Dasan McCullough is officially a Hoosier.
At the high school level that is. Hope you like what we did there.
McCullough has moved to Indiana as a future Buckeye and is now a member of the Bloomington South Panthers. He is the No. 60 overall player and No. 7 athlete in the 2022 class across America, and he comes in as the No. 2 player in the state of Indiana.
“I’m pretty excited, obviously,” McCullough told Eleven Warriors. “It would’ve been great to finish my senior year at the high school I started at, but it’s also not bad to go back to where I began everything at with football. It’s gonna be a great experience playing with old friends or against them. I’m looking forward to it.”
Of course, one of the downsides of moving away from Blue Valley North High School in Olathe, Kansas is that he will no longer have the opportunity to work so closely with some of the Kansas City Chiefs star players. McCullough’s father, Deland McCullough, was the Chiefs’ running backs coach before he took a job as Indiana’s associate head coach/running backs coach.
We previously broke down some of the 7-on-7 battles Dasan McCullough had with players like Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, Damian Williams and Patrick Mahomes – whom he said he almost picked off a couple times – when he would train with them during offseasons. Unfortunately, those days are gone with McCullough’s move.
“That’s definitely something I’m gonna miss doing,” McCullough said. “That was the first time I had been around pros. I feel like I learned a lot in those three years, especially this last year-and-a-half where I was really paying attention. Like, just how mature they are, how they move and how they operate. They’re guys making millions, and they’re still trying to get better. That’s something that I look at, and it’s all something you have to really be around like I was to grasp it. That’s something that I’ll definitely take with me.”
Among everyone he'll miss, McCullough said Tyrann Mathieu is the one who stands above the rest. The All-Pro safety and Chiefs star had become one of McCullough’s mentors as he helped the future Buckeye learn more about playing defense and growing as a leader on and off the field.
“I’d say I’ve definitely learned the most from him, just all about the mental part of the game. That’s a mentor to me,” McCullough said. “Really, just some things that you notice in his play. Like how much film he watches, play recognition. Little things like that with the mental game. The offseason can make you really good because it’s not like Tyrann’s huge or anything like that. He’s really smart and has great instincts, and that’s what I really wanted to pick his brain about and learn about.”
McCullough hopes he will still be able to speak with Mathieu over the phone or on social media in the future. There’s still plenty he can learn from him, even from afar.
As far as his father's final game with the Chiefs, a Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay in February, McCullough said that loss stung for him and his family, but after winning last year’s Super Bowl, he says it was still special to get to return to the NFL’s title game.
“We were disappointed in the outcome, obviously, just like everyone was,” McCullough said. “We didn’t dwell on that for too long because the next day it came out that my dad was taking the Indiana job. It was a disappointing way to end it, but I’m glad we made it back to the Super Bowl. I know they’re gonna be right back there next year, too.”
As far as McCullough’s rooting interests in the NFL, he says he will remain a Chiefs fan. There won’t be any flipping to the Colts now that he’s in Indiana.
And now that he's closer to Columbus, it'll be a bit easier for McCullough to recruit for the Buckeyes. McCullough and C.J. Hicks are their two best recruiters in the 2022 class, establishing a great reputation for themselves as such.
McCullough will certainly be active in recruiting the other top two players in Indiana, offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin and defensive tackle Caden Curry, to join him at Ohio State. Offensive guard Demon Moore is also a target from Indiana that McCullough and Hicks can perhaps recruit together a bit easier now.