Ohio State’s season is not over yet with the Buckeyes preparing for a Cotton Bowl appearance against SEC foe Missouri. It will be a top-10 battle in the Near Year’s Six as Ryan Day’s program continues to build heading toward 2024.

On Saturday, Ohio State confirmed another young player has shed his black stripe. This time, the black stripe alert goes out to Cedrick Hawkins, a 4-star defensive back in the 2023 recruiting class.

Hawkins did not register any stats as a true freshman after joining the Buckeyes from Cocoa High School in Titusville, Florida. The 247 Sports Composite rated Hawkins as the No. 35 safety in the country coming out of high school.

Hawkins was not alone in ditching his stripe Saturday. Ohio State also announced Jace Middleton, a walk-on TE to join the program this summer also shed his stripe.

The tradition of a player losing his stripe dates back to Urban Meyer with all first-year players (including transfers) receiving a black stripe over the red stripe in the middle of the helmet. The removal of the stripe signifies players are officially full-fledged Buckeyes moving forward.