You know that lyric from “Many Men” by 50 Cent?
“I'm the diamond in the dirt, that ain't been found.”
Well, Brian Hartline just did some digging and found that diamond.
Grayes was ranked No. 521 overall (No. 68 WR, No. 6 Arizona) in the 2022 class at the time of his commitment to the Wildcats, and that rose to No. 421 overall (No. 59 WR, No. 3 Arizona) when Hartline offered him. That eventually rose to No. 313 overall (No. 47 WR, No. 3 Arizona) as the rankings grew parallel to his infatuation with Ohio State's program.
The Grayes File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6-foot-1/170 lbs
- Pos: WR
- School: Chandler (Chandler, Arizona)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 127 (17 WR)
He was a very much unheralded prospect that Hartline and Co. found, but now the former three-star prospect has been dug up. He has now committed to the Buckeyes as a four-star prospect ranked No. 127 overall, No. 17 WR and No. 2 in Arizona.
Not that he cares.
“Honestly, I don’t even look at the rankings like that no more,” Grayes told Eleven Warriors. “I just feel like I control what I can control and that’s how I play on the field and how I act and all that. Honestly, the rankings to me, I just leave it at that. If you’re a good player, you’re a good player. That’s what Coach Hart said: ‘If you’re a good player, I’ll come find you.’ And that’s what he did with me.”
Grayes gave his verbal pledge to Hartline and Co. around the time of his high school's December 5 state semifinals game but waited to announce his decision publicly until after he had decommitted from Arizona and after he finally took a visit to Ohio State to be 100 percent sure of his decision.
“(Hartline) just said, “Take your time and whenever you’re ready to make the decision, we’ll take you,’” Grayes said. “So I was just letting everything cool and keeping it down and then went from there.
“(Hartline said) all I needed to know was, ‘As long as you told me that, you’re good. Your spot’s good, you’re there and in here with us. Just don’t rush the process.’”
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||112||13||APRIL 22, 2020|
|TEGRA TSHABOLA||OT||142||16||APRIL 23, 2020|
|C.J. HICKS||OLB||41||3||MAY 1, 2020|
|GABE POWERS||OLB||39||2||AUGUST 1, 2020|
|DASAN MCCULLOUGH||OLB||60||7 (ATH)||AUGUST 18, 2020|
|BENNETT CHRISTIAN||TE||316||14||SEPTEMBER 1, 2020|
|BENJI GOSNELL||TE||274||11||NOVEMBER 4, 2020|
|QUINN EWERS||QB||1||1||NOVEMBER 19, 2020|
|CALEB BURTON||WR||23||4||NOVEMBER 23, 2020|
|JAHEIM SINGLETARY||CB||9||4||JANUARY 2, 2021|
|KYION GRAYES||WR||127||17||FEBRUARY 28, 2021|
Initially, Grayes was wanting to make it official until after he visited Ohio State, which he was planning on doing around February, so that he could see the campus and get a feel for the city. But he admitted that if he couldn't work out a time for the visit then he would pull the trigger, and pull the trigger he has done.
Now that he's in the fold, Grayes joins five-star Texas receiver Caleb Burton as the second receiver and fourth pass catcher in the class. Grayes and Burton are joined at receiver by tight ends Benji Gosnell and Bennett Christian, as the Buckeyes are forming a core around five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers to add onto what's been a terrific run in offensive recruiting in the 2020 and 2021 classes.
Once Grayes was offered by the Buckeyes on October 20, the news started to emerge from the people we talked with that it would only be a matter of time before he announced a decommitment from Arizona and “reopened” his recruitment. But it was never truly that open. Even though Oregon offered after Ohio State and even though Texas and Penn State came calling following his decommitment, it was all Buckeyes.
“Let’s face it, any time Ohio State makes an offer, that is a huge deal. It just is,” Chandler head coach Rick Garretson told Eleven Warriors. “And then a lot of times people are gonna fall in line where it’s all of a sudden like, ‘Oh, shoot, I’ve gotta take a look at this kid.’
“A school like Ohio State does their due diligence on kids. So when they make an offer, it’s a big deal. There’s Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and maybe I’d throw Notre Dame in there, those are the big dogs. That’s when people are like, ‘Oh, he must be a four- or five-star guy.’”
The Buckeyes were right at the top of Grayes' list at No. 1 once the offer came in, and his commitment now gives Hartline his ninth receiver commitment in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes.
“They’re a machine,” Garretson said. “They’re a recruiting machine and a football machine. No question.”
And even though Grayes is likely to finish as the lowest-rated prospect among those nine, it's clear that Hartline saw something in the Arizona wideout, just like Ryan Day saw something in fellow West Coast product Chris Olave – a former unheralded prospect with a similar profile as Grayes.
Header photo – Kyion Grayes (right) – Patrick Breen/USA Today