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Ohio State has big-time 2022 options inside home state

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Ohio State target Gabe Powers is the top-ranked sophomore in Ohio. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Recruiting Question of the Day

Ohio State has big-time 2022 options inside home state

Have a question about Ohio State recruiting? This is the place for you, five days a week. Submit your questions on Twitter or on the Lettermen Row forums. Check-in daily to see what’s on the mind of Buckeyes fans all over the country. Friday’s question asks about the Class of 2022, a class with a number of talented players inside of Ohio.

Ohio State Recruiting Question of the Day

The class of 2021 is absolutely humming for the Buckeyes. Because of that, there’s not a lot of discussion about the 2022 class — and for now, there’s also not a lot to discuss with that group.

As mentioned, Ohio State doesn’t yet have a commitment in 2022. And despite the current position of 2021, it’s worth a reminder that it only had one player committed for the current cycle at this point a year ago: 5-star defensive end Jack Sawyer. Kyle McCord didn’t get on board until the final day of April, so Sawyer was the lone ranger in the 2021 class for almost three months.

The point? This class wasn’t always rolling the way it is now.

So, while the 2022 class is waiting on its first bite, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of real targets in a position to step up and lead the way for the Buckeyes next cycle. In most cases, the first pledge in a class is a local product, and the state of Ohio has a number of big-time talents in it in 2022 — even if it’s not quite as deep as the 2021 class.

Earlier this week, the folks at 247Sports.com released their first 2022 state rankings. And though the Buckeyes have only offered two in-state prospects to this point in linebacker Gabe Powers and lineman Tegra Tshabola, there are few other names that are definitely worth following. Running backs Stephen Byrd and Gi’Bran Payne, receiver prospect Kaden Saunders, defensive lineman Trey Bixby and linebacker C.J. Hicks are leading the way right now. The Buckeyes aren’t going to allow themselves to be bullied into offering any of these young guys. But Michigan and Notre Dame have already made their pitch to Hicks, Payne, Byrd and Saunders, and in some way, Ohio State now finds itself on the clock when it comes to offering them down the road.

Maybe that would have happened this spring for a few of those guys no matter what. But with all campus visits on hold, there’s not going to be any sort of overreaction by the Buckeyes, who no doubt would have enjoyed the chance to continue growing the relationship with Powers and Tshabola while getting an extended look at the rest of Ohio’s top young prospects.

That opportunity will come down the road. But for now, there’s absolutely no reason to worry about Ryan Day and his 2022 class. There are three total commitments around the Big Ten in 2022 — Michigan has two — and Ohio State is going to have no problem catching up.

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Birm

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 elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.

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