Five-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent is as polished a prospect in high school football as you’ll find. The 6-foot-2, 285-pounder is aggressive, moves like a freight train, and has an explosive get-off that’s rivaled by few.
And he’s only getting better.
Vincent is one of the crown jewels of Ohio State’s 2018 class and may be the best nose tackle coach Urban Meyer has ever had. OSU isn’t known for having interior linemen as defensive focal points and that should change with the Baltimore native’s arrival.
It came down to Florida State and OSU, but Vincent’s relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. and Meyer won the day for the Scarlet and Gray. Vincent took some time to talk with us about his decision, the trust he has in the Buckeyes coaching staff, and more.
Land-Grant Holy Land: With so many other national powerhouses like Alabama and FSU offering you, what stood out about OSU and the football program?
Taron Vincent: The tradition, my trust in the coaches and the relationship I have with them. It just pushed me over the edge compared to all the other schools. I talk with Coach Meyer on a daily basis, we text back and forth just about every day. Coach [Larry] Johnson, I’ve known him since I was in seventh grade when he was recruiting my older brother. My relationship is really strong with him.
LGHL: Walk me through your decision-making process. Was it more about what OSU had to offer?
Vincent: It’s really just trusting somebody that’s going to raise me like a man, I guess. I just had faith in the coaches, that’s what really sold me.
LGHL: Your dad, Troy Vincent, is a former longtime NFL cornerback and is currently a league executive. How big of a role did he play in your final decision? Does it help having a parent that’s been through all of this before?
Vincent: He helped me look at all the schools and figure out FSU and OSU. He helped me just sit down and see the pros and cons about each. He just let me decide from there. He was my guiding hand through the whole process and would give me advice. If I have questions, I know I can go to him to ask them. He’d just tell me to enjoy the whole process because it only happens once, so enjoy it all and take it in.
LGHL: You’re one of the best prospects in the country and have been called a real game-changer. How would you describe your game?
Vincent: I’m a run-stopper. I can rush the passer. Hopefully I’m scaring the offensive linemen that are lining up against me. I’m going to always get to the ball no matter what. I’m not scared to run to the ball. The ball could be all the way down at the end of the field and I’ll run down there and make the tackle.
LGHL: Is there anything you want to improve before you get to OSU?
Vincent: Using my hands more when I rush the passer, add some change-up moves, stuff like that. It’s stuff me and Coach Johnson have spoke on the phone about, just areas where I can improve my game.
LGHL: Some have suggested that you could play outside linebacker in college. You’re obviously a pretty athletic guy, so is it something you’ve considered?
Vincent: If they needed me to play it, I’ll play it. But I haven’t really thought about playing it. I played defensive end once my sophomore year in high school and had to drop into coverage.
LGHL: What’s life look like as you get ready for your senior season and your career at OSU?
Vincent: Practicing every day in the morning, then lift afterwards. I’m taking some summer school classes. I go to position meetings after class to watch film.
LGHL: Are there any football players you model your game after?
Vincent: Ndamukong Suh. I like his motor and his relentless to the ball. I don’t want to say he doesn't care, but he’ll do whatever it takes to make the play.
LGHL: Michael Jordan recently said that Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James because five rings beat three rings. How do you feel about that? Is Jordan right?
Vincent: I think LeBron is the greatest to ever play. I think he’s better than Michael Jordan, first of all. Bill Russell has more rings than everybody, but nobody says he’s the best. I think LeBron has proved himself, he can play the one through the five. I don’t know what else people want from him.
LGHL: Top 3 albums in any genre?
Vincent: More Life by Drake, Culture by Migos, and Future’s album HNDRXX.