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 right here and WR Kaleb Brown here.
Current 2022 Offensive Commits
Kyion Grayes - Chandler HS (Arizona) - 6-foot-1, 170 lbs
This week we will be taking a look at one of the most dynamic commitments in the Buckeye 2022 recruiting class, Kyion Grayes. He is a prospect that has absolutely blown up in the rankings since the time that he was first offered and eventually committed to the Buckeyes.
When Ohio State first offered Grayes he was the 424th ranked prospect in the country per the 247Sports Composite. Today he sits ranked 99th in the country, the 13th ranked wide receiver, and the second best prospect in Arizona. Grayes’ meteoric rise in the rankings was well earned over his junior year and into the camp circuit.
He left many coaches, scouts, and recruiting analysts considerably impressed with his route running and deep-ball threat capabilities. During his junior year, he had 28 catches for 556 yards, averaging 19.9 yards per catch while scoring 10 receiving touchdowns in eight games.
Separation is really the name of his game, and he gets plenty of it. He is decisive in his cuts, and shows confidence in his ability to track the deep ball and to run extremely intricate routes.
Route running has become a source of pride for OSU wide receiver coach Brian Hartline. He wants his receivers to be true technicians, masters of their craft, and fortunately, Grayes has a massive head start in that department even before reaching Columbus.
The first player that comes to mind when watching his film is current Buckeye star Chris Olave. Now I know that it isn’t fair to compare a high school senior to one of the best to ever don the Buckeye uniform, but its’ hard not to when comparing their high school highlight tapes.
One of the things that sticks out immediately — and is the most reminiscent of Olave — is the way that he sets up defenders in his routes. Route running in itself is an art form, every precise footstep could make a difference in whether or not you give your quarterback an open window to throw into. Grayes immediately has cornerbacks guessing off the line of scrimmage as he rarely gives any indication of the route that he is running before making precise breaks and fakes that give him yards of separation. His burst off of the line of scrimmage is great and he can get up to his top gear in a hurry.
The way that he catches the ball with his hands and rarely — if ever — against his body is something that you love to see in a receiver’s skill set before they even get to the collegiate level. This gives him the ideal ability to be a threat in any portion of the field. It also provides his QB much more confidence throwing the ball into tight windows as he creates space between him and the defender away from the body.
Grayes is aggressive in coming back to the ball when thrown to on the underneath routes, and seems to make it his personal mission that no cornerback — or anyone else for that matter — can out-muscle him for contested catches. For defenders, it is often times difficult to keep up with Grayes when running intermediate or slower progressing deep routes. On a few plays in the tape above you can see him weaving his way in and out of defenders, showing just how elite he is in providing yards after the catch.
Grayes was a stand out at The Opening event in July, a collection of the best high school prospects in the country competing in a seven-on-seven games and other position-specific drills.
Quinn Ewers ➡️ Kyion Grayes— Lettermen Row (@LettermenRow) July 3, 2021
Going to be seeing a lot of this in Columbus. pic.twitter.com/5GFohLEnVK
Greg Biggins of 247sports said in an article recapping the event, “Grayes was outstanding in every setting we saw him at. From the first workout, a Nike Camp style one on one setting, to the 7v7 action the last two days, Grayes was literally always open. We know every receiver thinks they’re ‘always open’ but he actually was and showcases a really nice all around skill set.”
The event also gave Grayes the ability to start building a rapport with Ohio State QB Quinn Ewers, who was at that time still a part of the 2022 class prior to reclassifying and enrolling early. The two definitely started off on the right foot connecting multiple times on big plays. You can also listen to “The Dotted Line” podcast’s account of his time at the event, as our own Chris Renne got to see Kyion Grayes first hand at The Opening finals.
Once again, Hartline has added another elite playmaker to his room, and the future of the position at Ohio State could not be brighter. As I said last week, looking around the world of college football recruiting, I think we will see that the WRU title will start to look a little more shaded in scarlet. I don’t think we have ever seen this much talent at the position at Ohio State at one time, and next week you won’t want to miss my account of one of the two remaining members of the 2022 receiver class.