Ohio State's second commitment of last night's Friday Night Lights event was Detroit (MI) Cass Tech offensive guard/defensive linemen Joshua Alabi, who committed to the Buckeyes over offers from the likes of Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and several other schools.
The two-way linemen looked very solid in workouts yesterday and committed to the Ohio State coaching staff in the middle of camp, with his former Cass Tech teammate and Ohio State freshmen Damon Webb present.
Alabi could end up playing on the offensive line or defensive line when he arrives in Columbus next summer, but I think offensive line is the more likely landing spot for him as things currently stand. I can't see him playing the tackle position in college, so he would probably be a guard.
There's definitely some potential with Alabi, but I don't see him stepping on the field the first year or two he's in Columbus. He'll need to spend time in the weight room and with the Ohio State coaching staff to improve his technique in his first couple of years. I definitely see him redshirting in his first year as part of the team.
There's a chance that Alabi good be a major contributor to Ohio State somewhere down the road, but it's not going to be an immediate impact. In any event, this is a very solid pickup for Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Land-Grant Holy Land football analyst Christopher Jason added the following on Alabi:
Alabi possesses a skill-set that will allow him to play either offensive guard or strong-side defensive end at Ohio State. Personally, I see Alabi on the offensive side of the ball due to the influx of talent on the defensive line, and although he could play defensive end, I think he fits better at Ohio State as an offensive guard.
Alabi will need to work on his blocking technique once he gets to Columbus, but he has good height (6'5) and frame to gain muscle mass in the next couple of years. He has a good motor and plays with passion, something that could help him get on the field eventually.
Overall, Alabi seems to be a project who will be a redshirt candidate his freshman year. After spending time in a college weight room and getting the proper coaching, Alabi will eventually get the chance to compete for a place on the depth chart. It could be on the defensive line, but I am projecting him as an interior offensive lineman as of now.
This commitment can also have a major impact for the Buckeyes down the road when it comes to continuing a pipeline to Cass Tech. This makes two straights seasons the Buckeyes will have landed a player from the prestigious school (Webb last year).
There are more elite players coming out of the school in the next couple of cycles, namely Mike Weber, one of the top running backs in the 2015 class. Then in the 2016 class, Levert Hill and Michael Onwenu are two very good prospects who have already landed offers from the Buckeyes. 2017 receiver Donovan-Peoples Jones has also been offered and has the chance to be one of the top receivers in the class when it's all said and done.
Assuming Alabi is going to be an offensive lineman, this probably means the Buckeyes will take one or two more in this recruiting class, depending on who they're able to get. Drew Richmond, Isaiah Prince, and Matthew Burrell are likely the guys on top of their recruiting board..