SAN ANTONIO – All-American Bowl week came to an end Saturday as the West All-American team defeated the East, 31-14.
Since the All-American Bowl is an all-star game with a goal of rotating in as many players as possible, no one really cares a whole lot what the scoreboard says at the end. But it was an opportunity to see some of Ohio State’s incoming freshmen showcase their skills one more time before they begin their Buckeye careers.
Eleven total Ohio State signees and commits were in San Antonio for the event, but Hero Kanu, Kaleb Brown and Jyaire Brown were all held out due to positive COVID-19 tests. Wide receiver signee Caleb Burton wasn’t able to play either.
Nevertheless, there were plenty of observations to take away – some good, some not so good – from the play of Ohio State’s seven All-Americans that actually played in the game. Below, we share our observations as well as some of the top video highlights of the day for the Buckeyes.
Ohio States All-Americans pose for a photo after the game. pic.twitter.com/p8R4H9avfC— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
- Offensively, the best Ohio State recruit on the field Saturday was clearly wide receiver Kyion Grayes. He finished with two catches on the day, but his first was truly highlight-reel worthy. Lining up to the outside on the left side of the field on 2nd-and-8, Grayes burned Indiana cornerback signee Trevell Mullen with a sharp double move to turn in a long gain. Nobody was as excited as Caden Curry was, who sprinted down the sideline in celebration squeezing a water bottle. “They wanted to get us to the left hash,” Grayes told Eleven Warriors of the play after the game. “They called home pump, which is basically an out-and-up (play). I watched him bite on the out, cut inside of him, stacked him and was gone.”
Kyion Grayes (Ohio State commit) pic.twitter.com/KS5waYCX2T— (@FTB_Vids_YT) January 8, 2022
It happened as I was walking to the other sideline, but you can see the end of Kyion Grayes (@KyiongrayesII) burning his man for a big gain and Caden Curry (@CadenCurry14) doing a full sprint in celebration, water bottle and all. pic.twitter.com/pfJGMnwt3X— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
- Grayes’ receiving contributions weren’t the only big impact he had on the game. On 3rd-and-3, the West trusted Grayes to execute a trick play on a wide receiver pass. Grayes lobbed a pass to Notre Dame signee Tobias Merriweather for a long gain. The West ran that same play with Grayes in practice on Thursday, and he executed it to perfection on Saturday. “I knew we were going to call that,” Grayes said. “I told them in practice, I had an ugly throw. But in the game, I’m going to get it, I promise you.”
Getting tricky in the All American Bowl! Kyion Grayes (Ohio State commit) hits Tobias Merriweather (Notre Dame commit) deep on 3rd & 3!#OhioState #Buckeyes #GoBucks #NotreDame #FightingIrish #GoIrish #AllAmericanBowl #CollegeFootball pic.twitter.com/HwwvK1LmMt— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) January 8, 2022
- Caden Curry dominated All-American practices all week. He finished Saturday with another strong showing before he enrolls early at Ohio State. Curry lined up at both defensive tackle and defensive end and won his battles more often than not. On one particular series, he embarrassed left tackle Andrew Chamblee, an Arkansas signee, and had a clear path to sacking Georgia quarterback signee Gunner Stockton. He missed Stockton, and it resulted in a nine-yard run. Curry was visibly upset he couldn’t finish the play, but he ended up sacking Stockton on the very next snap.
Caden Curry beat left tackle Andrew Chamblee pretty badly on the play before, but missed a sack and was visibly upset. He didnt miss getting a sack on the next play. pic.twitter.com/32GDqoCzCl— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
Caden Curry gets pressure on third down and forces an incompletion. pic.twitter.com/uLv66zAIrE— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
- As we pointed out earlier in the week, Curry and OSU four-star offensive lineman signee Tegra Tshabola went at it a few times in practice. This happened a couple of times on Saturday as well with Tshabola playing left guard, though there was no clear winner this time around.
Caden Curry and Tegra Tshabola going at it. pic.twitter.com/lJ9sqgEdAL— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
Tegra Tshabola holds up in pass protection at left guard. pic.twitter.com/MLCUDOom4w— Garrick Hodge (@Garrick_Hodge) January 8, 2022
- Saturday is a day offensive line signee George Fitzpatrick is going to want back. Fitzpatrick allowed multiple sacks and was beaten pretty badly on his first series by Penn State signee Dani Dennis-Sutton, who sacked Devin Brown on the soon-to-be Ohio State quarterback’s first play in the game.
Dani Dennis-Sutton sacks are a sight to behold, too pic.twitter.com/TNAzAa40nJ— Onward State (@OnwardState) January 8, 2022
- Offensive line commit Carson Hinzman earned a start at right guard for the West team Saturday despite playing both guard and center in practice all week. He was utilized at guard much more than he was center. While Hinzman had his times he was beat too, he helped the West to two scoring drives on its first two possessions.
- It was a pretty quiet day for Ohio State wide receiver signee Kojo Antwi, who had just one target all day.
- After shining in practice for most of the week, Devin Brown was held in check for the most part on Saturday. Not all of the blame can be pinned on him, as he was running for his life on seemingly every snap which sped up his internal clock, and he was sacked multiple times. His first two series resulted in punts. His third series in the second half started in the red zone, but a wide receiver double reverse on the first play lost 13 yards, dooming the possession before it even began.