The Hurry-Up: Cedrick Hawkins Predicts “One or All” of His 7-on-7 Teammates Could Be Buckeyes, Ryan Day Doesn’t Want Commits Visiting Other Schools

By Garrick Hodge on April 4, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Cedrick Hawkins

However his Ohio State football career plays out, four-star 2023 Florida safety Cedrick Hawkins will be the answer to this trivia question years down the line: What recruit committed to Ohio State during the midst of the Rose Bowl of 2022?

Hawkins made his commitment despite only visiting Ohio State once in June, around six months before he pulled the trigger with the Buckeyes. Three months later, the 6-foot, 165-pound Hawkins is more confident in his decision than ever.

“I felt like it was a great moment and time to do so, all I felt was right,” Hawkins told Eleven Warriors of his decision to commit during the Rose Bowl.

Hawkins made his second visit to Columbus over the weekend with a bunch of his teammates from his seven-on-seven team, South Florida Express. The trip only reaffirmed Hawkins’ love for Ohio State and reinforced why he decided to commit to OSU in the first place. 

“The visit was great, it’s always great to be home,” Hawkins said. “I was ready to be a Buckeye more than anything. My favorite part of the visit was sitting down and talking to all the coaches and players I’ll be around for the next couple of years. I feel like a part of the brotherhood already.” 

Hawkins, considered the 235th-best player and the 22nd-best safety in the 2023 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings, approved of the hiring of new safeties coach Perry Eliano, saying the pair have formed a tightly knit bond. 

“Coach Eliano and I have always had a great relationship,” Hawkins said. “But it’s never always about football, he makes sure things are better off the field than on the field.”

Ohio State hasn’t mentioned to Hawkins what type of safety they envision him being in Jim Knowles’ three-safety scheme when he arrives on campus. But he’s open to playing whatever is asked. 

“I can bring a lot to the table,” Hawkins said. “I can get things done from wherever I’m at on the field.” 

Hawkins also insisted he’s locked into his commitment with OSU and will not be taking any other visits for the duration of his recruitment except to Columbus.

Hawkins was accompanied on his visit by a multitude of fellow Florida recruits the Buckeyes would love to see in an Ohio State uniform, including Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate, Jeremiah Smith, Joshisa Trader, Mark Fletcher, Sharif Denson and Daemon Fagan. Hawkins said he is not recruiting them to join him at Ohio State, mainly because he feels he doesn’t need to. He even went as far to make a bold prediction.  

“My teammates are great guys, I don’t really have to say anything to them, they know what’s the best move for them and Ohio State is that,” Hawkins said. “Don’t be surprised if you see one or all of them commit in a couple of weeks.” 

Inniss was asked by Eleven Warriors in January if having Hawkins in the fold would make him more likely to suit up for Ohio State in the future. 

“I mean, we’ll see,” Inniss said with a wide smile. “It’s good to know somebody I know will be up there. That’s my guy, Ced. So I know what he’s going to bring to Ohio State. He’s a great kid.” 

Hawkins has not yet made a decision on if he will be a midyear enrollee or wait until the summer of 2023. He is still talking out his options with his family. 

Day disapproves of OSU commits visiting other schools

Hawkins’ stance that he will not be taking any other visits to other schools is surely music to Ryan Day’s ears. Day told reporters Monday the Buckeyes are against committed players taking visits to other schools, saying once they’ve made a decision, he wants that recruit to be all in with Ohio State. 

“I think when you look at the way that recruiting is across college football, the idea is that when guys want to commit, they're done,” Ryan Day told reporters Monday. “They're going to commit to your school, they made the decision strong, they're not going to go visit any other school. And then they're all in and they help you recruit the class.” 

Day’s stance on commits taking visits came up as part of his answer summing up how the Buckeyes’ big recruiting weekend went. Essentially, Day told reporters Ohio State feels good about where it’s at with many of its remaining priority targets. He expects some good news on the recruiting front in the coming months. But before any recruits give OSU their verbal, he wants them to be confident with their decision and completely locked in. 

“I think that’s where guys are trying to figure that out,” Day said of some of the recruits OSU hosted on campus last weekend, without naming any specific target. “You know, am I ready to finally make the decision? And there's some guys that are really close. And I think we're going to see some, the next couple months, a bunch of really good stuff come our way. But I just want to make sure that they're done and don't want to go and visit other schools. It's just, it's not a very good policy.” 

Inniss plans return for official visit

One of the bigger names on the guest list this weekend was Inniss, the top-ranked wide receiver in the 2023 class.

It was Inniss’ second visit to OSU after the 6-foot, 190-pound receiver camped at Ohio State last summer shortly before committing to Oklahoma. Inniss, ranked as the ninth-best overall prospect in his class, has since decommitted from the Sooners.

Inniss told 247Sports he enjoyed his visit to Ohio State over the weekend and plans to return sometime this year for an official visit, which could be at the end of November for the Michigan game. As of now, Inniss plans to wait until December to make his college decision.

Some in the recruiting industry think Inniss will wind up at USC, mostly because of the connection between him and Lincoln Riley. But Inniss insists Ohio State has a real chance at landing him. 

“I’m very high on them,” Inniss told 247Sports of OSU. “They’re definitely one of my top schools right now, not only because of the coaches, but the guys they produce for the league at my position and the guys in the room as well. They all want to get each other better. That’s the thing I took away. If you want to be great, come here.”

Bisontis puts OSU in top eight

One of Ohio State’s highest priority 2023 offensive tackle targets has trimmed his school list down from 15 to eight. 

Four-star New Jersey tackle Chase Bisontis included the Buckeyes in his top eight schools along with Texas A&M, Rutgers, Michigan State, Miami, Georgia, Texas and LSU. 

Over the last month, Bisontis has visited Rutgers and Michigan State. He plans to visit LSU this weekend. No visit to OSU has been scheduled for this spring as of yet. Bisontis told Eleven Warriors in late January that he planned on taking an official visit to Columbus in the spring then committing at the end of June after more official visits, but if Bisontis doesn’t make it to Columbus in the next few weeks, an official visit in June is always an option. 

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Bisontis is considered to be the 57th-best prospect and the sixth-best tackle in the 2023 class. While no visit has taken place yet, Bisontis was steadfast in late January that he plans to be back on campus at some point. 

“Ohio State is one of my top schools so I’m definitely going to be back there,” Bisontis said in January. “I’m definitely going to get back to Ohio State.” 

Weekend visit reactions

Here’s some other Twitter reactions you may have missed from notable prospects visiting Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ big recruiting weekend last week.

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