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C.J. Hicks on junior season, recruiting challenges, goal to bring in best class ever

C.J. Hicks has all the tools to make an impact right away on the field and he's definitely making one of it for Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football Recruiting

C.J. Hicks on junior season, recruiting challenges, goal to bring in best class ever

Ohio State football recruiting can be a wild ride full of twists and turns as recruits from all over the country maneuver their way to signing day. Lettermen Row is here to help navigate the tumultuous roads by getting to the heart of the matter with the young football players and Ohio State coaches and staff members themselves. This week the guest is CJ Hicks, a top-ranked linebacker prospect and the leader of the Buckeyes 2022 recruiting class.

It’s been almost a year since Ohio State offered Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter star C.J. Hicks, who was coming off a big sophomore season for the Knights. Hicks committed to the Buckeyes just a few weeks later.

In the time since, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker prospect has turned from recruit to recruiter, serving as de facto class-builder for Ohio State while also seeing his national profile change from regional star to a Top 40 prospect in the country. Hicks has emerged as one of the faces of the Ohio State 2022 class not only because of his game, but because he relishes every opportunity to promote his future program, doing it so well that he’s earned the moniker “Captain Buckeye” from recruiting analysts and even his peers.

He’s proven to be a leader on the field as well, earning defensive player of the year honors in the GCL and being named a second-team junior All-American following a stellar junior campaign.

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C.J. Hicks was first noticed by Ohio State at a summer camp after his freshman season. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Now, C.J. Hicks is putting the hat of recruiter back on and working overtime to try and bring the country’s best players to Ohio State with him. The goal is simple: to recruit the best class in the history of the internet recruiting era, a title that is now held by the 2021 Alabama recruiting class.

The future Buckeyes linebacker joined Birminology to discuss his goals for the class, his efforts to bring a state title to Archbishop Alter, his relationships with the Buckeyes and more.


Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for and and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.