The Stokes Impact

With the month of June expected to bring some fireworks for the Buckeyes as many of the top recruiting targets will be visiting, Ohio State landed a bit of a surprise commitment on Sunday evening from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood three-star safety/athlete Kye Stokes. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect committed to the Buckeyes just six days after being offered a scholarship, becoming commitment No. 11 in the class.

As always, we popped on the film to take a look at what kind of player Ohio State just landed as well as looking at any potential fallout from this move.

Stokes’ Junior Film via hudl

What Ohio State is getting

Stokes fits the athletic profile of what the Buckeyes are looking for in a single-high safety type of role. At 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, he has an ideal frame for the position with good length and closing speed. Stokes’ film shows an instinctual player that closes well. One of the more intriguing things about him is that he has also had some success at wide receiver and those ball skills translate well to defense and in turning would-be PBU’s into interceptions.

Stokes has been one of the nation’s hottest prospects over the past handful of weeks. Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida, and Ohio State were among the recent offers and it looked as though his recruiting process was just really getting started before he abruptly ended things and committed to Ohio State.

This was a nice find for the Buckeyes who were joining the party right around the same time as some of the other Bluebloods. To be able to lock this up so quickly is a testament to Tony Alford’s work in this part of the Sunshine State as he has had a lot of success here over the years.

What it means for recruiting

Stokes is the first safety commitment in a class that will certainly have at least two safeties. Bill Greene and I recently speculated on our podcast that Ohio State would have room to take three if the Buckeyes were so inclined, but the number is most likely two at this point with several months to go to let that all play out.

While the Buckeyes find themselves very much in the mix for players like Xavier Nwankpa, Zion Branch, and Kamari Ramsey, those are three hotly contested national battles and Ohio State is opting to take a player that it really likes today and minimizing the risk factor involved in recruiting out-of-state prospects that are national recruiting battles.

The month of June should tell us a lot about just where things stand with those three players. Certainly Ohio State would still take Nwankpa or Branch today, but now the question becomes, would the Buckeyes still take both? That is a question that I’m sure the Ohio State staff would love to be forced to address at some point. But for now, the Buckeyes are on the board with one in the fold at one of the most critical areas of need in this 2022 cycle.