Recruiting: Dasan McCullough Excited for Eventual Return to Ohio
The last month has certainly been a whirlwind for 2022 Ohio State Football commit Dasan McCullough in Overland Park, Kan. The elite recruit, categorized as an athlete but likely to play outside linebacker/safety at the next level(s), has experienced a range of emotions since picking a college.
McCullough, widely regarded as the top player in Kansas and among the top-50 nationally in his class, verbally committed to the Buckeyes on August 18 from a long list of scholarship offers that included just about every powerhouse in the country.
“It’s been nothing but excitement,” said McCullough, who actually grew up in Ohio. “I love recruiting guys now myself and getting in contact with them. Trying to get others on board is probably what I’ve been doing the most. There has been a bunch of excitement throughout my family and all throughout Ohio. It’s been a blessing.”
While the ongoing pandemic and NCAA Dead Period being extended has played a major role in the recruiting world, McCullough was quick to reiterate that circumstances never played much of a factor in his process.
“It didn’t affect my decision at all,” he noted. “Seeing other things play out probably helped my decision. Watching how Coach Day acted through the season getting cancelled, and how players came together, actually helped more. I would love to go up there and see them in person, but I know that will come with time.”
All of that positivity was soon blended with drama and frustrations surrounding the Kansas State High Schools Activities Association’s recent decision to cancel football season. However, following protests outside of the district office, schools were given a chance to show they can follow protocols safely. After there were no problems with initial practices, teams were released in a “yellow zone” and allowed to proceed.
McCullough’s Blue Valley North won its opener, 42-21, last week and is focused on going undefeated throughout a shortened regular season. The vision is then to make the playoffs and win a state championship, with no real goals in terms of personal stats existing for McCullough. In the meantime, he will continue developing relationships with other future Buckeye commits in and around his 2022 cycle.
“Me and C.J. (Hicks) are borderline best friends and have never met in person,” McCullough said with a smile. “We talk to each other all the time, every day, on the phone and everything. But that chemistry we are building is going to be special leading into college. It’s a big thing to have, especially when we all have a chance to play early. I can’t wait to meet all of the commits… Gabe (Powers), C.J., all of them.”
McCullough’s father, Deland, is currently the running backs coach for the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. His son, now very mature for his age and a physical freak at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, has grown up around the game and learned the ropes from many. He quickly mentions Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu first.
“He (Tyrann) is like a mentor to me,” McCullough said. “The conversations we have are planted in me and it’s something I go about every day in terms of handling my business.
Deland had previous coaching stops at USC and Indiana, allowing Dasan the opportunity to develop connections with former Hoosier standouts Tevin Coleman (San Francisco 49ers) and Jordan Howard (Miami Dolphins).
“I consider those guys like my big brothers,” McCullough added. “I text them all the time and they give me advice. Having those connections is a really great thing.”
McCullough, who plans to officially arrive in Columbus by January 2022 as a mid-year enrollee, grew up in Cincinnati… where both sides of his family are from. His father played at Miami of Ohio and then for the Bengals. His older brother, Deland II, is currently a redshirt freshman defensive back for the Redhawks. This is where the McCullough roots are cemented, something that keeps Dasan absolutely comfortable despite the current distance.
“A lot of people could be worried, looking at me as an out-of-state kid, thinking I’ve never been there,” McCullough voiced in conclusion. “But I’m all-in on Ohio State and the university as a whole. I want everyone to know that I’m 100 percent a Buckeye.”