The Hurry-Up: Hero Kanu Includes Ohio State in Top Five, Xavier Nwankpa Puts Buckeyes in Top Three

By Garrick Hodge on October 4, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Hero Kanu
Hero Kanu

While Ohio State was busy turning in its usual thrashing of Rutgers on Saturday, two huge targets for the class of 2022 made key announcements about their recruitment.

We’ll delve into those first. 

Kanu announces top five

After releasing nine finalists in July, Ohio State priority 2022 defensive tackle target Hero Kanu announced his top five finalists about an hour before the Buckeyes’ kickoff against Rutgers on Saturday. Ohio State made the cut along with LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Georgia. 

Kanu is the 84th-best player nationally in the 2022 cycle and 13th-best defensive lineman, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. In six games this season for Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, California), Kanu has recorded 30 tackles and six sacks while recovering a fumble and blocking a field goal. 

While Kanu currently resides in California, he originates from Germany and first visited Columbus in June as part of the PPI DreamChasers Tour. He returned to OSU in July for the Buckeye Bash & BBQ on July 29. One of his biggest reasons for putting Ohio State in his top five is the connection he’s built with defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“I would say he’s really a person when it stands out when it comes to coaching,” Kanu told Eleven Warriors in September. “He’s like a father figure, that’s the role he wants to play. His personality is really calm and he knows what he’s talking about. When he analyzes something I did in a practice, I see what he means. Nowadays, people always ask ‘Why do we have to do this drill, why does it help us?’ He’s really good at answering those questions and showing us examples.” 

Kanu is expected to visit Columbus on Oct. 30 for the Penn State game. He has stated that his plan is to announce his commitment at the All-American game in January, but has also said he may announce it earlier if the timing lined up. Kanu also plans to visit Oklahoma on Oct. 16, Notre Dame on Oct. 23 and Georgia on Nov. 6.

“I really look forward to seeing the atmosphere, the culture, how do people like the football players, how big is it?” Kanu said of what he’ll be looking for on his Ohio State visit. “How much is it worth to them, you know? I just want to see the real coaching and real true defense they play. That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing.”

Nwankpa reveals final three

It’s been no secret 2022 four-star safety Xavier Nwankpa has long been a coveted target for Ohio State. On Saturday, Nwankpa announced he was down to three schools, trimming four off his previous list he released in May. Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa, Nwankpa’s hometown school, all made the cut. 

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive back is rated the 45th-best player in the 2022 class and the third-rated safety. Nwankpa told On3 over the weekend he values OSU because of the relationships he’s built and the defensive scheme. 

“I would get to play alongside some of the guys I have the closest relationships with through recruiting, CJ Hicks and Kyion Grayes,” Nwankpa told On3. “I’d be able to maximize my coverage skills going against that WR room every day. A defense that’s only getting better with their new scheme, and a chance to do anything at the Bullet position.”

OSU extended an offer to Nwankpa in September 2020. He took an official visit to Columbus on June 4, and another visit to OSU is likely upcoming. Like Kanu, Nwankpa plan to visit OSU on Oct. 30 for the Penn State game. He will be in attendance for Iowa’s game against Penn State this weekend and also visit Notre Dame on Oct. 23. Nwankpa is Ohio State’s highest-priority safety target remaining in addition with Zion Branch

Posse high on OSU

OSU has only offered two quarterbacks for the 2024 class to this point: Jadyn Davis, the No. 1-ranked player in the entire cycle, and Adrian Posse

Posse, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal caller from Florida, was the first quarterback in the class OSU offered after he impressed the Buckeyes coaching staff while camping with the team on June 9. While it’s believed Davis is going to be the Buckeyes’ primary target for the 2024 class barring a reclassification, Posse will also garner strong consideration to be an addition to the QB room. He told 247Sports this week he hears from OSU quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis at least once a week. 

“I love the success they have passing the ball this season,” Posse told 247Sports. “But what also impresses me is how they play as one unit. That’s why I believe they’re so successful this season.”

Posse has 11 Division I offers at the moment and may also visit Columbus for the OSU-Penn State game on Oct. 30. 

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