Ohio State added another big piece to its top-ranked 2022 recruiting class on Sunday morning, plucking four-star wide receiver Kyion Grayes out of Chandler (AZ). The Buckeyes now have 11 commitments in the 2022 class and Brian Hartline continues to roll on the recruiting trail.
What Ohio State is getting
Ohio State continues to recruit the wide receiver position as well as any school in America and Brian Hartline’s ability to close on prospects both near and far geographically has him on the short list of the nation’s top recruiters.
Once again there is a lot to like about Hartline’s latest big win on the trail. Grayes has good size at 6-foot-1 and is a definite threat in the vertical passing game. He has good explosiveness and has that unique ability to sort of glide as he tracks the football without slowing down. Being able to run past people and being able to track the football are two very different skills and Grayes is one of those guys who has both of them.
What adds to the overall package with Grayes is that, much like we’ve seen out of guys like Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, he has the ability to line up at pretty much any receiver spot. Grayes has been working out of the slot quite a bit on the 7-on-7 circuit and has the short area quickness as well as the toughness to play inside at the next level. This type of versatility is invaluable as having players that can be inside or outside threats allows the Buckeyes to get their best receivers on the field together as we saw this season with Garrett Wilson’s move to the H.
Finally, Grayes is one of those prospects who keeps getting better. These later developing players seem to have a really high success rate once they get to a college campus but you really like to see the leaps he has made from sophomore to junior season and he is already having a fantastic off-season with his senior year still several months away. This is a player that just continues to improve in all areas of his game.
If we’re going to nitpick, Grayes will need to get stronger before he’s ready for the Big Show. At about 170-pounds, Grayes is a little thin at this point and will need to get a little bigger and stronger to deal with press coverages as well as giving him that extra bulk to potentially play in the slot and have to make those tough catches between the hashes.
What it means for recruiting
Ohio State would generally like to sign three wide receiver prospects in every class and the Buckeyes now have two top targets committed in Grayes and Texas standout Caleb Burton. Brian Hartline has taken a very concentrated approach to recruiting over the past couple of cycles, zeroing in on a select group of targets and really trying to focus his time and energy on those prospects.
So far that has worked out extremely well for him and having two in the fold already in this cycle will allow him to continue to operate that way. While the most likely number in this class is probably three, it could get pushed to four if there is a certain level of attrition via transfer and early entry into the NFL Draft. But either way, Hartline now has 10+ months left to pursue his top guys for 1-2 remaining spots.
Look for players like Kojo Antwi and C.J. Williams to get a big push from Hartline, Ryan Day, and the offensive staff this spring and summer as the Buckeyes try to get those two players on campus. Generally there is a receiver or two that emerges during the Spring or Summer as well that catches the eye of the coaching staff but with limited evaluation opportunities on the horizon, it’s hard to know if that will hold true again this cycle.
Grayes also continues to ascend up the rankings, giving even more of a boost for the Buckeyes in their quest to land the nation’s top recruiting class in the 2022 cycle. Right now Ohio State is off to a fantastic start to such a goal but there is a long way to go between now and Signing Day.