After committing to Ohio State in July 2015, Winton Woods (Cincinnati, Ohio) defensive tackle Jerron Cage finally made it official today, signing his national letter of intent and becoming an Ohio State Buckeye.
Cage is ranked as the No. 236 prospect nationally in the 247Sports Composite, coming in at 14th among defensive tackles, and the 11th overall prospect in the state of Ohio for 2017. Cage’s signing gives the Buckeyes two defensive tackles in this class (joining Las Vegas, Nevada’s Haskell Garrett) and six of the top eleven rated players in Ohio, which includes four of the top five.
Despite being committed to Ohio State for a year and a half, Cage’s family ties added an extra sense of intrigue to his recruitment. Cage’s brother, Daniel, is a defensive tackle at Notre Dame, and (whether it was warranted or not) speculation was always present that Jerron might want to join his older brother in South Bend. Ultimately, the younger Cage chose to stick with his Ohio State pledge, and joins an already crowded (and extremely talented) defensive line room in Columbus.
The Buckeyes are not only adding another talented defensive lineman in Cage, but — as this blocked punt and scoop-and-score from his senior highlights showcases — a future contender for the Piesman Trophy:
He’s out to prove his doubters wrong at Ohio State:
A letter to Buckeye Nation from #Select17's @CageJerron.#NSD17 pic.twitter.com/7cgVKBrXBL— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) February 1, 2017
The first thing that pops out from Cage’s high school film is that he wore No. 15. Love seeing big guys wear skill position numbers, but in Cage’s case it’s warranted. He has impressive athleticism for a player his size and this has helped him consistently display the ability to find the ball in traffic.
Cage is the type of penetrating interior lineman that the Buckeyes defense needs. His film was reminiscent of Robert Landers this season, as Cage consistently managed to create havoc in opponent’s backfields. He often pulled this off with brute strength and a very quick first step. This worked just fine in high school against overmatched guards, but Cage will need to work on refining some of his pass-rush moves while he also tries to put on some more weight.
Cage often looked like the best player on the field for his team and he was treated that way by his coaches. He lined up as a defensive end in obvious pass situations and showed the ability to create pressure even with consistent double teams. Cage’s bull-rush move is college-ready, as he regularly pushed opposing centers and guards well into the backfield. Look for him to redshirt in 2017 in order to gain some weight, but Cage has the ability to push for a starting spot in 2018. — Ian Hartitz