Twenty prospects signed with Ohio State – 10 on offense and 10 on defense. With the signing class now finalized, it’s time to have some fun and hand out superlatives to players in the fifth-ranked signing class nationally, per 247Sports.
- Player most likely to have the best career at Ohio State: Brandon Inniss. This feels almost like cheating, considering he’s the highest-rated player in the 247Sports composite ranking Ohio State signed and its lone five-star recruit. But it would be nearly impossible to pick anyone other than him, considering he’s one of the most college-ready wide receivers in the 2023 class. Inniss may have to wait his turn to be a significant contributor to OSU’s offense considering the sheer depth the Buckeyes have at that position. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him receive snaps in blowout wins similar to Marvin Harrison Jr. in 2021 before breaking out in 2022. Inniss screams future first-round NFL Draft pick with his vast array of tools, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of his fellow wide receiver commits join him walking across the stage in three to four years.
Its time https://t.co/z0Aa6PcoA3
— Brandon Inniss (@brandon5star2) December 21, 2022
- Most underrated player: Austin Siereveld. My sincerest apologies to Kayden McDonald, who I consider the runner-up for this superlative (but we’ll get to him in a bit anyway). It’s impossible for me not to pick Siereveld, even though his 247Sports composite ranking is 249 nationally. Of the four offensive linemen signees, Siereveld has the biggest frame, currently standing at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. He was determined to win his one-on-one matchup against any player he lined up against, whether on the offensive line or defensive line. Off the field, Siereveld is a reserved, mild-mannered guy. On the field, he plays with one of the biggest mean streaks in the 2023 class, as evidenced by getting into a minor spat with his friend and fellow commit Malik Hartford when their schools faced each other in the fall. Plus, he’s a lineman that can causally punt the ball 50-plus yards. How is this dude not a future first-team All-Big Ten guard?
Let’s go!!!! Go Bucks https://t.co/iLirFYAyOK
— Austin Siereveld (@SiereveldAustin) December 21, 2022
- Player most likely to play a big role immediately: Jermaine Matthews or Calvin Simpson-Hunt. Maybe this prediction is slightly in flux because the flipping of Kayin Lee to Auburn may mean the Buckeyes hit the transfer portal hard to land a veteran cornerback. Still, that appears to be the thinnest position for Ohio State in 2023, with uncertainty looming over who will start at cornerback opposite Denzel Burke. This year, the second cornerback spot has been a mix between Cameron Brown, JK Johnson, Jyaire Brown and Jordan Hancock due to injuries and inconsistent performances. Day has also shown a tendency to let freshmen cornerbacks play immediately if he feels they’re capable of contributing early, such as starting Burke as a true freshman in 2021 and letting Brown see snaps in 2022. Mathews and Simpson-Hunt project to be legit lockdown cornerbacks and already seem relatively college ready. It wouldn’t be a surprise for them to fight their way on the field sooner rather than later.
— Jermaine Mathews Jr (@Jr2Maine) December 22, 2022
- Player most likely to be a future team captain: Luke Montgomery. I mean, could it be anyone else? Montgomery took over the peer recruiting role in 2023 that CJ Hicks played for the 2022 class and is one of the most vocal signees of the entire group. Montgomery has a leadership presence that people are naturally drawn towards, and he has gone out of his way to improve his craft on the field and make potential targets feel welcome at Ohio State. Montgomery has the makings of a player that is given the Block 0 honor someday, and the Buckeyes will undoubtedly benefit from his presence.
Great class super excited to be apart of the brotherhood here! We want kids that want to be here for the right reasons and we got that! Special place for sure! Go Bucks
— Luke Montgomery (@lukeMonty8) December 21, 2022
- Player most likely to line up somewhere that’s not his natural position: Kayden McDonald. Maybe I’m speaking this into existence, but I am begging Ryan Day to at least consider creating a goal line package for the 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle as a running back. In his senior season at North Gwinnett, McDonald ran for 409 yards on 77 carries with 11 touchdowns. Now, I’m not exactly saying he will have a Cade Stover-esqe trajectory where he (temporarily) changes positions full-time. However, opposing linebackers would groan when they saw McDonald run on the field to tote the rock.
— Kristi Green (@KristiGreen_) December 21, 2022
- Player with the weirdest introduction to the Ohio State fanbase: Cedrick Hawkins. This one is more of a chance to look back rather than look forward, but it’s going to be hard for me to ever forget where I was when Hawkins committed to the Buckeyes. The answer? The north end zone of Rose Bowl Stadium taking photographs during the second quarter of the Buckeyes’ eventual Rose Bowl win over Utah. In my two years at Eleven Warriors, it’s the strangest commitment announcement I can remember. Typically when a player commits, readers of our site usually have a comment resembling something like “BOOM” or “welcome to the brotherhood” or “love how this guy plays!” You get the idea. I remember about 75 percent of both mine and Eleven Warriors’ social media mentions resembled something like, “great, can he play the second half?” as the Ohio State defense was being torn to shreds by the Utes. The commitment was also strangely notable because almost no recruiting expert saw it coming, as Hawkins hadn’t been publicly linked to Ohio State since he camped in Columbus earlier that summer. While his commitment was noteworthy, the rest of the recruitment was relatively quiet, as Hawkins visited Columbus several times and signed promptly on Wednesday. The Florida prospect will now work on making a notable name for himself in the Scarlet and Gray rather than just his story of how he got there.
— Ced (@cedrick_hawkins) December 21, 2022