Photo courtesy of Mark Jones – MaxPreps
Sunday morning the Buckeyes continued their recruiting hot streak with a huge commitment from Kyion Grayes. The four-star wideout comes from Chandler, Arizona and joins Caleb Burton as the 2nd receiver to commit in the ’22 cycle.
Brian Hartline has outdone himself yet again, this kid is an absolute STUD, and his comparisons to Chris Olave don’t seem to be too far off from what I’ve seen on tape. Willingness and ability to run over, around, and ultimately past anyone he’s lined up against make him a true threat from the receiver position. His route running is elite, and on the off chance his footwork and burner level speed don’t leave him wide open, his hands make him nearly unstoppable.
Now I say this next part entirely in jest, but at a 0.9472 rating in the 247 Composite Grayes finds himself as the lowest ranked OSU receiver since the 2018 class. If that doesn’t tell you just how stacked Ohio State is and will continue to be then I don’t know what to tell you.
Unfortunately, this was followed with news of Buckeye target Will Johnson announcing his commitment to Michigan. This was the trend over recent weeks so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but nonetheless this is a big loss for the Ohio State defense. Far and away the biggest issue we saw last season was the lack of depth in the secondary, and Johnson likely would’ve had the opportunity to make an impact on day one.
Will Johnson’s film is incredible, and from everything I’ve seen I expect him to be a big time player at the next level. Unfortunately though we have seen the Wolverines ruin five-star talent in the past, most recently with 2017’s top receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. Best of luck to Will, but I know I’ll be looking forward to seeing him added to the list of Wolverine grads to never win The Game.
One possible, yet highly unlikely option to fill the void in Coach Coombs’ secondary is former Clemson Senior CB Derion Kendrick. Kendrick has NFL size, and his draft stock was good enough for him to take the leap if he wanted to, but he instead opted to return for extra year of eligibility. In every element of on-field potential Kendrick is worth every bit of the time and effort in order to draw him into DBU.
The problem with Kendrick, and reason I believe this move won’t happen, is the circumstances under which he is available. Reports of his dismissal began flowing Sunday morning, and the university confirmed them early into the afternoon. He has missed games during his time in Clemson due to conduct detrimental to the team, and Ryan Day is notoriously keen on keeping a team oriented culture in Columbus. Though Kendrick is elite and would be a great on-field fit, I just can’t see Day taking the risk. I hope I’m wrong about this one and the behavioral issues are resolved as he acclimates in The Woody, but gut feeling tells me the staff will figure out another solution to the issues within the secondary.
The last bit of recruiting news that is intriguing is the de-commitment from Arik Gilbert. After announcing his decision to transfer to Florida, it took less than a month for the fifth ranked prospect from the 2020 class to re-enter the portal. Gilbert was one of the more impressive true-freshman last season, posting 35 receptions for 368 yards in the shortened season, and was a major component in LSU’s offense throughout the year.
Now, this is another highly unlikely move, but one that would add yet another piece for Ryan Day to scheme with. The departure of Luke Farrell leaves room for Gilbert to fill in for two TE sets, and would make the Buckeye offense deadlier than it is already stacking up to be. In adding Gilbert, you are essentially adding a two year player, leaving room for current options to stick around to fill Jeremy Ruckert’s spot next season, and Gilbert’s beyond that.
Now, this is the least likely of the two options as Gilbert is certainly good enough for the TE1 spot. Pulling him in would be one of Day’s biggest gets at the position in his time at OSU, but the far more likely option is we see him in the SEC again next season. The Marietta, Georgia native has been linked to his hometown Bulldogs, as well Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide.
Though the booms have seemed to slow down, Grayes was a huge grab for Ohio State, and I can’t wait to see what he’s able to do in his senior year and into his time in Columbus. In the meantime, this highlight tape is 100000% worth the watch, and will likely be the best 3 minutes of football you see all day. Welcome to Buckeye Nation, Kyion!