Ohio State had a favorable start to the new year, as they were able to walk away as winners in their hard-fought victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl that was headlined by the historic performance from sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Plus, the Buckeyes found themselves on the receiving end of two new commitments.
Abor picks Buckeyes
The big news of the weekend came on Sunday, when head coach Ryan Day and Ohio State had a massive victory on the recruiting trail as 2022 four-star defensive end Omari Abor of Duncanville (TX) committed to the Buckeyes during halftime of the Under Armour All-America Game.
Abor, the No. 38 prospect in the country, now rounds out what is a talented trio of defensive linemen in the Buckeyes No. 4-ranked recruiting class that also includes four-star defensive lineman Caden Curry of Center Grove (IN), four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson of Chaminade-Madonna Prep (FL), and potentially more for Buckeyes DL coach Larry Johnson coming soon.
According to Hayes Fawcett of On3.com, Abor ultimately selected Ohio State over Alabama and Texas A&M. It is worth mentioning that the latest pledge is still likely to take a couple of visits to other programs. However, for now the Buckeyes are planning on welcoming Abor to Columbus for next season, and 247Sports’ Gabe Brooks broke down exactly what the No. 4 edge rusher in the class brings to the table.
Flashes impressive pursuit ability with playmaking closing speed. Consistently shows chase-down athleticism and will walk you down from the back side if left unblocked. Natural pass rusher with impressive edge-bending athleticism and the flexibility to get under tackles and run the arc. Fluidity and bend noticeably improved from sophomore to junior year. Instincts and feel for rushing the passer are obvious. Has shown some inside counter nuance. Faced outstanding competition in practice and games. Athletic background includes basketball and track and field earlier in high school. Flashed stack-and-shed strength and disengaging ability more as a junior than a senior. Got enveloped at times by a couple of large tackles as a senior. Get-off burst is good but snap anticipation comes and goes. Displayed a white-hot motor through junior season, but questions about consistency of effort arose in senior season. Makes a ton of plays but can get better in tackling technique. Looks more like a true edge than an edge/D-line hybrid, but could possibly fill all roles depending on scheme. When locked in, provides elite playmaking impact, especially as a pass rusher. Looked like one of the nation’s top defensive prospects in the 2022 class through junior year, but good-not-great senior year caused some hesitancy. Nevertheless, still projects as a high-major impact player with the long-term potential to reach the high rounds of the NFL Draft.
With Abor now in the fold, Ohio State’s lone remaining uncommitted targets in the 2022 recruiting class are four-star interior offensive lineman Earnest Greene of St. John Bosco (CA), four-star interior offensive lineman Carson Hinzman of Saint Croix Central, four-star defensive lineman Hero Kanu of Santa Margarita Catholic (CA), and four-star defensive lineman Christen Miller of Cedar Grove (GA).
Hawkins becomes third 2023 pledge
Unlike Abor, who had a set decision date, the Buckeyes got sort of a surprise commitment at an odd time on Saturday while in the middle of their Rose Bowl tilt with Utah. That was when 2023 four-star safety Cedric Hawkins of Cocoa (FL) decided he wanted to end his recruitment and give his pledge to Ohio State.
new year new things pic.twitter.com/YJeSTPiVM6— Ced (@cedrick_hawkins) January 1, 2022
While Hawkins wasn’t a name that got much buzz in regards to the Buckeyes, Ohio State was a team that placed themselves into the mix for the No. 20 safety in the country when the Buckeyes offered back in June of last year. Hawkins, who is the cousin of former Louisville running back Javian Hawkins, chose Ohio State despite holding offers from Arizona State, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Miami (FL), Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Penn State, and Tennessee.
The addition of Hawkins puts Ohio State at No. 10 nationally and gives them the third-highest graded class in the Big Ten conference for the time being. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder becomes the first defensive commit in 2023, and joins four-star tight end Ty Lockwood of Independence (TN) and four-star interior offensive lineman Joshua Padilla of Wayne (OH) as Buckeye pledges in the class so far.
- Ohio State made the top 10 schools for 2023 four-star shooting guard Rayvon Griffith of Taft (OH) on Saturday, as the Cincinnati native decided to take the next necessary step in his recruitment. The Buckeyes will compete with Alabama, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Kansas, Louisville, Oklahoma State, Penn State, South Carolina, and UCLA for the top-ranked player in Ohio.
- Florida officially announced the addition of former Ohio State quarterback Jack Miller to their program on Friday afternoon. The former four-star quarterback out of Chapparal (AZ) will head to Gainesville and hope to take over the starting position for the Gators after sitting third on the Buckeyes’ depth chart behind Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord this past season.