There is still some intrigue left to this 2022 Ohio State recruiting class, but the majority of the hay is now in the barn for the Buckeyes who signed 18 prospects this past week and are trending toward finishing with another Top Five recruiting class.
Let’s examine and grade how the Buckeyes have done so far at each position on the offensive side of the ball. As always, grades are determined by a variety of criteria including whether or not the Buckeyes signed the appropriate number at that position, the quality of the prospect(s) signed, and how highly/early the Ohio State staff prioritized the player(s) they signed.
What a wild ride quarterback recruiting was for the Buckeyes in 2022. Ohio State made Texas five-star Quinn Ewers its top target from very early on, initially missed on him and then ultimately flipped him from Texas. Then Ewers enrolled early, had a cup of coffee in Columbus, collected a big chunk of NIL money, and then skipped town and went back to Texas.
While most of that was going on, the Buckeyes were trying to add another quarterback to the room. The focus was put on in-state standout Drew Allar and Arizona native, turned Utah prep star Devin Brown, who was a long time USC commitment.
Landing a high end quarterback late in the process when you spent about a year not trying to recruit one in the class is about as tough of an ask as you’ll find on the recruiting trail. But Ohio State was able to flip Brown late in the process. Hard to believe a quarterback room can lose Quinn Ewers and Jack Miller and still look to be in excellent shape moving forward, but that is where the Buckeyes sit right now. Bonus points for being able to add a talent like Brown so late in the process with only a few months to really put into this from a relationship building standpoint.
Early on in the 2022 cycle there were questions about whether or not Ohio State would take two running backs in the class. Those were answered over the summer when it became clear the Buckeyes would take just one and that it would likely come from a group that included Pennsylvania star Nicholas Singleton, North Carolina’s Omarion Hampton, and Tennessee legacy prospect Dallan Hayden.
Hayden stepped up to the plate and grabbed his spot in the class just a couple of days after his official visit to Ohio State in June and the Buckeyes stopped recruiting the position at that point. Hayden is perhaps one of the more underrated prospects in this class for Ohio State after an outstanding high school career at Christian Brothers School in Memphis.
In a year where there wasn’t a Richard Young or TreVeyon Henderson type of top target, the Buckeyes snagged a player that was in that top tier of targets at the position the whole way and were able to avoid the drama that has hit at some other positions this cycle.
This is becoming the easiest position to grade every single year. Brian Hartline targets a handful of elite players and then gets most of them. Nothing to it, right?
Hartline once again has stockpiled an outstanding class. From landing big-time nationally ranked guys like Caleb Burton and Kojo Antwi, to finding an under-the-radar talent Kyion Grayes, to stealing Kaleb Brown from Michigan, Hartline has proven once again to not only be one of the nation’s top recruiters, but that he’s also not a star-chaser. Grayes feels like the next Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba type. The type of player that the Buckeyes targeted long before it was obvious that stardom was in their future.
This was a bit of an interesting position to follow this cycle. Ohio State entered the cycle looking for two tight ends, and then promptly received a couple of early pledges from Bennett Christian and Benji Gosnell. Gosnell would ultimately leave the class (signed with Virginia Tech this past week), but despite having several months to fill that spot, the Buckeyes opted to stick with just Christian in the class and have been trolling the transfer portal so far this month.
Christian seems like a really good fit for the Buckeyes who lacked that Luke Farrell, Jeff Heuerman, type of physical presence at the position this past season. Christian will give the Buckeyes a big bodied, traditional in-line tight end who can also be a capable pass catcher when called upon.
What once looked like a potentially elite offensive line class has stumbled a bit down the stretch. Ohio State needs to sign at least four prospects here and ideally would have been able to land five. Right now the Buckeyes sit at three, landing early in-state priority Tegra Tshabola, then picking up high upside offensive tackle George Fitzpatrick over the summer, before adding Ohio late bloomer Avery Henry this fall.
There could be some help on the way during the late period, however, as long-time priority target Carson Hinzman is still struggling with a decision that will come down to either the Buckeyes or his home state Wisconsin Badgers. Hinzman is an excellent player in a vacuum, but he becomes even more important than his ranking might indicate given the need in this class for 4-5 and with the current signees likely need a couple of years of prep to get ready for Big Ten football.
Right now, this position would probably be a C or C-, but Hinzman’s decision, along with any other potential additions, could change that and so we’ll revisit this one in February when all of the dust has settled.