Eighth-Grader Chris Henry Jr. Picks Up Ohio State Offer, Nigel Smith and Dylan Stewart Stand Out at OSU’s Second Camp

By Garrick Hodge on June 6, 2022 at 6:53 pm
Chris Henry Jr.

Monday’s Ohio State camp may not have produced nearly as many offers as its first camp did Wednesday, but there were still several standout performances to recap. 

The lone offer of the day went out to eighth-grade wide receiver Chris Henry Jr., the son of the late Chris Henry, who played five professional seasons at wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. This may be the second time in as many weeks we’ve written about an eighth-grader at Eleven Warriors, but it's certainly not without good reason. 

Henry Jr. is the second recruit from the 2026 cycle to receive an offer from Ohio State, joining defensive end Tyler Atkinson in picking up offers before either played a snap of high school football. It was his fifth offer he’s picked up so far, with his most notable other offer being West Virginia, his father’s alma mater.

"It feels great," Henry Jr. said of receiving his OSU offer. "It just makes me want to work harder."

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound prospect blazed past most of the defensive backs he matched up against in one-on-one drills Monday, hauling in two touchdowns. A fun tidbit: Henry Jr. currently lives with Adam “Pacman” Jones, his father’s former teammate at WVU.

Two Ohio State targets and top-100 players in the 2024 cycle who already held OSU offers before Monday dominated the morning session: four-star defensive ends Nigel Smith and Dylan Stewart

On his third visit to Ohio State, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Smith said he wanted to camp at OSU to learn from Larry Johnson. 

“I don’t understand why some guys think that camping is just for no reason,” Smith said. “With a dude like that, there’s no reason not to come out here and get better. All you can do is learn. His knowledge is just so deep.”

Smith lined up at both inside and outside positions during one-on-ones, but said Larry Johnson believes he’ll play on the edge at the collegiate level. Smith was the highest-rated national prospect to camp at Ohio State Monday, as he’s considered the 41st-best player in 247Sports’ composite rankings.  

Stewart’s trip to Columbus was his first since the Buckeyes offered him in January. Ohio State has told Stewart they see him playing a Chase Young type of role in college. 

“We have the same body type,” Stewart said after the camp.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Stewart said his interest in Ohio State is a “10” and that he hopes to make a gameday visit to Columbus this fall. Stewart looked like the most athletic prospect in the morning session, winning various one-on-one matchups.

Last week, Ohio State commit Will Smith Jr. told Eleven Warriors he was going to attend six Ohio State one-day camps. True to his word, the 2023 defensive tackle prospect was back at it again on Monday. Once again, he looked sharp in winner-loser matchups. 

While 2025 defensive lineman Austin Alexander didn’t earn an offer from the Buckeyes on Monday, he established himself as a prospect worth watching in the future. Alexander showed off excellent speed and athleticism in drills, catching the attention of Johnson several times. 

Genetics are definitely on Alexander’s side, as he is the nephew of former Alabama running back and NFL MVP Shaun Alexander. 

“He's very strong and faith-based,” Alexander said of his relationship with his uncle. “So he's just allowed me to grow my faith getting to be with him. You know, everything’s about prayer and just trusting God. So this whole recruiting process, like it's cool if it picks up, but I mean God has a plan for me. So whenever he has, that's what I’m down for.”

The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Alexander has two Division I offers so far: Liberty and Eastern Kentucky. He said adding Ohio State to that list eventually would be a blessing.

“It would be excellent, I would love that,” Alexander said. “The culture here is excellent and how they present themselves is great. And then to just play for coach Johnson, that's a dream, because he's just an amazing coach.” 

Three-star 2024 tight end Luca Puccinelli made several nice catches in drills under the supervision of Kevin Wilson during the afternoon session. Puccinelli was making his second trip to Ohio State after visiting Columbus on April 2 to watch a spring practice.

He said Wilson’s biggest advice during his workout was to improve his cuts on his routes and improving his route running in general. 

Two 2025 tight ends caught the Buckeyes’ eye in addition to Puccinelli: 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect Ryan Ghea and 6-foot-2, 220-pound Emaree Winston. Both could be worth monitoring in the future.

Ohio State will hold another high school football camp, its third of the year, on Tuesday.

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