Ohio State defensive back signee turning heads at practice
The loss to Georgia on New Year’s Eve still hurts and for many reasons. While this isn’t placing all of the blame on one single position group or factor, the cornerback spot and defensive secondary overall clearly need to improve. There’s talent in Columbus for sure, but the recruiting could still use an uptick, and the development side of things as well needs to see improvement heading into near season.
That said, even with a small 2023 class — only bringing in two real cornerbacks — the Buckeyes are loving what they have already in terms of ability and potential. The coaching staff is still looking hard at the transfer portal to bring in experienced help, but if the situation doesn’t work out in the portal, the staff is ready to get their youngsters primed for the 2023 season. With the limited depth in the room right now, they may have to play the young guys. Fortunately, what’s coming to town soon looks to be of major help.
This week has seen the All-American Bowl practices get underway ahead of the contest this weekend, and like every year the Buckeyes will be well represented. On Wednesday, further examples of Ohio State bringing in elite talent was shown, specifically with 2023 signee Calvin Simpson-Hunt.
The Texas native has dominated on the practice field as one of the top defensive backs on the rosters. The No. 79 player nationally and eighth best cornerback in the class, Simpson-Hunt is demonstrating why this staff worked so hard to flip him earlier in the process from Texas Tech and keep him in the fold down the stretch.
Adding to the impressive praise he’s drawn this week, Director of Recruiting for 247Sports Steve Wiltfong named Simpson-Hunt the “Alpha Dog” and went as far as to say that he looks college-ready to compete at Ohio State even as a freshman. His coverage ability has been what’s made the most noise, but even on reps where a receiver impresses, Calvin’s speed has made him jump routes and break-up passes down field. It seems telling to see how he has performed against the nation’s best receivers who have been invited to this prestigious event.
Exactly what you’d want to hear as a team who needs to see some help in the back-end, Simpson-Hunt is doing his part to continue working before he gets to Columbus, where his arrival will be welcomed with open arms.
- In addition to Ohio State defensive signees turning heads at All-American Bowl practice, the offensive side of the ball is shining too. The receiver position, of course, continues to dominate much of the success the Buckeyes are having.
Yesterday, Ohio State’s top receiver signee Brandon Inniss continued to receive praise for his play, and it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for him. Excelling during his senior campaign all fall and now against the top players in the country, Inniss is showing why he was as highly ranked as he was and why Brian Hartline was set on picking up his commitment. Thanks to him and the other three signees, the receiver room is stocked and loaded again for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 5-star WR commit Brandon Inniss has the tools to step in and thrive in a Jaxon Smith-Njigba's type role.— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) January 4, 2023
6-0, 190 lbs, solid technical refinement and reliable hands. Versatile chess piece too.pic.twitter.com/Nuf7n6ZFcV
- Per Eleven Warriors, 2024 linebacker Kristopher Jones (Stafford, Virginia/Mountain View) has plans to officially visit Ohio State — likely in the summer months. A 6-foot-2, 220 pound linebacker, Jones is currently the No. 85 player nationally, the ninth best player at his position and the top player from Virginia in the 2024 class per the 247Sports Composite.
Offered by Ohio State this past June, Jones has kept in touch with the Buckeyes, and has quickly tallied up quite the impressive offer list in his recruitment. Programs such as Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Penn State, Notre Dame, and nearly 20 others already have their name in the fold, and Ohio State is working on keeping theirs near the top of the list.
With Jim Knowles being a linebacker coach at heart, he will likely do the heavy lifting in this recruitment, and with that position one of need in next year’s cycle, at least two guys will be desired. Jones is a name that will continue to be in the mix.