Here we are — the final prospect in the class of 2022 left to preview.
When I first started this series, I knew there was some talent coming to Columbus, but going through all of these has really made me appreciate just how much talent that is. Being able to watch the tape on all of these prospects and see what makes them elite enough to earn and accept an offer from The Ohio State has been a joy. Now that I am on to the last of the class, I can’t help but grade this haul at minimum an A-, only wishing for a few stars missed out on. As they say though, no use crying over what isn't yours, so lets focus on a star that is coming to play his college ball in Columbus, Carson Hinzman.
Carson Hinzman - Offensive Lineman
St. Croix Central HS ( Hammond, Wisconsin) - 6-foot-4, 280 pounds
An offensive line recruit out of Wisconsin going to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes? Are we living in the twilight zone? I can indeed confirm this is real and the Buckeyes have in fact signed an offensive lineman with a Wisconsin offer out of the state — something that I am pretty sure has never been done in Ohio State history. If I am wrong please proceed to tell me (I know you will Twitter). This is an absolutely huge recruiting win for the Buckeyes. Let’s go ahead and take a look at what he brings to the table.
Right away I love the pad level he plays at on the offensive line. He does not stand straight up and lack bend like a lot of OL prospects. He has a good base and center of gravity to really access the power in the core when making his blocks. A lot of the time the first instinct is to immediately go from your stance to standing straight up, and you lose all kinds of power and leverage when doing so. He is already very far along when it comes to his strength and conditioning, but you can never be far enough when it comes to taking the next step up and going against the competition in the Big Ten. He is still a bit lean and has a lot of room to add muscle and more power to his game without sacrificing too much mobility.
His competition is not the beefiest up there in Hammond, Wisconsin but it is tough enough to notice the real strong points in his game and highlight some of the future aspects of his talent that can shine in Columbus. One of the things he does that is so important is play every position on the offensive line. He has played tackle and guard for his school, and in the Under Armour All American Game he was even repping and playing in-game at the center position. It is huge for an offensive line when the players can be flexible and move to different spots in case of injuries or losses from the previous year.
Carson Hinzman (#75 playing center) going at it with Iowa signee Aaron Graves. pic.twitter.com/lrJuzFD7m1— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 4, 2022
Hinzman is a multi-sport athlete who also played basketball, and everyone who knows me knows I love when Ohio State commitments are multi-sport athletes, as I think that opens up so many doors for different skill sets and training in different areas that can be very relevant on the football field. He has outstanding athleticism, and it shows when he becomes a pulling-guard trying to get out in front of the running back to make those crucial stretch-blocks or to be the lead blocker on an outside run play. As I said earlier, he still has the frame to pack on even more pounds while keeping that athleticism that allows him to be so effective in the run game.
His pass blocking sets are also very solid, and although he may have many more instances of run blocking on tape, there is still enough there to get a good sense of where he is in the pass block game. He has a good technical aspect to his stance and form that can be refined, but his pad level is great and he seems to know how to utilize the leverage against the opponent when using their own weight and power against them. He has quite a few clips where he just overpowers his opponent, leaving them pancaked on the ground.
New Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye will have a giant piece of clay ripe for the molding into what could be a future NFL starter one day. This will be one of coach Frye’s first tests at Ohio State, coaching up guys like Avery Henry, Carson Hinzman, George Fitzpatrick and Tegra Tshabola into what could one day but 4/5ths of the Ohio State starting crew in a best case scenario. There is nothing but effort and drive out of Hinzman, and that is half of the battle with college athletes, keeping the hunger to be great and to be the best version of themselves.
Hinzman is a great kid who by all accounts has a great leadership mentality and one that teammates love to have around in the locker room. Team chemistry is just as important as team talent, and getting guys like Carson in the room can only help with that. Plus, I mean now Cade Stover has a fellow farm boy on the squad as well. Nothing beats that farm boy strength right?
All in all, Hinzman has a boat load of potential to be a multi-year starter for the Buckeyes. Between his attitude, athleticism and positional flexibility to play most places on the offensive line, there is definitely place for him here in Columbus, and a place on that starting unit may be taken by Mr. Hinzman sooner than most think.