If you’re looking for a reason to believe Ohio State will win the national championship this season, it all starts with the talent that’s spread throughout the roster.
As has consistently been the case at Ohio State in recent memory, the Buckeyes once again have one of the best rosters in college football entering the 2022 season. Ohio State is one of just two teams in college football this year, along with Alabama, with a “blue-chip ratio” of at least 80 percent – meaning that four out of every five scholarship players who signed with the Buckeyes out of high school were either four- or five-star recruits.
The Buckeyes have assembled that talent by bringing in players from all over the country and even from three different continents.
Thanks to the extra year of eligibility that all NCAA athletes received in 2020, Ohio State’s 2022 roster includes players from seven different recruiting classes. More importantly, it includes an increased number of players from last season who have already seen a significant amount of playing time for the Buckeyes, and that experience could be key for Ohio State in big games.
Ohio State’s 2022 roster includes 14 sets of players who also played at the same high school, and 10 sets of players who will require us to use more than just their last names to identify them.
We did the math on exactly how Ohio State stacks up in all of those categories for a closer look at the Buckeyes’ roster entering the 2022 season.
For the purposes of this article, the roster only includes players who were listed on Ohio State’s official 120-man roster as of Sunday, Aug. 13. It does not include USC transfer kicker Parker Lewis, who remains absent from the roster while his eligibility gets sorted out, or any walk-ons who could potentially be added to the roster following the conclusion of preseason camp. All recruiting ratings referenced are from 247Sports’ composite rankings.
|PARIS JOHNSON JR.||OT||0.9953|
|PALAIE GAOTEOTE IV||LB||0.9926|
With seven composite five-star recruits on each side of the ball, led by three five-star wide receivers and three five-star defensive ends, there’s no shortage of top-end talent on the Buckeyes’ roster. Ohio State has at least one five-star recruit at just about every offensive and defensive position group with the exception of tight end on offense and cornerback on defense.
Ohio State has two fewer total five-star recruits on its roster than it did in 2021, when the Buckeyes brought in seven freshmen and a transfer (Palaie Gaoteote) who were five-star prospects out of high school, but it will likely have a higher percentage of its five-stars playing major roles this season.
Offensively, TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba both established themselves as stars last season while Paris Johnson Jr. and Donovan Jackson will make up the left side of Ohio State’s 2022 offensive line. Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka, who are currently battling for the third starting spot at receiver, are both potential breakout stars this season, while Kyle McCord will be Ohio State’s No. 2 quarterback.
Defensively, the five-star trio of J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer and Zach Harrison are expected to lead the Buckeyes’ pass-rush while Ohio State is hoping Taron Vincent puts his five-star talent on full display as a starting defensive tackle this year. C.J. Hicks and Sonny Styles, the only five-stars in this year’s freshman class, aren’t expected to play major roles on defense immediately but will be players to watch as the 2022 season progresses.
|GEE SCOTT JR.||TE||0.9702|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||0.9583|
More than 60 percent of Ohio State’s current scholarship players were composite four-star recruits out of high school, including many of the best and most important players on the Buckeyes’ roster, as the Buckeyes have exactly 52 four-stars on the roster for the third year in a row.
That group includes C.J. Stroud, although he was very close to being a five-star recruit. In fact, the only four-star recruit on Ohio State’s roster who finished with a higher composite rating was Brown, as all three of the Buckeyes’ scholarship quarterbacks rank among the 16 highest-rated recruits on the team.
Other four-star recruits who are in line to play major roles for the Buckeyes this season include Josh Proctor and Ronnie Hickman at safety, Matt Jones and Luke Wypler on the offensive line, Marvin Harrison Jr. at wide receiver, Cade Stover at tight end, Denzel Burke and Cameron Brown at cornerback and Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg at linebacker, among others.
This year’s four-star contingent includes nearly every member of Ohio State’s 2022 recruiting class, as 18 of the Buckeyes’ 21 scholarship freshmen finished their recruiting cycle as four-star prospects.
With so many blue-chip recruits on the team, Ohio State’s 2022 roster includes only 17 players who finished their high school careers as three-star recruits – and two of them, Xavier Johnson and Toby Wilson, are walk-ons who chose to pay their own way to play for the Buckeyes despite scholarship offers from other FBS schools.
While most of the Buckeyes who will be on the field this year were four- and five-star recruits, there are several three-star recruits who are expected to be impact players for the Buckeyes this season, such as starting right tackle Dawand Jones, No. 2 running back Miyan Williams, rotational nose tackle Ty Hamilton and Oklahoma State transfer safety Tanner McCalister (who received a four-star transfer rating from 247Sports even though he was a three-star high school prospect).
Ohio State also has one scholarship player who was a two-star recruit: Noah Ruggles, who was the 18th-ranked kicker in the 2017 recruiting class. Jake Seibert, the highest-rated recruit among Ohio State’s specialists, is currently practicing as a cornerback even though he was recruited as a kicker; Mirco is the only one of Ohio State’s current starting specialists who was a three-star recruit.
|*On scholarship now|
Ohio State’s current 120-man roster includes 38 players who began their Buckeye careers as walk-ons, although Mitch Rossi is now on scholarship. Rossi is expected to continue seeing regular playing time in Ohio State’s offense as a tight end/fullback.
Other walk-ons who are in line for playing time this year are Bradley Robinson, who is entering his third season as Ohio State’s starting long snapper, and Xavier Johnson, who has already been a core player on special teams for multiple seasons and is making a real push for playing time at wide receiver.
Fourteen of the Buckeyes’ current walk-ons are in their first year on the roster: Quarterbacks Mason Maggs and Chad Ray, running back Chase Brecht and TC Caffey, wide receivers David Adolph, Blaise Exline and Kai Saunders, tight end Riordin Stauffer, defensive lineman Zack Cicero, linebackers Elias Myers and Jay Stoker, cornerbacks Dianté Griffin and Colin Kaufmann and safety Brenten Jones.
Seven of Ohio State’s walk-ons are sons of former Ohio State football players. Dianté Griffin (son of Andre Griffin and grandson of Archie Griffin) and Zak Herbstreit (son of Kirk Herbstreit and grandson of Jim Herbstreit) are third-generation Buckeyes, while Patrick Gurd (son of Andy), Mason Maggs (son of Bob), Jalen Pace (son of Orlando) and Cayden and Kai Saunders (sons of Cedric) are second-generation Buckeyes. They join scholarship freshman Sonny Styles, a son of former Ohio State linebacker Lorenzo Styles, as legacy players on the Buckeyes’ roster.
Players by High School Class
|2017||3||JERRON CAGE, MITCH ROSSI, NOAH RUGGLES|
|2018||12||KAMRYN BABB, CAMERON BROWN, TYLER FRIDAY, PALAIE GAOTEOTE, JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE, XAVIER JOHNSON, MATT JONES, TANNER MCCALISTER, LLOYD MCFARQUHAR, TERADJA MITCHELL, JOSH PROCTOR, TARON VINCENT|
|2019||11||STEELE CHAMBERS, TOMMY EICHENBERG, ZACH HARRISON, RONNIE HICKMAN, DAWAND JONES, JADEN MCKENZIE, ELIAS MYERS, MICHAEL O’SHAUGHNESSY, RYAN SMITH, CADE STOVER, ENOKK VIMAHI|
|2020||26||QUINTON BURKE, JULIAN FLEMING, JACK FORSMAN, JOSH FRYAR, PATRICK GURD, TY HAMILTON, JAKOB JAMES, PARIS JOHNSON JR., CAMERON KITTLE, TREY LEROUX, CAMERON MARTINEZ, MITCHELL MELTON, ANDREW MOORE, LATHAN RANSOM, CHAD RAY, JOE ROYER, GEE SCOTT JR., JAKE SEIBERT, CODY SIMON, JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA, C.J. STROUD, GRANT TOUTANT, CHIP TRAYANUM, KOURT WILLIAMS, MIYAN WILLIAMS, LUKE WYPLER|
|2021||34||MASON ARNOLD, JAYDEN BALLARD, DENZEL BURKE, REID CARRICO, BEN CHRISTMAN, ZACK CICERO, CORBAN CLEVELAND, JANTZEN DUNN, EMEKA EGBUKA, MIKE HALL, JORDAN HANCOCK, MARVIN HARRISON JR., SAM HART, TREVEYON HENDERSON, ZAK HERBSTREIT, DONOVAN JACKSON, JAYLEN JOHNSON, JK JOHNSON, JACKSON KUWATCH, MAX LOMONICO, KYLE MCCORD, ZEN MICHALSKI, JESSE MIRCO, JOOP MITCHELL, JALEN PACE, BRYCE PRATER, ZACH PRATER, EVAN PRYOR, CAYDEN SAUNDERS, JACK SAWYER, REIS STOCKSDALE, J.T. TUIMOLOAU, TYLEIK WILLIAMS, TOBY WILSON|
|2022||33||DAVID ADOLPH, OMARI ABOR, KOJO ANTWI, CHASE BRECHT, DEVIN BROWN, JYAIRE BROWN, KALEB BROWN, CALEB BURTON, TC CAFFEY, BENNETT CHRISTIAN, CADEN CURRY, BLAIZE EXLINE, JAYDEN FIELDING, GEORGE FITZPATRICK, KYION GRAYES, DIANTÉ GRIFFIN, DALLAN HAYDEN, C.J. HICKS, AVERY HENRY, CARSON HINZMAN, KENYATTA JACKSON, HERO KANU, BRENTEN JONES, COLIN KAUFMANN, MASON MAGGS, GABE POWERS, KAI SAUNDERS, RIORDIN STAUFFER, JAY STOKER, KYE STOKES, SONNY STYLES, TEGRA TSHABOLA, RYAN TURNER|
Thanks to Robinson returning to Ohio State for a rare seventh year of eligibility, Ohio State has players from seven different recruiting classes on its 2022 roster. Robinson, sixth-year seniors Jerron Cage, Mitch Rossi and Noah Ruggles and fifth-year seniors Tanner McCalister and Teradja Mitchell are all “super seniors” who would have already exhausted their NCAA eligibility if not for the extra year everyone received in 2020.
Even with those super seniors, only 27 of Ohio State’s 120 players are in their fourth year of college football or later. The Buckeyes actually have fewer fourth-years than they do fifth-years, as only eight scholarship players remain from the Buckeyes’ recruiting class of 2019 while they still have 10 scholarship players from the 2018 class (including two transfers in Gaotete and McCalister).
More than half of the players on Ohio State’s 2022 roster are in either their first or second year of college football, including 21 scholarship players from both the 2021 and 2022 classes as well as at least a dozen walk-ons from both classes. Twenty of the Buckeyes’ 26 third-year players are on scholarship.
30 Players with 300+ Snaps Played
|PARIS JOHNSON JR.||OT||794|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||255|
|*All/some snaps played at other schools|
Not including special teams snaps, 30 players on Ohio State’s roster have already played at least 250 career snaps of college football entering the 2022 season. That includes 26 players who have already played at least 300 snaps at the collegiate level, six more than the Buckeyes had entering 2021.
That list includes three players who have played most or all of their snaps to date at different schools. McCalister is Ohio State’s most experienced player by far entering the 2022 season, having played 1,849 career snaps according to Pro Football Focus, but all of those snaps were played at Oklahoma State, where he was coached by new Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles for the last four years. All of Chip Trayanum’s 304 career snaps so far have been as a running back at Arizona State, while Gaoteote played only 78 defensive snaps in his first year at Ohio State after playing 857 snaps in three seasons at USC.
Steele Chambers’ 475 career snaps include 52 snaps at running back before he moved to linebacker, while Cade Stover’s 311 career snaps include 82 plays on the defensive side of the ball.
Among players who have been at Ohio State for their entire college careers, Zach Harrison is the only Buckeye who has played more than 1,000 snaps going into the 2022 season. The next six players who have played the most snaps in an Ohio State uniform are all on the offensive side of the ball. Overall, however, Ohio State has 19 players on defense who have played at least 250 collegiate snaps compared to just 11 on offense.
26 States and Three Countries
|OHIO||52||DAVID ADOLPH, JAYDEN BALLARD, CHASE BRECHT, QUINTON BURKE, TC CAFFEY, JERRON CAGE, REID CARRICO, BEN CHRISTMAN, ZACH CICERO, TOMMY EICHENBERG, BLAIZE EXLINE, JACK FORSMAN, DIANTE GRIFFIN, PATRICK GURD, MIKE HALL, TY HAMILTON, ZACH HARRISON, AVERY HENRY, C.J. HICKS, JAKOB JAMES, JAYLEN JOHNSON, XAVIER JOHNSON, PARIS JOHNSON JR., BRENTON JONES, COLIN KAUFMANN, CAMERON KITTLE, AUSTIN KUTSCHER, JACKSON KUWATCH, TREY LEROUX, MAX LOMONICO, MASON MAGGS, LLOYD MCFARQUHAR, JOOP MITCHELL, ANDREW MOORE, ELIAS MYERS, MICHAEL O’SHAUGHNESSY, GABE POWERS, BRYCE PRATER, ZACH PRATER, CHAD RAY, JOE ROYER, JACK SAWYER, JAKE SEIBERT, RYAN SMITH, REIS STOCKSDALE, JAY STOKER, CADE STOVER, SONNY STYLES, CHIP TRAYANUM, TEGRA TSHABOLA, MIYAN WILLIAMS, TOBY WILSON|
|TEXAS||7||OMARI ABOR, CALEB BURTON, CORBAN CLEVELAND, JAYDEN FIELDING, DONOVAN JACKSON, TANNER MCCALISTER, JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA|
|FLORIDA||5||MASON ARNOLD, KENYATTA JACKSON, NOAH RUGGLES, KYE STOKES, RYAN TURNER|
|MICHIGAN||5||CAMERON MARTINEZ, BRADLEY ROBINSON, CAYDEN SAUNDERS, KAI SAUNDERS, GRANT TOUTANT|
|GEORGIA||4||KOJO ANTWI, STEELE CHAMBERS, BENNETT CHRISTIAN, JORDAN HANCOCK|
|INDIANA||4||CADEN CURRY, JOSH FRYAR, DAWAND JONES, ZEN MICHALSKI|
|MISSOURI||4||KAMRYN BABB, CAMERON BROWN, JK JOHNSON, JALEN PACE|
|NEW JERSEY||4||TYLER FRIDAY, RONNIE HICKMAN, CODY SIMON, LUKE WYPLER|
|ARIZONA||3||DENZEL BURKE, KYION GRAYES, LATHAN RANSOM|
|PENNSYLVANIA||3||JULIAN FLEMING, MARVIN HARRISON JR., KYLE MCCORD|
|TENNESSEE||3||DALLAN HAYDEN, ZAK HERBSTREIT, MITCH ROSSI|
|VIRGINIA||3||TREVEYON HENDERSON, TERADJA MITCHELL, TYLEIK WILLIAMS|
|WASHINGTON||3||EMEKA EGBUKA, GEE SCOTT JR., J.T. TUIMOLOAU|
|CALIFORNIA||2||C.J. STROUD, KOURT WILLIAMS|
|COLORADO||2||GEORGE FITZPATRICK, SAM HART|
|MARYLAND||2||MITCHELL MELTON, TARON VINCENT|
|NEW YORK||2||JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE, MATT JONES|
|NORTH CAROLINA||2||JADEN MCKENZIE, EVAN PRYOR|
Ohio State’s roster for the 2022 season is as geographically diverse of a roster as the Buckeyes have ever had, featuring players from 26 different states as well as three different continents
As expected, Ohio is by far the most well-represented state, making up 43.3% of the current 120-man roster. Despite its distance from Ohio, Texas is the second-most-represented state, followed by Florida (which is on track to become the second-most-represented state on the roster next year with five commits in the 2023 class) and the state up north.
Illinois, Louisiana, Utah and Wisconsin are all new additions to the states represented on Ohio State’s roster with the arrivals of freshmen Kaleb Brown, Jyaire Brown, Devin Brown and Carson Hinzman. Europe becomes the third continent represented on Ohio State’s roster with the addition of German defensive tackle Hero Kanu, though California can also claim Kanu after moving to the United States to play two years of high school at Rancho Santa Margarita.
14 High Schools with Multiple Buckeyes
|LAKOTA WEST||WEST CHESTER, OHIO||JYAIRE BROWN, JACKSON KUWATCH, TEGRA TSHABOLA|
|PICKERINGTON CENTRAL||PICKERINGTON, OHIO||TY HAMILTON, MAX LOMONICO, SONNY STYLES|
|CHAMINADE-MADONNA PREP||HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA||KENYATTA JACKSON, RYAN TURNER|
|CHRISTIAN BROTHERS COLLEGE||ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI||KAMRYN BABB, CAMERON BROWN|
|DUBLIN JEROME||DUBLIN, OHIO||DAVID ADOLPH, CADE KACHERSKI|
|EASTSIDE CATHOLIC||SAMMAMISH, WASHINGTON||GEE SCOTT JR., J.T. TUIMOLOAU|
|ELDER||CINCINNATI, OHIO||JAKOB JAMES, JOE ROYER|
|IMG ACADEMY||BRADENTON, FLORIDA||JAYDEN FIELDING, TARON VINCENT|
|NEW ALBANY||NEW ALBANY, OHIO||PATRICK GURD, MICHAEL O’SHAUGHNESSY|
|NORTHVILLE||NORTHVILLE, MICHIGAN||CAIDEN SAUNDERS, KAI SAUNDERS|
|OLENTANGY LIBERTY||POWELL, OHIO||CHASE BRECHT, JACK FORSMAN|
|RIDGEWOOD||WEST LAFAYETTE, OHIO||BRYCE PRATER, ZACH PRATER|
|ST. JOSEPH’S PREP||PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA||KYLE MCCORD, MARVIN HARRISON JR.|
|WINTON WOODS||CINCINNATI, OHIO||JERRON CAGE, MIYAN WILLIAMS|
Lakota West and Pickerington Central were both featured in our Buckeye Pipelines series this offseason, and they are the top high school pipelines on Ohio State‘s 2022 roster following the additions of Lakota West’s Jyaire Brown (who spent most of his childhood in Louisiana but moved to Cincinnati for his final two years of high school) and Tegra Tshabola and Pickerington Central’s Sonny Styles.
Notably, the list of high schools with multiple players on this year’s roster includes six high schools located outside Ohio – the furthest being Eastside Catholic High School all the way out in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington.
At least three high schools on this list are set to add to their lineage of Buckeyes next year with players already committed to Ohio State’s 2023 class: Lakota West (Malik Hartford), IMG Academy (Carnell Tate) and Winton Woods (Jermaine Mathews).
Buckeyes with Shared Last Names
|BROWN||4||CAMERON, DEVIN, JYAIRE, KALEB|
|JOHNSON||4||JAYLEN, JK, PARIS, XAVIER|
|JONES||3||BRENTON, DAWAND, MATT|
|WILLIAMS||3||KOURT, MIYAN, TYLEIK|
There’s no real point to make here; this one’s just for fun, and for those of us who write about the Buckeyes to remind ourselves to specify both first and last names when writing about these players.
With the arrival of Devin, Jyaire and Kaleb Brown, their shared last name is now tied with Johnson for the most-represented last name on Ohio State’s roster, followed closely by Jones and Williams.
Among players on the roster with the same last names, the only ones who are actually related are brothers Bryce and Zach Prater (who are twins) and Cayden and Kai Saunders (who are one year apart).