The Hurry-Up: Caden Curry Standing Out for All-American Bowl West Team, Observations from Final Day of Practice

By Garrick Hodge on January 7, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Caden Curry

SAN ANTONIO – Ryan Day remembers when he first got a text from a contact that works in an NFL personnel department.

That contact had just attended a football game at Center Grove High School (Greenwood, Indiana), and had watched future four-star Ohio State signee Caden Curry dominate. 

“Who is this Caden Curry?” the text read. 

“He said this guy is going to be an NFL player here in about three years,” Day said on Dec. 15 of his contact’s evaluation of Curry. “(For us), it didn’t take long to figure that one out.” 

Ohio State prioritized landing Curry for years, and finally pulled it off a day before the early signing period on Dec. 14. Curry told Day when he committed he essentially knew all along he was going to pick Ohio State. 

“You could have saved us a lot of sleepless nights by telling us sooner,” Day said with a laugh. 

After capping off his high school career by winning back-to-back state championships, Curry will enroll early at Ohio State and participate in spring football. Before he arrives on campus next week, he’ll compete in the All-American Bowl on Saturday for the West team. 

If he performs like he’s practiced, the East’s offensive linemen are in trouble. In one week of All-American practices, Curry is confirming he’s the player OSU’s coaching staff projected him to be, as he has wrecked havoc in both positional and team drills. 

In short, he’s been the biggest defensive standout on the West team. 

“Definitely every rep, you have to go a different level than you do in high school,” Curry said Friday of participating in All-American Bowl practices. “I feel like every rep you don’t have to give 110 percent, so I just want to come out and compete the best I can.” 

Curry has won reps against offensive linemen in various ways, from finesse and spin moves to straight bull rushes.

He’s beaten opponents whether he’s lined up at defensive tackle or defensive end. Wherever he lines up, he usually wins the rep, even as the 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive lineman faces offensive tackles and guards who are larger than him. 

“I feel like it doesn’t matter what your size is or anything,” Curry said. “I just go out there and play football and I love the game. I don’t let the size or anything get to my head.” 

Future Ohio State teammate and quarterback Devin Brown has often been the recipient of Curry’s pass rush in West practices. Curry has gotten to him on at least three separate occasions this week and forced an errant throw resulting in an interception. Fortunately for Brown, there was a no-contact policy on quarterbacks this week at All-American Bowl practices. 

“We messed around a little bit in practice. He knows I’ve been getting back there (to him) a couple times in practice,” Curry said with a smile. 

He’s been impressive enough that he’s captured the attention of one of Ohio State’s top remaining targets in the class of 2022, four-star defensive tackle Christen Miller. Miller, who will not play Saturday due to a leg injury, was blown away by what he saw from Curry in drills. 

“I saw Caden Curry out here (Wednesday),” Miller told Eleven Warriors. “Man, Caden, he’s got so much upside. He plays defensive end, he plays defensive tackle, wherever you want to put him at, he’s going to play and go dominate.” 

Curry hasn’t been entirely perfect this week. There was a joint practice with the East on Wednesday, and in his first one-on-one matchup, he got tossed on the ground like a rag doll by future Ohio State teammate Tegra Tshabola.

“He got me,” Curry said with a laugh. “It was my first rep, I was a little nervous I’ll say. He got me that first rep, but we just kept going at it and we’re making each other better and sharper.” 

Curry faced Tshabola two more times that day and bested him both times. The soon-to-be Ohio State defensive lineman wasn’t in the mood for trash talk, though. 

“Tegra is such a nice person, I can’t really be hating on him,” Curry said. “We’re going to be doing that a lot more of that in college. So definitely we’ll just keep working, I know it’ll go both ways (in college practices) like this week.” 

Curry also said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Carson Hinzman and George Fitzpatrick in practice this week.

“We’re just all working to make each other better,” Curry said. 

Saturday will be Curry’s last showcase before arriving at Ohio State. He remains more encouraged than ever by his decision to pick OSU over Indiana, Oregon and Alabama.

“Talking to coach Johnson and seeing what he has for me, and seeing the players that welcomed me in, it felt like family when I got there,” Curry said. “When I went to that Penn State game (on Oct. 30) and saw all those fans out there, it just amazed me.” 

Final practice observations 

Tuesday and Wednesday’s All-American Bowl practices were very spirited and very competitive for the duration of both sessions. That wasn’t entirely the case on Thursday, and certainly wasn’t on Friday, where the practice was the most lighthearted of the four and ended around 40 minutes early. It was essentially a walkthrough. 

Nevertheless, there were a few takeaways as Eleven Warriors watched the West team practice one final time before Saturday’s All-American Bowl at 1 p.m. on NBC. 

  • Carson Hinzman continues to rotate between center and right guard, so don’t be surprised to see him play both positions on Saturday. Shotgun snaps are still a work in progress for him at center, as he notably ran a triple-option offense in Wisconsin. Some snaps were perfect Friday, but some were low. 
  • George Fitzpatrick worked almost primarily at left tackle on Friday. 
  • Kyion Grayes lined up at both slot and outside receiver, and told Eleven Warriors after practice he’s willing to play wherever Brian Hartline wants him to at the next level. It wasn’t a perfect showing, as Grayes struggled with a few drops, but it was hard to really take too much away from it with such a low intensity level all around. 
  • If you’re sick of highlights watching Devin Brown throw long passes in these Hurry-Ups this week, fortunately it’ll be over soon. If you’re not, here’s another one from Friday. The guy can flat out sling it.
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