The Ohio State Buckeyes have their latest recruit—and he’s a big one, both literally and in a more symbolic sense. Never mind that Jack Sawyer won’t suit up for the Buckeyes for more than two years because he still has to get through his junior and senior years of high school. Never mind that at such a young age, Sawyer’s 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame is nowhere near finished.
Jack Sawyer is a huge get for the Buckeyes, and we know that he’s a huge get because we can already see the talent. Not the “potential,” a word we make up to describe kids that are awesome athletes that still have to learn how to play football.
Does Sawyer have work to do with his technique? Absolutely. But he’s not a blank slate of athleticism; he’s a football player, and with the natural ability he has, the level of play we’re already seeing from him isn’t just exciting. It’s rare. It’s unique.
Jack Sawyer isn’t a finished product by any means, but he’s yet another elite defensive end prospect for a program that, going back to 2012, has been collecting more edge rushing talent than any school. What is Ohio State getting from their next great defensive end prospect?
On the field
While Jack Sawyer isn’t such a highly rated based on “potential” alone, a lot of the excitement around him certainly centers around his physical ability, and for good reason. He already has prototypical defensive end size at a young age, and looks ready to play major college football.
On top of his great size, Sawyer is a great athlete, as shown by both his football highlights and basketball acumen, where he serves as one of the best players in central Ohio. His speed, strength, and lateral movement should serve as a great base for Larry Johnson to build on to, and will help him make an impact as soon as he steps on campus at Ohio State.
In terms of technical skill, Sawyer doesn’t have the nuances of the position down yet, but he understands how to use his hand to create space, and his great footwork gives him an advantage on every single play. The staff at Pickerington North is excellent, and by the time Sawyer gets to Ohio State, he should have the basics of defensive end down, meaning that Johnson can focus mostly on the tricks that turn a good defensive end into a great defensive end.
In the class
Sawyer is the first member of what could be an excellent 2021 class, not just for Ohio State, but a great class in the state of Ohio. 247Sports only has four Ohio recruits ranked this far out in the class, and all four are considered blue chips: Sawyer, safety A.J. Kirk, wide receiver Jayden Ballard, and running back Jaylen Anderson. While it’s too far out to say this with any certainty right now, I think Ohio State leads for each of those players at this point, and would love to land all four.
Ranked as the No. 3 player in the country right now, Sawyer could very well be considered Ohio State’s top target in the 2021 class, and to land him this early is a huge deal. He already held offers from 13 total schools, including Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State and Oklahoma. This was expected to be a major Big Ten battle for several years, similar to the Zach Harrison recruitment this past year, but Ohio State shut the doors on all of that with this move today.
For more on Sawyer’s commitment, you can read his commitment piece right here, and watch his highlights below.