The plane tickets and the plans are (mostly) in place.
Now it's just the waiting game until Kyion Grayes and his parents can get to Columbus to check out the city and see Ohio State's campus.
The Buckeyes' 2022 wide receiver target out of Arizona's Chandler High School tweeted on Friday that a visit he had planned for the weekend of Feb. 26 was still on.
Columbus Ill see you next weekend pic.twitter.com/ztAm57eiRv— Kyion Grayes II (@KyiongrayesII) February 19, 2021
Grayes, the No. 315 overall player and No. 46 receiver and Arizona's No. 3 player in the recruiting class of 2022, has never been to Columbus.
We caught up with the four-star receiver over the weekend as he prepares for the trip. Prior to some final preparations for this weekend's Battle Phoenix 7-on-7 tournament, Grayes gave us a bit of a preview of his upcoming visit. He and his parents will be flying out to Ohio on Thursday before a return flight to Arizona on Sunday as they look to see if Columbus could be Grayes' next home.
“That’s the main visit I’ve wanted to go on,” Grayes said. “That’s the last thing I need to see. I just need to go up there one time. Just the environment, the feel, the people and the area (is what I wanna see). Getting a feel for it.
“Just the stadium and the school, it’s those things mainly because I know I can’t go inside any (of the facilities) so I can’t look forward to that or anything. Just the school and the stadium, just all around.”
Grayes says he is confident that Columbus and the campus will live up to the hype he's heard, which makes him more enthusiastic about taking the time and his family spending the money to get him here.
“My mom and dad, they just wanna see the environment, it’s just a new experience. We’ve never been there before,” Grayes said. “That’s all I’m hearing is (how nice Columbus) is so I’m really looking forward to it. Just with everything I’ve heard, I haven’t heard one bad thing at all. So it makes me very confident.
“Once I can see the environment and as long as the environment’s good, it wouldn't be a problem. I just wanna go see it at least one time because it’s a whole new experience for me.”
Not only has Grayes never been to Ohio, he's never even taken one of these “self-guided visits,” as they have become known, during the prolonged recruiting dead period. So it should say plenty about how he views Ohio State's program and potential as a suitor that this is the first visit of this kind that he's taking.
While he's in Columbus, he wants to make the most of the opportunity – at least the most of what's afforded to him as he can't get an entire feel of campus and the facilities.
“It’s very difficult because you can’t really visit schools (completely), and you’re making a bit of a blind decision,” Grayes said. “It makes it a lot harder not being able to go see it like that in person. We’re gonna go, but some people might not (have that opportunity).”
Grayes has never been to the Midwest in general. Grayes has heard good things about the atmosphere and the people in this area of the country. So if people see him and his family out and about, they'll have to offer up some of the "Midwest Nice" stereotype that defines many peoples' (though not all peoples') welcoming nature in Ohio and the surrounding states.
“I want them to feel as welcome as possible,” Grayes said. “I want them to feel like this is the place we should be and want it to be as friendly as possible. I just can’t wait.”
The Grayes family does not have any sort of extensive itinerary for the trip. Instead, it's more of a go-with-the-flow type of visit, though he did say Ryan Day and Brian Hartline are going to provide them with a list of spots on campus and in Columbus later this week to hit while they're here.
At least one thing that is planned, though, is for Grayes to spend some time hanging out with Buckeyes' 2021 running back signee Evan Pryor and fellow Arizonan Denzel Burke, who also signed with Ohio State in the 2021 cycle as an athlete.
After this entire trip is over and done with, I have said I wouldn't be surprised for Grayes to announce a commitment sometime soon afterward. Grayes, of course, is not giving that kind of information out.
“It really just depends on what the feel is. So we’ll see what happens,” he said.