Ohio State has added another commitment to its evolving 2022 class.
Blue Valley North (Kan.) High School four-star athlete Dasan McCullough has committed to Ohio State, giving the Buckeyes their fifth pledge in the cycle.
Committed... pic.twitter.com/Md5kZuLLBC— Dasan Mccullough (@Dasan2022) August 18, 2020
McCullough is the No. 70 overall player, No. 7 athlete and No. 1 player in Kansas. He is the son of Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough, a former star running back at Miami (Ohio).
The younger McCullough is plenty familiar with the state of Ohio. He was born in Cincinnati and lived there until he was about nine or 10 years old. Dasan's older brother, Deland McCullough II, currently plays for the RedHawks as a defensive back, and their grandfather played for the program as well.
The McCullough File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6-foot-5/210 lbs
- Pos: ATH
- School: Blue Valley North (Olathe, Kan.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 7 (ATH)
That Ohio connection is at the core of McCullough's recruitment, and so too are his connections with Al Washington, Kevin Wilson and the Buckeyes' third commit in the class, C.J. Hicks.
When asked why he chose to end his recruitment this early and commit to the Buckeyes, that connection with the state was McCullough's first response. He cited how excited he is that he will now get to play his college games in front of essentially his entire family. “98 percent of my family lives in Ohio,” he said, with his dad's side being from Youngstown and his mother's side being from Cincinnati.
“If Ohio State never offered me, I couldn’t see myself committing this early in the recruiting process because I don’t have a big enough connection to another school and state,” McCullough told Eleven Warriors. “I have a huge connection with Ohio, and everybody knows that if you grew up in Ohio, everybody loves Ohio State. That’s how it is.
“So the Ohio ties go back forever in that case, and you’re playing for the biggest team in your home state. Obviously, you see what they do with linebackers and producing them. But it’s just all about the non-football reasons making an even bigger impact. It’s definitely a home feeling. Once things are open for business, that’ll definitely be the first place I go.”
100% BUCKEYE FOR LIFE pic.twitter.com/9d06WvZDwT— Dasan Mccullough (@Dasan2022) August 18, 2020
McCullough's recruitment to Ohio State actually began a long time ago – all the way back in 1992. Kevin Wilson was Deland's offensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio) as he called an offense that helped Deland break school records and earn three all-MAC selections from 1992-1995.
That eventually led to Deland's first non-graduate assistant coaching job. Wilson hired Deland to be his running backs coach when he was named head coach at Indiana, where Deland remained for the entirety of Wilson's tenure in Bloomington from 2011-2016.
“Coach Kevin Wilson, actually, I’ve known for as long as I can remember because he was the head coach at Indiana, and he’s the one that hired my dad,” McCullough said. “That’s why I moved from Cincinnati. We got connected with Coach Wilson initially, and Coach Wilson just brought my film to the defensive staff. And Coach Washington really liked it. They could’ve offered me a month before they actually offered me, but Coach Washington wanted to build a relationship with me, which is respectable.”
Washington has been establishing a relationship with McCullough since mid-to-late March, and after McCullough was officially offered on April 21, it felt inevitable that he would end up committed to the Buckeyes. It became a matter of ”when” not “if,” and it came down to whether or not Ohio State would accept his commitment without an in-person visit from McCullough, who is listed as an athlete but is being recruited by the Buckeyes to be a strongside linebacker.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||113||14||APRIL 22, 2020|
|TEGRA TSHABOLA||OT||144||15||APRIL 23, 2020|
|C.J. HICKS||OLB||118||8||MAY 1, 2020|
|GABE POWERS||OLB||46||2||AUGUST 1, 2020|
|DASAN MCCULLOUGH||OLB||70||7 (ATH)||AUGUST 18, 2020|
Because he had not yet been to Ohio State, the Buckeyes were slightly hesitant to accept a commitment from him, as they only take such commitments in rare instances. In the end, though, the pure talent and valuable versatility of McCullough helped seal the deal for Washington, Ryan Day and Co.
McCullough joins Hicks and Powers as the third linebacker recruit in a class that the Buckeyes search for are likely to take four linebackers. McCullough also joins cornerback Jyaire Brown and offensive tackle Tegra Tshabola in the class.
All five players have an Ohio flavor. Brown and McCullough are both Cincinnati natives who moved away at a young age (Brown has since moved back to Cincinnati from New Orleans and now plays at Lakota West), while Hicks (Dayton), Powers (Marysville) and Tshabola (Lakota West) are high school stars in the area.
Header Photo Credit: Collin Kennedy, 247Sports