Four-Star German-Born Defensive Tackle Hero Kanu Commits to Ohio State

By Garrick Hodge on January 8, 2022 at 3:25 pm
Hero Kanu Commits to Ohio State

Where have all the great defensive tackles gone and where are NFL careers started?

Where's the streetwise man in the trenches to fight off offensive linemen? 

Isn't there a 6-foot-5, 293-pound white knight ready to tackle ballcarriers? 

Late at night, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson tossed and turned and dreamed of what his Buckeyes need. 

In the end, OSU needed a Hero. And it held out for a Hero for months.

On Saturday at the All-American Bowl, it picked one up and added a little international flavor to its 2022 recruiting class by landing a commitment from four-star defensive tackle Hero Kanu, a native of Geltendorf, Germany.

At 6-foot-5 and 293 pounds, Kanu is ranked as the No. 18 defensive lineman and No. 105 overall player in the 2022 class.

The Kanu File

  • Class: 2022
  • Size: 6-5/293
  • Pos: DT
  • School: Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #105 (#18 DL)

Though he's spent most of his life in Germany, Kanu moved to Rancho Santa Margarita, California to attend Santa Margarita Catholic to play football in America for his final two years of high school, where he quickly emerged as one of the top defensive tackles in the country.

Though it is rare for Ohio State to sign a player born outside of the United States, Kanu will not be the first German native to sign with the Buckeyes even in the last decade, as former Ohio State kicker Sean Nuernberger was also born in Germany, where he lived until third grade.

Kanu visited Ohio State for the first time on June 8 and 9 for the program's second recruiting camp of the month as part of Premier Prospects International's DreamChasers Tour, which takes a collection of European recruits to camps all over the country throughout the month of June.

He returned to Ohio State on July 29 for the Buckeye Bash & BBQ, then returned for a game visit on Oct. 30 when OSU defeated Penn State 33-24. His mother flew to Ohio from Germany to accompany him on the October visit, which went a long way in his recruitment. The Buckeyes had plenty of competition for Kanu's services, most notably Oklahoma and Georgia, but Ohio State was able to win out in the end.

Even though Kanu has not played football for long, he plays the game with great tenacity and passion and was drawn to the contact of the sport. It was a big reason he gave up soccer, the first love of his life. 

“If you look at me on the sidelines, you’re going to see me with my bare head, headbutting someone with a helmet on,” Kanu told Eleven Warriors in September. “I love the contact of the sport.” 

Pos Name Rating Rank Size School
LB C.J. HICKS ★★★★★ #12 NATL | #2 LB 6-3 | 215 Archbishop Alter (Dayton, OH)
S SONNY STYLES ★★★★★ #13 NATL | #1 S 6-4 | 215 Pickerington Central (Pickerington, OH)
DE OMARI ABOR ★★★★ #38 NATL | #4 EDGE 6-4 | 240 Duncanville (Duncanville, TX)
QB DEVIN BROWN ★★★★ #53 NATL | #6 QB 6-2.5 | 196 Corner Canyon (Draper, UT)
LB GABE POWERS ★★★★ #61 NATL | #6 LB 6-4 | 230 Marysville (Marysville, OH)
WR CALEB BURTON ★★★★ #68 NATL | #9 WR 6-0 | 165 Lake Travis (Austin, TX)
DE KENYATTA JACKSON ★★★★ #70 NATL | #7 EDGE 6-5 | 235 Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, FL)
WR KALEB BROWN ★★★★ #72 NATL | #10 WR 5-11 | 177 St. Rita (Chicago, IL)
DE CADEN CURRY ★★★★ #88 NATL | #14 DL 6-3 | 250 Center Grove (Greenwood, IN)
DT HERO KANU ★★★★ #105 NATL | #18 DL 6-5 | 293 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)
WR KYION GRAYES ★★★★ #106 NATL | #15 WR 5-11 | 170 Chandler (Chandler, AZ)
OT TEGRA TSHABOLA ★★★★ #114 NATL | #10 OT 6-6 | 344 Lakota West (West Chester, OH)
IOL CARSON HINZMAN ★★★★ #134 NATL | #6 IOL 6-4 | 280 Saint Croix Central (Hammond, WI)
WR KOJO ANTWI ★★★★ #146 NATL | #23 WR 6-0 | 190 Lambert (Suwanee, GA)
CB JYAIRE BROWN ★★★★ #155 NATL | #18 CB 6-0 | 178 Lakota West (West Chester, OH)
RB DALLAN HAYDEN ★★★★ #281 NATL | #23 RB 5-11 | 195 Christian Brothers (Memphis, TN)
OT GEORGE FITZPATRICK ★★★★ #330 NATL | #26 OT 6-6 | 274 Cherry Creek (Englewood, CO)
CB RYAN TURNER ★★★★ #337 NATL | #36 CB 6-0 | 180 Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, FL)
S KYE STOKES ★★★★ #358 NATL | #16 ATH 6-2 | 185 Armwood (Seffner, FL)
TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN ★★★ #380 NATL | #18 TE 6-6 | 235 Allatoona (Acworth, GA)
OT AVERY HENRY ★★★ #117 OT 6-6 | 305 St. Clairsville (Saint Clairsville, OH)
Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports

Kanu silently signed during the early signing period, so Ohio State now has 19 official signees and two commits in its 2022 recruiting class. He becomes Ohio State's fourth defensive line commitment in the cycle, joining Omari Abor, Caden Curry and Kenyatta Jackson Jr. He’s the Buckeyes' 21st overall commitment of the 2022 class, which remains the No. 4 overall class in the nation.

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