An Early Look at Four of Ohio State's 2022 Recruiting Targets and Who Could Be Ryan Day's Next Big Addition

By Andrew Ellis on April 25, 2020 at 7:15 am
Four-star athlete C.J. Hicks a priority for the 2022 class.
C.J. Hicks

Ohio State is still on fire.

Ryan Day and the Buckeyes continue to be the hottest team in the country on the recruiting trail. Ohio State has now landed nine commitments dating back to March 15, which was the date four-star 2021 cornerback Jakailin Johnson made his intentions known. Over the last 72 hours, the latest additions have been a bit different. 

Ohio State got on the board for the class of 2022 on Wednesday when New Orleans corner Jyaire Brown became commitment No. 1. The following day, it was West Chester tackle Tegra Tshabola who followed suit. Needless to say, the COVID-induced restrictions haven't halted the Buckeyes' recruiting efforts for either of the next two classes. 

With new offers going out and things officially underway for 2022, there are a handful of other prospects to be on the lookout for. And it would be no surprise if one or two of them entered the commitment column in the near future.

Gabe Powers • Linebacker • Marysville, Ohio • National Rank: No. 43 

The state's top-ranked sophomore is a candidate to end the cycle as a five-star. Gabe Powers is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker who lives a mere 30 miles from the Ohio Stadium. It's no surprise, but he's been on campus multiple times and grew up rooting for the Buckeyes. 

There's no timeline in place for Powers' recruitment, but it would hardly be a surprise if he came off the board in the near future. He had plans to check out Clemson before the unexpected dead period was announced. The four-star holds offers from Florida State, Tennessee, Stanford, and all of the Midwest powers. 

C.J. Hicks • Athlete • Dayton, Ohio • National Rank: No. 162

Dayton Archbishop Alter's C.J. Hicks might be my favorite player in the state. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he's likely to end up at safety or linebacker but is currently listed as an athlete. Ohio State extended an offer earlier this month and has been viewed as the heavy favorite. Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Florida State are also involved. 

Hicks plays running back and a number of different spots on defense for the Knights. He camped at Ohio State last summer and Al Washington has been the primary contact. I get the feeling this is a recruitment that bears watching quite closely in the coming weeks. 

Dasan McCullough • Athlete • Olathe, KS • National Rank: No. 73

Ohio State rarely does much work in the state of Kansas, but one of its most recent offers went out to Olathe four-star Dasan McCullough. This won't be your typical out-of-state recruitment, however, as McCullough was born in Cincinnati and spent much of his life in the Buckeye State.

He still has a number of family ties to the state and Buckeye coaching staff. Dasan's father Deland played under Kevin Wilson when he was an assistant at Miami (OH) and later was one of his assistants at Indiana. The elder McCullough now serves as the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, the country's eighth-ranked athlete is likely to play linebacker in college. Interestingly, his measurables are eerily similar to another talent who played high school ball in Olathe, Kansas — Clemson All-American turned Arizona Cardinal Isaiah Simmons. Al Washington and the Buckeyes will be a major factor moving forward.

Blake Miller • OL • Strongsville, Ohio • State Rank: No. 8

It was just yesterday when Ohio State extended an offer to Strongsville's Blake Miller, and the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder is already on commitment watch. Growing up a Buckeye fan with some major ties to Columbus, Miller has already received offers from the likes of Michigan, Tennessee, and Florida. Jim Harbaugh has had him on campus multiple times, and the Wolverines were likely the frontrunners prior to the Buckeye offer. 

Miller is unranked in the 247Sports Composite, but he checks in as the No. 8 player in the state and is listed as an early four-star, top-100 prospect in the rankings. He's listed as a tackle, but Greg Studrawa has been known to shuffle things up a bit on the line, and Miller may project as more of an interior guy. He's reportedly in no hurry to make a decision, but we'll see how long this one plays out. 

The Buckeyes are in an interesting spot right now. Ryan Day's top-ranked 2021 class is already sitting at 17 commitments and is on track to be one of the best classes of all time. Sometimes a school will hold off a bit on future classes while focusing on the present, but this week's pair of 2022 pledges suggests a different approach. 

It's been an incredibly busy spring despite the lack of campus visits. Ohio State's staff has done an exceptional job maintaining contact and using technology to their advantage. The 2022 class got off to a nice start with the two early pledges, and I'd look for some more positive movement in the coming weeks.

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