of weight, but making himself a faster, leaner version of what he is now will elevate his game tremendously.
Hartline definitely has a preferred type of receiver and all four of the Buckeye commitments appear to fit the mold as they are all explosive, versatile, and smooth in their abilities to run more advanced routes. Ohio State has an absolute arsenal coming to Columbus with the four wideouts in the class of 2022, but next up I will be talking about the last pass-catching pledge in the Buckeyes recruiting class; this time at the tight end position, as I will be discussing Bennett Christian in next weeks edition.