Ohio State’s Sonny Styles has black stripe removed


Ohio State is just four days away from the first game of the 2022 season. The second-ranked Buckeyes are getting ready for the biggest matchup of the weekend against No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday night, but development is still happening on the practice field. While much of that has to do with these guys getting ready to play on Saturday, that’s not all of it.

On Tuesday, another young player did enough to prove himself. The Scarlet and Gray announced after practice that freshman safety Sonny Styles had his black stripe removed.

Ohio State’s black stripe tradition stems from former head coach Urban Meyer‘s time with the Buckeyes after he took over the Scarlet and Gray program before the 2012 season, bringing it with him from Florida. The thinking behind the tradition was that any player must earn the right to be called a Buckeye and therefore a black stripe is placed on his helmet when he arrives at school until he has done enough to officially earn his place on the team in the eyes of the coaching staff. Head coach (*1*) is officially (*5*) ?? (*13*)

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“We’ve got a black stripe alert,” Scarlet and Gray director of player development C.J. Barnett said to the team in the video announcing the black stripe removal. “He’s hungry in a big way. The newest member of BIA, Sonny Styles.”

The Pickerington, Ohio native was a five-star prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite, and was the country’s No. 6 overall player and the top player from the state of Ohio in the 2023 recruiting class. He announced his decision to reclassify in December. After this decision, his rankings shifted a bit. While he remained the top-ranked safety prospect, he dropped to No. 12 in the country and the second-best player from his home state, behind his now teammate, C.J. Hicks.

“Shoutout everybody, a part of the brotherhood,” Styles said in the video. “I love y’all boys. Shoutout BIA. Go Bucks!”

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Styles becomes the 13th player in 2022 to lose his black stripe. In the spring, transfer safety Tanner McCalister and defensive end Caden Curry each had their black stripe removed. In fall camp, transfer linebacker DeaMonte Trayanum, cornerbacks Jyaire Brown and Kiyon Grayes, linebacker C.J. Hicks, tight end Zak Herbstreit, running back Dallan Hayden, walk-on wide receiver Joop Mitchell and defensive end Kenyatta Jackson all had their black stripes removed during fall camp.