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How Calvin Simpson-Hunt's Commitment Impacts Ohio State’s 2023 Recruiting Class

An in-depth look at what Simpson-Hunt will bring to the Buckeyes both on and off the field.
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Ohio State secured a commitment from a cornerback for the second time this week when Waxahachie, Texas, four-star Calvin Simpson-Hunt flipped his pledge from Texas Tech on Thursday afternoon.

The 6-foot-0 and 175-pound Simpson-Hunt had been committed to the Red Raiders for the last seven months, but quickly built a strong bond with secondary/cornerbacks coach Tim Walton and safeties coach/area recruiter Perry Eliano, who were able to use the Buckeyes’ brand as a massive selling point when compared to the middle-of-the-pack (at best) Big XII program.

That’s not necessarily a power they’re used to wielding, especially for Eliano, whose previously coaching stops include Bowling Green, Central Arkansas, Cincinnati, New Mexico, Stephen F. Austin and UTSA. But flipping Simpson-Hunt shows they’re willing to flex their muscles a bit when the time comes.

Calvin Simpson-Hunt

That said, Simpson-Hunt now gives Ohio State commitments from three top-200 cornerbacks alongside Tampa (Fla.) Wharton four-star Dijon Johnson and Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove four-star Kayin Lee, a number that will likely rise to four on Friday with a pledge from Cincinnati Winton Woods four-star Jermaine Mathews, a top-10 in-state prospect.

That should round out the position for Walton and Eliano, who can now shift their focus to safety, where the Buckeyes hope to land two more players alongside West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West four-star Malik Hartford and Titusville (Fla.) Cocoa four-star Cedrick Hawkins.

Top targets at that position include Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek five-star Caleb Downs, Danvers (Mass.) St. John’s Prep five-star Joenel Aguero and Hillside (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep four-star Jayden Bonsu. Downs is coming off an official visit to Columbus, while Aguero and Bonsu are set to announce their college decisions on July 23 and Aug. 20, respectively.

As for Simpson-Hunt, he becomes the latest in a recent line of Texans to commit to Ohio State, including running back J.K. Dobbins, linebacker Baron Browning and cornerback Jeff Okudah in 2017; quarterback Matthew Baldwin in 2018; wide receiver Garrett Wilson in 2019; wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and cornerback Ryan Watts in 2020; quarterback Quinn Ewers and offensive tackle Donovan Jackson in 2021; and wide receiver Caleb Burton and defensive end Omari Abor in 2022.

What immediately stands out about Simpson-Hunt's game is his speed and overall athleticism, as he ran a 10.67-second 100-meter dash as part of the Indians’ 4x100-meter relay team this spring. He also competed in the high jump, clearing the bar at six feet.

On the football field, meanwhile, Simpson-Hunt recorded 29 tackles, five tackles for loss, two pass break ups, one interception, one sack and one blocked field goal that he returned for a touchdown to be named first-team all-district selection at the 6A level, the toughest division in Texas high school football.

Simpson-Hunt’s physical profile is very similar to that of sophomore cornerback Denzel Burke, who was a pure athlete coming out of high school. And though he may not be ready to make an immediate impact like Burke did in 2021, he's only going to get better from a technical standpoint with top-notch coaching, which – after all – is why he flipped to the Buckeyes in the first place.


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