The Hurry-Up: Kiyaunta Goodwin Shines at Best of Midwest Combine As Recruitment Heats Up, Group of OSU Commits Shoot for Fifth Star

By Zack Carpenter on February 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Kiyaunta Goodwin

The Hurry-Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

Goodwin shines, recruitment heats up

Kiyaunta Goodwin is still ranked just outside the top 100 overall and is the No. 10-ranked offensive tackle in the 2022 class.

We expect that to change and change quickly. We’ve strongly felt that for weeks now, and this weekend only went on to further bolster that feeling.

Goodwin shined at this weekend’s Best of the Midwest Combine, winning Alpha Dog honors for a performance that 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong deemed “a pretty flawless performance.”

Chris Vaughn, Goodwin’s trainer at Aspirations Gym in Louisville, told Eleven Warriors in the fall that Goodwin’s ceiling is becoming “the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.” This weekend, he showcased some of that flash.

“Some schools want big guys for their size, some schools want athletic guys who can get out and move. He’s both,” Vaughn told us. “That’s one thing that separates him. Some guys are big maulers and don’t move as well, but they’re in the box and can move people. He can do that and get out on the perimeter.”

The recruitment is beginning to heat up a bit for Goodwin, with him telling Wiltfong that Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and a host of others are standing out as top schools he hopes to visit:

“I feel like I have a great relationship with Coach Day and Coach (Greg) Stud(rawa),” Goodwin said. “The big thing is I’m going against some top defensive guys too. Just like I want to get developed by the top offensive line coaches, I also want to go against somebody that’s good and Ohio State has a history of defensive ends that are very good.

“I have a lot of family up there. I have a lot of family from Columbus so just being able to have a home away from home so having a chance to be developed and going up against the best defensive ends in the country.”

If you’ve been following Andrew and I throughout our coverage of the 2022 cycle, you’re well aware of how much we value Goodwin.

The massive 6-foot-8, 300-pounder out of Charlestown (Indiana) High School is as big of a prospect in size and importance for Ohio State’s 2022 class as they come. And with offensive tackle being the No. 1 priority in this cycle (in my opinion, though there’s some argument there I guess), that makes locking up a player of Goodwin’s talent within Ohio State's recruiting footprint even more important.

As far as a timeline goes, what Goodwin said over the weekend was no different than what he and Vaughn told us in the fall. He’s holding out on any type of decision until he can see schools and visit with coaches in person. He’s the type of prospect who will be able to afford holding out on a commitment, and we fully expect him to continue taking his time with the process. We have to pump the brakes a bit here, of course, since we all felt pretty good about Ohio State's chances with five-star offensive tackle JC Latham in the 2021 class before that recruitment fell through.

Andrew will have more tomorrow at Eleven Warriors on Goodwin, his recruitment and the importance of landing the behemoth prospect.

McCullough and Co. could earn fifth stars

Plenty would have to happen over the course of the next 10 months or so, but Goodwin will wind up near the top of the offensive tackle rankings (possibly as a five-star) with an outside shot at competing for a top-three spot at the position. (Though it will take a lot to overcome Zach Rice for the pole position.)

Right now, Ohio State has the No. 1 quarterback (Quinn Ewers) and No. 1 receiver (Caleb Burton) committed in the 2022 class and could wind up with the No. 1 inside linebacker (Shawn Murphy), and it has at least a shot at having the No. 1 outside linebacker – Gabe Powers is currently ranked No. 2 at the position, C.J. Hicks is ranked third and Dasan McCullough is the No. 6 athlete – when it’s all said and done. 

And speaking of McCullough, as part of our interview with the No. 54 overall player over the weekend, we asked him what he thought about those recruiting rankings.

Powers and Hicks were both at one time composite five-star prospects, and we have discussed ad nauseam over the past several months about Hicks eventually becoming a five-star when the cycle is concluded.

Even though it’s not an end-all, be-all situation, McCullough admits that getting to five-star status is something the guys talk about among themselves. If they were down in the 200s, maybe that conversation would not persist, but being just inches away from being a five-star rating has them wanting to get there.

“Yeah, I mean it’d just be cool to have it,” McCullough told Eleven Warriors. “I can’t say it’s a goal or anything because those rankings can really go in any direction, but that’d definitely be something I deserve.

“We talk about it sometimes just because of how close we are. We just joke around about it sometimes about who’s gonna get it first and stuff like that. I’d say that’s about it. We talk about it sometimes, though, we do.”

For McCullough, who will soon get some new digs and become Indiana’s top-ranked prospect, whether or not he gets that fifth star is mostly out of his control. I say mostly because, well, he can still improve himself, and if he hits his goals in offseason workouts, perhaps the powers who put together those rankings will make him a five-star.

“Just trying to get to 230 with my strength training, and I’m building my speed,” McCullough said of his goals this offseason. “I’m getting a lot faster. I’m gonna be running my 40 sometime (this) week, but I think it’s gonna end up being a high 4.5. Everything’s going good. Just finishing out with my training these next couple weeks here, and I’m looking forward to getting with my new coaches and working out with them.”

Texas momentum

On Saturday, Texas picked up a pair of commitments from five-star quarterback Maalik Murphy and three-star linebacker Trevell Johnson.

The Longhorns are building some momentum on the recruiting trail, and it looks like they are building even more. Bryce Anderson, a four-star safety from the Lone Star State, recently decommitted from LSU, and Texas is now the recent Crystal Ball favorite for the No. 66 overall player and No. 4 safety in 2022.

There are also some rumblings that Texas is gaining some ground for three-star Manvel (Texas) linebacker Justin Medlock, whom the Buckeyes are the current Crystal Ball favorite to land.

As for another Texas-based 2022 prospect, Ohio State cracked the top 10 for four-star cornerback Austin Jordan on Monday.

Jordan, a 5-foot-11, 185-pounder out of Ryan High School, is ranked No. 167 overall, No. 19 at cornerback and No. 26 in the Lone Star State.

Ohio State, Texas, Georgia, USC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Texas A&M and Auburn make up his current list of top schools.

“(He’s a) long, physical corner. Good cover guy,” Ryan football head coach David Henigan told Eleven Warriors last February. “Legit track speed that translates to football. I think the sky is the limit. Great kid. Hard worker. Loves to compete. Loves football. High ceiling.”

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