Two top Ohio State 2021 cornerback targets, Tony Grimes and Hunter Washington, are related, and Columbus might be the place to bring them together.
Two positions that took off on the recruiting trail thanks to new assistant coaches Brian Hartline and Jeff Hafley were the wide receivers and the cornerbacks. Both coaches chased some of the top talent in the country at those positions everywhere within the United States’ borders.
So far, the 2021 class shows that neither coach is stopping, and, truthfully, the 2021 class could be even better than 2020. Two top prospects at the cornerback position are part of the continuation – Virginia No. 1 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes and Texas No. 19 cornerback Hunter Washington.
But they’re more than just Ohio State cornerback targets, they’re cousins too.
“We’re truly blessed,” Grimes told Eleven Warriors. “I’m very happy seeing my guy grow as an athlete and person.”
Even though Washington and Grimes have never lived that close geographically, the two have maintained a close relationship from afar and have stay connected, particularly between their parents. Grimes’ father and Washington’s mother are brother and sister.
They visit each other every summer, Washington said, and when they’re together, they train together. Their shared genetics and love of the game have pushed them to display enough on film for both of them to garner Ohio State offers as juniors.
Grimes received his Buckeye offer in March, while Washington recently received his offer in late-July after the dead period. Out of Grimes’ 32 offers and Washington’s seven, the two share offers between four programs – Ohio State, TCU, Auburn and Virginia Tech.
And Grimes and his father hinted that they could be looking to play for the same program.
“They may end up playing at the same school,” Deon Glover said.
“We’ve talked about it, and who knows? That may be the plan,” Grimes said.
But Washington downplayed the idea.
“We have talked about it, but sometimes things might change, and he probably wants to go somewhere that is best for him and that’s a good fit,” Washington said. “I want to do the same, but if we end up playing for the same team, then that would be great.”
It’s clear that Ohio State wants both of the cornerbacks on the team. Grimes, who is rated as the No. 10 overall player in the class, visited and is close with current Ohio State linebacker Teradja Mitchell, and he has a close relationship with Al Washington dating back to when Washington was at Michigan.
Hunter Washington was invited and attended Ohio State’s Buckeye Bash & Barbecue, where he talked to Al Washington as well. He also worked with Jeff Hafley and had discussions with Ryan Day and Greg Mattison.
For being cousins, the two cornerbacks have had drastically different experiences. Despite having the top cornerback in the country, Princess Anne High School went just 2-8 in 2018 in a competitive DMV region, while Washington’s Katy High School team ended its season against North Shore in the regional semifinal to complete an 11-2 year.
Even who they’re being recruited by is fairly dissimilar, as Grimes naturally has 32 offers already in the bag. But he’s drawing different looks than Washington, as he’s pulled in offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and others – schools that have yet to find Washington in Texas.
Grimes said those aren’t conversations they’ve necessarily had at this point yet, but “that’s what (they) need to talk about,” he said.
So far, if there was one program to pull the two cousins together, it’s Ohio State, but Texas A&M has offered Grimes, is about an hour away from Washington’s home and recruits Katy hard. The Aggies have not extended an offer to Washington because he is an in-state prospect. But it would take quite an effort form Texas A&M to land the commitment of Grimes over the programs Grimes has serious offers from.
There are a lot of cornerbacks Jeff Hafley would like to bring in from the 2021 class, but Grimes and Washington are clearly two priorities. If the day comes when the two prospects decide Columbus will be their new home, they’ll already have more than just a football family waiting for them.