The Simpson-Hunt Impact

Ohio State keeps rolling on the recruiting trail. After a week of big commitments at the wide receiver position, the Buckeyes have been piling up the defensive back commits this week. The latest came Thursday afternoon when Waxahachie (Texas) cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt decommitted from Texas Tech and promptly committed to the Buckeyes. Ohio State now has three corners in its 2023 recruiting class.

What Ohio State is getting

Simpson-Hunt has been a fast riser in recruiting circles in recent months and came on the radar a bit later for the Buckeyes than most of the other commits and targets. But Simpson-Hunt has a great athletic profile. At 6-feet tall and with sub 10.7 speed in the 100-meters and sub 22-second speed in the 200 meters, Simpson-Hunt has a unique blend of size, length and top end speed.

While maybe not as refined as previous cornerback commits like Dijon Johnson and Kayin Lee, Simpson-Hunt’s athletic profile is just as good, if not better. This is the type of body and athleticism that Ohio State saw out of past recruits like Gareon Conley and Denzel Burke, guys who might have had some growth and learning to do to become pure cornerbacks, but that had tremendous physical tools to work with.

With Conley, that took some time, but he eventually turned into a standout player for the Buckeyes and a first round draft pick. With Burke, the returns came much earlier than expected as the sophomore-to-be had one of the better freshman campaigns in recent memory for a Buckeye defender.

Can Simpson-Hunt blossom into that type of player? Again, he certainly has the physical profile to do that. He’ll need to get stronger and improve his technique, but learning under someone like Tim Walton, with all of his NFL experience, should help him reach his potential.

Ultimately, I think Simpson-Hunt is probably going to arrive at Ohio State as the least college ready of this outstanding group of corners that the Buckeyes are bringing in, but his ceiling will be just as high.

What it means for recruiting

Ohio State now has three cornerback commits in this 2023 class, but the Buckeyes are likely not done yet. A complete retooling of the defensive secondary is taking place before our very eyes in this class as the Buckeyes are loading up at safety and corner and this is now looking like a four corner class for Tim Walton and Company.

But it shouldn’t take too long to figure out how this class of corners is going to shape up. On Friday, Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods star Jermaine Mathews is going to announce his decision. The Buckeyes offered Mathews after a dominant June camp performance and could be capping things off at corner if they land his pledge. My pick is on the Buckeyes to make that happen which should put a bow on cornerback recruiting, barring a decommitment or unexpected attrition.

For someone getting thrown back into recruiting after several years in the NFL, Tim Walton has assembled a really strong group of cornerbacks here and one that should help quickly replenish a numbers-depleted room after attrition and past recruiting misses.