Early National Signing Day: Ohio State Defensive Breakdown

With the Early National Signing Period coming to an end today, everything went as close to plan as it could be for the Buckeyes outside of a flip from Texas cornerback Terrance Brooks who landed with the Longhorns. 

Below we are going to do the second part of today’s Early National Signing Period breakdown ending with the defensive side. 

To view Carson’s breakdown on signees from the offense, click here

DE: Ohio State managed to land all of their big board targets they expected going into today. Ohio State got a long-awaited commitment from Cedar Grove DL Caden Curry who I reported last week just seemed to be a Buckeye from the get go. 

Curry had Clemson, Alabama, and Indiana also involved in his recruitment but just never seemed to really gain the feel of those schools the way he did with Ohio State. This comes as a big win for Defensive line Coach Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes. 

The Buckeyes also saw Kenyatta Jackson Jr. sign his LOI today and reaffirm his services to the Scarlet and Gray. Jackson just recently won Florida’s Gatorade Player Of The Year and it can not be stated enough how big of a win this is for the staff. 

My comparison in terms of Jackson is literally another Chase Young. The two players have similar frames and both just always seemed to be around the ball on film. Now what Jackson does in college we cannot compare yet, but coming out of High School both players are freakishly similar. 

Finally, the Buckeyes have a chance still to add Texas 4 star defensive end Omari Abor and Hero Kanu. Abor would be a major add with Jackson Jr. in the 2022 cycle and be a great complement to the 2021 haul that saw the Buckeyes add J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer. Kanu I believe has a new second-place team in his recruitment with Lincoln Riley being at USC now and him being a SoCal product, but I do still believe the Buckeyes land him in the new year.

Again, it comes as no surprise when Johnson continuously brings in these elite defensive line classes similar to Brian Hartline with his Wide Receivers, but Ohio State certainly is needing to land Abor when it’s all said and done. I have also heard today that Abor could be flipping to Texas in a late NIL push once again by the Longhorns. 

Silver Bulletin Recruiting Grade without Abor: 4/5 Stars

Silver Bulletin Recruiting Grade with Abor: 4.5/5 Stars

LB: The Buckeyes only Saw C.J. Hicks sign his LOI today for the Silver Bullets. We were scheduled to see a pair of signings today for the LB’s but Gabe Powers informed me that he will be signing with Ohio State on Friday at Marysville High School where all his family and friends will be able to attend. 

The Buckeyes did a great job landing the two must have LB recruits in Hicks and Powers but it is a bit of a downfall as the class was also at one time going to add 4 star hybrid LB Dasan McCullough. 

The Buckeyes tested the waters to see if they could get back late in the game with a few high end coverage backers but ultimately, it was just too far gone for the staff to find the right replacement. 

Silver Bulletin Recruiting Grade: 4/5 Stars

Secondary: Probably the biggest news of the day comes with a major hit to the Ohio State secondary as Texas flipped their own Texas Cornerback Terrance Brooks. This one stings for Ohio State as Brooks was the only 5 star corner the Buckeyes had and was expected to be the replacement from the decommitment of Jaheim Singletary. 

The Texas boosters have made their NIL powers felt today as it has been rumored they have promised a little over a two million dollars in NIL money to various recruits today. 

Tough blow to the Buckeyes in the secondary, but luckily the staff was still able to manage another 5 star at the safety position with the signing of Ohio’s own Alex “Sonny” Styles. Styles is the elite safety product Ohio State could not miss on more than ever as they just recently missed on Iowa native Xavier Nwankpa as well as California product Zion Branch who committed to USC today. 

Ohio State was still able to round up a couple more 4 star corners in Ryan Turner and Jyaire Brown. I expect the Buckeyes to ramp up the pressure in 2023 with the addition of their new Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles in the secondary recruiting as it has taken a major drop off as of late.  

Silver Bulletin Recruiting Grade: 3.5/5 Stars

The Buckeyes will look to rebound in 2023 but this should wrap up the 2022 defensive side of the ball outside of possibly a few late additions in the New Year.