Ohio State suffered its first decommitment from the class of 2022 on Sunday afternoon when Bloomington (Ind.) South four-star linebacker Dasan McCullough flipped his pledge to Indiana.
The 6-foot-5 and 220-pound McCullough had been committed to the Buckeyes since last August and was widely viewed as one of the leaders of their 2022 recruiting class, along with Kettering Archbishop Alter five-star linebacker pledge C.J. Hicks. However, his father, Deland McCullough, being hired by the Hoosiers in February as their associate head coach and running backs coach drastically changed his recruitment.
The younger McCullough indicated at the time that his father’s new job would have little to no impact on his commitment to Ohio State, even saying as recently as two weeks ago at the Under Armour All-America Camp Series stop in Columbus that it was nothing more than that – his job.
“We’re all set on our own journeys,” McCullough told BuckeyesNow. “Obviously, he said, ‘It’s open if you want to,’ but he hasn’t pressured me into doing anything because he knew I was set with Ohio State. He hasn’t tried to do anything like that. It means a lot. I kind of expected that, though. He knows how this job works and he could be anywhere two years from now. He’s going to support me wherever I want to go on my journey.”
In the meantime, the Hoosiers have landed commitments from McCullough’s younger brother Daeh McCullough, a four-star safety from the class of 2023, and his older brother Deland McCullough II, a defensive back who announced on Saturday he was transferring from Miami (Ohio) to Indiana.
McCullough then removed all signs of his commitment to Ohio State from his social media accounts, including a profile photo of a deer mounted to the wall wearing a hat with a Block “O,” which at one point or another was used by every other pledge in the class.
The decision is somewhat surprising, as McCullough had been 100 percent locked into his pledge with the Buckeyes and played a key role in bringing other highly rated players into the fold. He also had a great relationship with head coach Ryan Day and linebackers coach Al Washington, even without being able to meet face-to-face or visit campus because of the pandemic.
“I felt like Ohio State was the best place for me,” McCullough said when asked earlier this month why he chose the Buckeyes. “Me being from Cincinnati was a huge part, too. Literally being in my home state. Also, my relationship with Coach Al, Coach Day, it was fantastic. I felt like I had met them even before. It was great. I felt love from the whole staff and there’s just no better feeling that potentially winning the national championship for your home state.”
Then again, the opportunity to play for his father and alongside is brothers was simply too great to pass up.
Ohio State, meanwhile, still holds a pair of pledges at linebacker from Hicks and Marysville four-star Gabe Powers. The Buckeyes will obviously look to fill the void left by McCullough, though it will certainly be difficult to find someone who has the size and versatility to play the hybrid linebacker and safety role.
Perhaps the staff’s best course of action is to convince McCullough to flip back. But if not, the Buckeyes notably have offers out to several other linebackers, including Baltimore St. Frances Academy four-star Jaishawn Barham; Manassas (Va.) Unity Reed four-star Shawn Murphy; and Manvel, Texas, three-star Justin Medlock.
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