Five Prospects Who Could Be Next on Ohio State’s Commit List for the Recruiting Class of 2022

By Zack Carpenter on February 28, 2021 at 7:10 am
Damari Alston
Damari Alston (Rusty Mansell/247Sports)

​Two weeks ago, we detailed the top remaining positional needs in the 2022 class after the Buckeyes have landed 10 of the nation’s top talents in the cycle.

We also took a look at the top-10 remaining targets in the class last week, which is a star-studded list of five-stars, blue-chip players and underrated skill position guys.

But who are the most likely prospects in the 2022 cycle to commit to the Buckeyes next? We take a stab at predicting who is most likely to be the next to join the class. As a big caveat, many of these potential commitments (and anyone not on this list) are largely contingent on whether or not the player can get to campus for a visit in the spring or summer.

In no particular order, except for this first guy… 

Kyion Grayes

We’ve spent so much time hashing out Grayes’ big visit this weekend and how likely we believe he is to commit to the Buckeyes. In fact, we would be shocked if it didn’t happen, so we won’t beat a dead horse here. (Update: Grayes committed to Ohio State on Sunday morning.)

Ohio State already has five-star Caleb Burton in the fold, and if they add Grayes it will give Brian Hartline a terrific twosome to start the class. (And only add to the way the Buckeyes have been stacking the wide receiver position in the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 cycles.)

Kojo Antwi is the next primetime player the Buckeyes will be working on, though I’ve long said it will be very difficult for them to pull him out of SEC country with Georgia having a great line on him too. Kaleb Brown and C.J. Williams are two other prime targets.

Damari Alston

The four-star Georgia running back is pretty upset (and rightfully so) that visits (of the non-self-guided variety) have once again been pushed back to at least June 1. He was likely to visit Columbus on the weekend of April 16 in what was setting up to be the C.J. Hicks/Dasan McCullough-led Buckeye Bash 2.0 (our nickname for it, patent pending). That visit would have gone a long way in his potential Ohio State commitment. Alas.

Alston is still likely to make visits prior to making his decision, but he will now have to do a self-guided tour of Ohio State or any other campus he chooses if he wants to visit in the spring. I’m expecting him to hold off on a decision until after June 1, but if he makes his way up to Columbus over the next two or three months, I would put a personal Crystal Ball in for Tony Alford to land one of his top targets at the position.

Austin Jordan

Jordan, a four-star cornerback in the 2022 class out of Texas powerhouse Ryan High School, recently put the Buckeyes in his top 10.

I think Ohio State will be waiting on Jordan to show them some more with his offseason tape and his senior season tape and to get to know him more. But I do think Ohio State is close to the top of Jordan’s list, and with the Buckeyes seemingly out of the race for Will Johnson and Denver Harris, perhaps they make a bigger push for Jordan and two other corners I love in this class in Toriano Pride and Ryan Turner.

Christen Miller

Like Antwi, winning this Peach State prospect over will be difficult for the Buckeyes, especially since they were late to come in with an offer. That said, the four-star defensive tackle from Cedar Grove (Georgia) put Larry Johnson and Co. into a final schools list that was a top four before he made it a top five in order to include Ohio State.

I’m putting Miller on this list in part because he is the only one of these five that have a public commitment date, and that date (April 4) is approaching fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if he elects to push that back to give Ohio State more time to build a relationship with him and to make some more visits. The Bulldogs remain in the driver’s seat, but we will see if Day, Johnson and area recruiter Al Washington can make a big, quick move here.

Aliou Bah

Rumblings are that the three-star offensive tackle out of IMG (Florida) Academy – who recently transferred to the Bradenton hub from Buckeye defensive end Cormontae Hamilton’s alma mater, Whitehaven (Memphis) – is wanting to lock his name into the class. But there might be some hold-ups until visits can happen. 

If Bah adds “Buckeye commit” next to his name, it would give Greg Studrawa and Kennedy Cook a massive player (6-foot-6, 325 pounds) to add to the fold in the program’s biggest remaining need in the class. He would also be a developmental type of prospect, though, and the Buckeyes will still need to add a top-level guy at the position. That starts with Kiyaunta Goodwin and continues with guys like Zach Rice and Kam Dewberry.

Bonus: Luke Montgomery, Brenan Vernon

Pickerington Central’s Sonny Styles is not on this list because I think there’s more work to do there than with Ohio’s other top players, Montgomery and Vernon, in the 2023 class.

But the Findlay offensive line prospect Montgomery, a likely top-150 player (top-150 would be on the low end considering his massive potential), and Vernon, a sure-fire five-star defensive end out of Mentor, look like locks at this point to wind up as Buckeyes. At some point down the road, that is.

“I love Ohio State,” Montgomery told Eleven Warriors shortly after Ohio State offered last week. “Coach Stud, he grew up playing 20 minutes away from me in Fostoria. I was born in Columbus. I lived there for about a year, and I still have family in Columbus. I’m super familiar with the area. I go there a lot, and I love the campus and obviously academics is huge there as well.”

Vernon, meanwhile, compares to Nick Bosa and should be next up in the long lineage of stud defensive ends to be developed by Johnson. Once again, as with Pickerington North five-star Jack Sawyer in the 2021 cycle, the Buckeyes have a blue-chip defensive end in their backyard who grew up loving the scarlet and gray.

Ohio has an absolutely loaded defensive class in 2023 led by the potential five-star safety Styles, Vernon and four-star linebacker/safety Trevor Carter out of Ironton. Montgomery would be figured into that group, too, if he wanted to stick with the defensive end spot that he starred at for Findlay prior to a move to offensive tackle this offseason.

Either way, Montgomery and Vernon are going to eventually (in my prediction) give Ohio State a tremendous one-two punch in the state, and if the Buckeyes add Styles to that group then there will be absolutely zero drop-off for the program in terms of recruiting top-tier in-state talent from the 2021 and 2022 classes.

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