COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State football often makes headlines by attracting receivers already established among the nation’s elite.
Kyion Grayes, the Arizona prospect who got engaged to the Buckeyes on Sunday, may still be turning into the catcher he will become.
Grayes appreciates the comparisons to Chris Olave, not just for his West Coast roots and a similarly low start in recruiting rankings. He’s also 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, with physical traits and abilities similar to the Buckeyes’ deep threat.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Grayes will fit the receiver twice as deep in 2022 and beyond. However, there is reason to believe that the versatility of the Top-150 and rising prospect will help him rise in the same way that Olave did.
That won’t be an easy rotation to break, obviously. The 2022 receiver room could be run by a couple of seniors at Kamryn Babb and Jameson Williams. Then you have the three remaining true freshmen of the 2020 class: Julian Fleming, Gee Scott, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr. are just starting their careers right now, but when Grayes arrives he could be rounding up to bigger roles.
On top of all that, Ohio State has already landed the top-ranked receiver for the 2022 class in Caleb Burton.
Reports on Grayes show how he was able to carve his own niche in that room. He is known for his strong, smooth hands and his ability to open up with his technique and instinct. He could increase his slim body, allowing him to play more physically at the next level.
OSU wide receiver coach Brian Hartline has sought versatility to build what is becoming the most talented receiving corps in the country. While the Grays can fit anywhere, he also possesses traits that could make him the best place for the job, or at least a preferable one, among the Buckeyes’ options in any given year.
There are similarities here with players like Garrett Wilson and Smith-Njigba. Both could play outside for anyone, but Wilson has already taken over the job for OSU, and Smith-Njigba can spend most of his time there as well. Grayes’ ability to spread underneath and control his body in small windows doesn’t necessarily limit him to that role, but it could allow him to capitalize on it.
Grayes became the rare receiving catcher for Ohio State who still didn’t have a fifth star or low number for his draft ranking. However, like all those other prospects, both he and the Buckeyes will be judged by whoever he becomes.
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