DAYTON, Ohio — The Archbishop Alter Knights have an extraordinary talent at linebacker. C.J. Hicks has brought a different look to the Knights on both offense and defense. The senior linebacker’s play on the field has landed him on the ESPN 300 list as one of the top recruits in the country.
On May 5, 2020, C.J. Hicks committed to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Hicks selected the Buckeyes over the Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The senior outside linebacker has an ESPN scout grade of 87 and is currently a four-star prospect.
Archbishop Alter’s linebacker is currently the second-best linebacker in the 2022 recruiting class and the No. 1 player in Ohio. The Buckeyes showed interest early, and C.J. Hicks spoke about Ohio State’s interest during his sophomore year at Archbishop Alter High School.
“I heard from them a week after camp and a couple of days ago. Their message has been simple. They liked what they saw at the camp, they liked my 7-on-7 stuff and they said they need more film. But I’m the type of guy they want on their roster playing on Saturdays.”
C.J. Hicks received a big surprise during his Sept. 3 game against Miamisburg. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes linebackers coach Al Washington attended Hicks’ game.
Al Washington and C.J. Hicks have built a relationship, and Hicks is attempting to draw more linebacker talent to the Buckeyes. Washington is urging the four-star commit to be a class leader and encourage other players to commit. Cleveland.com caught up with C.J. Hicks to speak about his relationship with Washington and his plans since committing to the Buckeyes.
“He gave me a couple of guys that he was looking at and told me to text them and see how they are and what I think about them. Dasan McCullough was one of the players. So I talked to Dasasn a little bit, and we just hit it off from there. I talk to Dasan almost every day.”
The Buckeyes, unfortunately, lost Dasan McCullough to Big Ten rival Indiana Hoosiers. Ohio State did add four-star outside linebacker Gabe Powers out of Marysville, Ohio. Al Washington has made offers to seven linebackers in the 2022 recruiting class.
C.J. Hicks has made it his goal to bring the best recruits to join him at Ohio State to build a championship team and a championship defense. It’ll be interesting to see what Hicks can bring to a Buckeyes defense that has underperformed in 2021.
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