It's incredibly difficult to keep homegrown offensive linemen away from Wisconsin, but that’s exactly what Ohio State did on Tuesday.
Carson Hinzman, the No. 2 prospect from the state of Wisconsin in the recruiting class of 2022, went with his gut and chose to commit to Ohio State over the Badgers, the team he grew up loving.
Those closest to Hinzman never expected him to play anywhere but Wisconsin once he was offered by the Badgers, but Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, running backs coach Tony Alford and coach Ryan Day won a massive recruiting battle against a Big Ten rival and eventually convinced him of the benefits of being a Buckeye instead.
Ready to get to work!!! pic.twitter.com/EMa1JtTFyP— Carson Hinzman (@HinzmanCarson) January 4, 2022
"It was their culture," Hinzman said after the All-American West team's practice on Tuesday of why he picked Ohio State. "I love how they have that championship-winning culture. They have a great chance to further their players and make you better. The competition there is absolutely insane, they're pulling in the best defensive linemen, and if you want to be the best offensive lineman, you have to beat the best defensive linemen. I love the consistency, it's huge for me, and they've been consistently great."
The Hinzman File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6-foot-4/280 lbs.
- Pos: OL
- School: Saint Croix Central (Hammond, Wisconsin)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #134 (#6 OL)
Hinzman took his first fall visit to Columbus in early September, when he attended Ohio State's home opener. He was conflicted in his decision between the Buckeyes and the Badgers, so he decided to attend another game in late October and was impressed by Ohio Stadium and OSU when he watched the Buckeyes beat Penn State, 33-24. It was that visit, plus Studrawa visiting Hinzman in his home during the first week of December, that the Buckeyes won over Hinzman and gave themselves the final push to land one of their most coveted offensive line targets in the class.
"It's been huge,” Hinzman said of his relationship with Studrawa. "He goes hard. I see the way he coaches and I've talked to people he's coached. He gets after you. He does make incredible linemen. And in regards to coach Day, he's one of the most competitive humans I've ever met. How he keeps his guys together, it all starts at the top."
Hinzman's primary recruiter at Wisconsin was former offensive line coach Joe Rudolph, who just left the Badgers on Monday to take a job at Virginia Tech. While the move had a minor impact on the Wisconsin resident's decision, it wasn't the main reason Hinzman favored OSU over the Badgers.
“It was hard," Hinzman said of the coaching change. "Obviously you can’t pick a coach over a college, I knew that right from the get go. I’ve been talking with my family about that, you obviously can’t pick schools on coaches, because they can leave. You have to be committed to the culture there, and the culture stems from all the people, not one or two coaches. That’s what really made me feel comfortable going here.”
Hinzman becomes the 20th commitment in the 2022 class and the fourth offensive lineman, joining Tegra Tshabola, George Fitzpatrick and Avery Henry. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Hinzman is the 134th-best prospect and sixth-best interior offensive lineman in the 2022 class.
Hinzman chose Ohio State over 20 other Division I offers including Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State, Oregon, Nebraska, Michigan, LSU, Auburn and Alabama.
When he arrives on campus, it's likely Ohio State will see him as either a guard or a center, not a tackle. He will also likely be the final offensive lineman in this cycle unless the Buckeyes can also land a commitment Earnest Greene.
Hinzman becomes the 16th four-star commitment in Ohio State’s 2022 class. Henry and Bennett Christian are the class’ lone three-star prospects while C.J. Hicks and Sonny Styles are the two five-stars.
|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)|
|DL||CADEN CURRY||★★★★||#88 NATL | #14 DL||6-3 | 250||Center Grove (Greenwood, IN)|
|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)|
|OL||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|
Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting class still ranks fourth nationally, though Hinzman’s commitment extends the fifth-ranked Buckeyes’ lead over Texas.