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The convoluted journey that brought Ohio State defensive end Dominic Kirks to the Buckeyes.



Dominic Kirks and his family were uncertain about receiving an offer from Ohio State after he committed to Washington on June 30. Despite choosing not to sign during the early period on National Signing Day in December, the decision proved beneficial as it reignited Ohio State’s interest in him.

The turn of events happened swiftly. Following Washington coach Kalyn DeBoer’s move to Alabama on Jan. 12, Kirks decommitted from the Huskies and promptly visited Columbus. Within a week, he committed to Ohio State, concluding a tumultuous recruitment journey.

“I’m blessed to be in this position,” Kirks expressed. “Before I was with Washington, and their coaching staff and stuff changed, and I’m happy for the coaches at Washington and their families for taking on new jobs and stuff like that. But I’m blessed enough to receive the opportunities that I have. (Ohio State had) been recruiting me; they’ve been watching me.”

Despite battling a knee injury that sidelined him for about a month during his senior season at Riverside High School, Kirks remained on Ohio State’s radar. Coach Larry Johnson, overseeing the defensive line, recognized Kirks’ potential as a 6-foot-4, 255-pound end still evolving as a player.

In January, the Ohio State offer materialized during a meeting with head coach Ryan Day and Larry Johnson. Damon, Dominic’s father and a lifelong Ohio State fan, had to step out to collect himself upon hearing the news. The realization that his son had the chance to play for the Buckeyes was a dream come true.

For Dominic’s mother, Tiffani, having her son play college football close to home was a relief. The family, residing in Painesville, Ohio, found comfort in the short two-and-a-half-hour drive to Columbus, as opposed to the over five-hour flight from Cleveland to Seattle.

“He’s from Ohio, so every little kid playing football at his age wants to play for Ohio State,” Tiffani expressed. “His dream has come true, my dream has come true being a Buckeye mom. I’m just so excited for the future for him.”

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