The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Among Top Schools for Five-Star Prospects David Hicks Jr. and Cormani McClain

By Garrick Hodge on November 7, 2021 at 5:30 pm
David Hicks Jr.

A top-three overall prospect in the 2023 class has trimmed down his list of schools, and Ohio State has made the cut.

David Hicks Jr., a five-star defensive end from Texas, announced his top 11 schools on Sunday, consisting of Ohio State, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Grambling State, LSU, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

Hicks Jr. was originally offered by Ohio State on June 15 after excelling in a workout at a camp with OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound prospect is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect and the second-best defensive lineman in the class of 2023 per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

“(I really like) the culture there and the coaching staff,” Hicks Jr. told Eleven Warriors about Ohio State in July

Hicks Jr. is the son of David Hicks, a former four-year collegiate standout at Grambling State from 2002-2006 who played one year with the Kansas City Chiefs, then later saw time in the Arena and Canadian football leagues. He’s currently the defensive line coach at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, where his son plays. 

“He’s probably the smartest kid I’ve ever coached,” the elder Hicks told Eleven Warriors in July. “I’m not just saying that because he’s my son. It’s rare that he’ll get beat on the same play twice.” 

Current Ohio State freshman Donovan Jackson, who was also a five-star recruit from Texas, and Hicks Jr. have trained together since their middle school days. They hang out whenever Jackson is back in his home state and the subject of Hicks Jr. potentially playing for Ohio State doesn’t go ignored. 

Hicks Jr. has previously said he may commit to a school sometime after his junior season. He has one 247Sports Crystal Ball projection to Texas A&M. 

Cormani McClain releases top five

The top-rated cornerback in the 2023 class also released a top schools list on Sunday afternoon. Well, let’s say he re-released it, because the five-star defensive back already put out a top-five list in August.

Cormani McClain’s original top five consisted of Miami, Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama and Florida. The only difference between the list released in August and the one he released Sunday is McClain has substituted Florida State for … wait for it … BYU. 

Seeing as McClain is a Florida resident, the move seems unusual, unless McClain is intrigued by going to a faith-based school. Nevertheless, it can only be seen as a positive that McClain, the No. 10 overall prospect and the top-rated cornerback in the 2023 class, reaffirmed his interest in Ohio State. 

The Buckeyes are in the market for either two or three cornerbacks in the 2023 cycle. Ohio State has offered three five-star cornerbacks in the class, also including AJ Harris and Javien Toviano.

OSU at top of Young’s list

Ohio State also remains in good position for the top running back in the recruiting class of 2023. Five-star running back Richard Young’s uncle told 247Sports on Sunday that Ohio State is currently his nephew’s top college option.

“I’d put Ohio State at the top right now and then Alabama and Georgia,” Young's uncle, Tim Grubbs told 247Sports.

The Florida running back has had a very successful junior season for Lehigh High School (Lehigh Acres, Florida), running for 1,475 yards and 18 touchdowns in seven games so far this year. Young is rated as the No. 21 overall prospect for 2023.

Young visited Columbus over the summer for a camp, then returned to campus on Oct. 30 for a game visit when he watched OSU defeat Penn State 33-24 at Ohio Stadium.

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