Five Recruits Earn Offers, Many Others Put Their Skills on Display at Ohio State's First Camp of June

By Dan Hope on June 2, 2021 at 9:32 pm
Christian Gray

Ohio State held its first of six June camps for high school football players at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday, and with that came a handful of new offers for recruits who made the trip to Columbus.

Unsurprisingly, two of those offers went to quarterbacks in the recruiting class of 2023. After having the opportunity to watch them throw in person for the first time, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day made a pair of offers to California quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava and Louisiana quarterback Eli Holstein, making them the second and third quarterbacks in the junior class (along with five-star California QB Malachi Nelson) to pick up an offer from the Buckeyes.

While there were dozens of quarterbacks in attendance on Wednesday, it’s no surprise that Iamaleava and Holstein were the two who left with offers, as they were the two highest-ranked quarterbacks at Wednesday’s camp. 

Iamaleava, whose cousin is Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, is ranked as the No. 5 quarterback and No. 50 overall prospect in the 2023 class.

Holstein, who lives in Zachary, Louisiana, is ranked as the No. 7 quarterback and No. 124 overall prospect in the 2023 class.

A pair of cornerbacks in the 2023 class also received offers from Ohio State on Wednesday: Kayin Lee and Christian Gray.

Lee, who made the trip to Columbus along with his Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Georgia) teammate Christen Miller (who already had an Ohio State offer and was on an unofficial visit on Wednesday), earned his offer after an impressive camp showing in which he shut down most of his opponents in coverage and ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash.

Gray, who played with incoming freshman Ohio State cornerback Jakailin Johnson at St. Louis’ De Smet Jesuit High School, also had a strong showing on the field Thursday, posting numbers of 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 10-foot-3 in the broad jump.

Ohio State also gave out one offer for the recruiting class of 2022 to Kenneth Grant, a 6-foot-4, 335-pound nose tackle from Merrillville, Indiana. While Grant arrived at Ohio State on Wednesday as an under-the-radar recruit – he’s ranked as only the No. 112 defensive lineman in the 2022 class by 247Sports and does not have a composite ranking – he made enough of an impression during his camp performance on Wednesday morning to earn an offer from the Buckeyes, which he adds to a list of offers that also includes Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Purdue, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Akron, Ball State and Bowling Green.

Highlights from camp

While Wednesday marked the first big event of what will be a crazy month for Ohio State football recruiting, it also brought a sense of normalcy for those of us who cover Ohio State football, as we had the opportunity to walk around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and interact with players and coaches in a way we hadn’t since before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

That enabled us to watch Wednesday’s camp up close and in person and evaluate some of the prospects in attendance who could eventually end up becoming Buckeyes.

The first prospect who caught my eye on Wednesday was Gabriel Harris, a four-star 2023 defensive end who’s currently committed to Florida State. Harris was clearly better than the offensive tackles he was matched up against in one-on-one drills, blowing by them on almost every rep.

Harris, who said after the workout that winning those reps “was too easy,” doesn’t have an offer from Ohio State yet but told reporters that getting an offer from the Buckeyes would “probably” change things in his recruitment, which he said is still “most definitely” open.

Being at Wednesday’s camp also gave us the opportunity to watch Miller go through a one-on-one workout with Ohio State defensive line coach as part of his unofficial visit, and it was easy to see why he’s one of the top defensive linemen on Ohio State’s board as he showed excellent movement skills at 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds.

It was also clear that Miller will be both a media and fan favorite at whatever school he chooses, as he put his personality on full display during an interview with reporters after his visit concluded.

Anthony Brown, a 2023 wide receiver from Springfield, Ohio, showed why he could be a candidate to soon earn an Ohio State offer during the afternoon session, in which the 5-foot-10, 170-pound slot receiver demonstrated his speed and quickness and made a diving deep-ball grab in one-on-ones.

Brown told Eleven Warriors on Wednesday night that he will be back at Ohio State to participate in another camp on June 22, where wide receivers coach Brian Hartline wants to see him return punts.

Another prospect who looked like a candidate to earn an offer was 2022 cornerback Julian “Julio” Humphrey, who committed to Florida last week but still made the trip to Columbus to camp at Ohio State on Wednesday. Humphrey locked down most of his opponents during one-on-one drills on Wednesday and put his ball skills on display by breaking up multiple passes.

Humphrey hasn’t yet received an offer from Ohio State, who already has three cornerbacks committed for the class of 2022, but he told Eleven Warriors on Wednesday night that he was scheduled to have a call with Ohio State secondary coach Matt Barnes on Thursday before returning to his home state of Texas.

One player who participated in Wednesday’s camp even though he already has an Ohio State offer was five-star 2023 safety Sonny Styles, who’s ranked as the No. 15 overall prospect in the junior class. As you’d expect, Styles looked the part going through defensive back drills – with the always-energetic Kerry Coombs running right alongside him.

Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors over the next few days for more coverage from Wednesday’s first camp of the month.

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