Whether or not there are there ‘must get’ prospects in recruiting is up for debate but there’s no doubt that some recruits are, for whatever reason, more important for Ohio State in a specific recruiting cycle. For the Buckeyes and the Class of 2022, those players are becoming clear. Who’s on The List? The first name to know is Kiyaunta Goodwin, a huge offensive lineman with NFL potential.
With a number of the country’s best skill players lining up for a chance to play in the Ohio State offense, the need for big-time, ready-to-play offensive linemen is bigger than ever for the program in the 2022 cycle.
That’s why Kiyaunta Goodwin — a massive, 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle prospect — is one of the most important uncommitted prospects for Ohio State’s recruiting class right now. Simply put, there are a lot of big-time quarterbacks, running backs and receivers ready to go in Columbus, so there has to be road-grading type linemen leading the way.
Kiyaunta Goodwin fits that bill.
A year ago, that wasn’t entirely the case. Goodwin weighed nearly 400 pounds in January of 2020. Had he not made some real adjustments, he could have taken himself out of many recruiting conversations. Instead, he turned up the heat on his own workouts and showed a tenacity and work-ethic that changed his present and his future.
“I realized that I have been blessed with a gift, and I wasn’t honoring what God gave me,” Goodwin told Lettermen Row about his transformation last year. “I also want to use football to get my education and open up doors for me, so one day I can take care of my mother.
“I feel like a completely different person. I’m able to run and move so much better and bend a lot better. I never knew how much bad weight I was carrying until now. Also, I have been putting better foods into my body, so I have a lot more energy.”
That energy has translated to the recruiting trail. Ohio State has maintained its position as one of his early favorites, but Alabama, Clemson, Kentucky and a host of others are pushing his recruitment from a regional battle to a national one. The Buckeyes have struggled in recent years to win those recruiting battles, especially on out-of-state prospects without Ohio ties. Greg Studrawa couldn’t wrap up on a pair of major tackles in the No. 2-ranked Ohio State 2021 class, losing out on key targets like J.C. Latham and Tristan Leigh to Alabama and Clemson, respectively.
That has to be corrected in 2022, and there’s no one that makes more sense than Goodwin to be the guy. He’s from the Ohio State footprint, just about three hours from Columbus. The Buckeyes were also the first real big-time program to get involved his recruitment. Now, he’s a potential NFL talent at a position of tremendous need in 2022 as Ohio State will be looking to replace starters Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere with a handful of inexperienced linemen and few true tackles on the roster.
Kiyaunta Goodwin is a potential multiple-year starter for Ohio State and a must get in the Class of 2022 if the Buckeyes want to finally upend the SEC for the country’s best class.