Although he’s arguably Ohio State’s top target for the current recruiting cycle, Charlestown, Ind., four-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin committed to Kentucky on Saturday evening.
The Buckeyes were long viewed as the favorite to land the 6-foot-7 and 300-pound Goodwin – who is considered the seventh-best offensive tackle and No. 54 prospect overall in the class of 2022 – thanks to his relationship with head coach Ryan Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, which dates back to when he first attended a spring practice in April 2018.
However, the inability for Godwin to take visits and spend time with the coaching staff over the last year allowed the Wildcats, led by recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow, to make a move in his recruitment. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, though, as Kentucky was the first program to offer him a scholarship clear back in July 2017.
Of course, there are still more than eight months until Goodwin can sign with the Wildcats, and the fact that official and unofficial visits can resume in June will only help Ohio State in its attempt to flip him from his pledge. The same goes for the other finalists, including Alabama, Clemson and Michigan State, who will undoubtedly try to get him on campus in the coming months.
The Buckeyes are confident in what they have to offer Goodwin, particularly the blend of proximity to home, a chance to compete a national championship and opportunities outside of football. They can only hope he gives them another chance to show him what he’s missing.
That said, if Goodwin ultimately sticks with Kentucky, it could be viewed as the biggest miss – both literally and figuratively – for Ohio State since Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star offensive tackle J.C. Latham committed to Alabama last cycle.
The position remains one of the staff’s top priorities, even with West Chester Lakota West four-star Tegra Tshabola already in the fold, so other names to keep in mind include Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian five-star Zach Rice; Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Tyler Booker; Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian School four-star Addison Nichols; Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne four-star Aamil Wagner; and Humble (Texas) Atascocita four-star Kam Dewberry, among others.
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