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Despite Reclassifying, Ohio State's Sonny Styles Impressing During First Fall Camp

"It’s going to be a lot of fun with the things we’re going to be able to do with him. He's going to be a secret weapon."
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Ohio State freshman safety Sonny Styles should be preparing for his senior year at Pickerington (Ohio) Central right now. But after reclassifying and signing with the Buckeyes in December, he’s making his presence felt during his first fall camp.

“For somebody who is supposed to be in high school right now, he’s doing darn good,” head coach Ryan Day said on Thursday. “It’s hard when you come in (during) the summer and you’re supposed to be working with your high school teammates, and you're here at Ohio State, battling at practice.

“In the opportunities he’s had to compete, he’s showing that he’s got toughness. I mean, he’s getting coached pretty hard and he takes it. He works to get better, he’s got a great look in his eye and he’s off to a wonderful start.”

Styles, who was considered the top-rated safety and No. 12 prospect overall in the class of 2022, might not have a significant role this fall – at least defensively – with Ronnie Hickman, Josh Proctor and Tanner McCalister locked into the adjuster, bandit and nickel spots, respectively.

But defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who acknowledged Styles’ maturity is “above his years,” is salivating at the prospect of having Styles line up at any of the three safety positions in the future.

“Sonny’s really been impressive,” Knowles said on Tuesday. “I mean, he’s a guy who studies, learns, always in there. He literally ripped the ball out from the running back the other day, playmaker, showing up in the right (spots), picking things up.

“I don’t ever remember yelling at him, except for positive things. I don’t remember him making a mistake, and for a young guy, that’s fantastic. I think Sonny’s going to be great. 

"I don’t want to put too much on him yet because I want to get him into the flow, but in terms of the future, it’s going to be bright and it’s going to be a lot of fun with the things we’re going to be able to do with him. He’s going to be a secret weapon.”

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