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Big 2022 defensive end has Ohio State on his short list

The Florida native has the Buckeyes in his top 12

Four-star Chaminade-Madonna Prep DE Kenyatta Jackson
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

With 19 commits in Ohio State’s 2021 class, there are only a few uncommitted targets left on the board before Ryan Day and his staff can wrap up the current cycle. Now, that’s not to say the Buckeyes can take their foot off the gas, as a couple of five-star prospects still remain legitimate possibilities to join the school’s already top-ranked class. However, with only a few open spots remaining, the staff can slowly begin to shift its focus to 2022.

The team is already off to a great start in the next cycle, with a trio of early commitments from three of the four top players in Ohio: OT Tegra Tshabola (No. 2 in the state), CB Jyaire Brown (No. 3) and ATH C.J. Hicks (No. 4). While there is obviously still a ton of work to be done, you can’t really ask for a much better foundation to a new class than to secure the top players from your own backyard.

Ohio State is looking to continue that early success in 2022 on the national scale, and seem to be getting off on the right foot with one of the top defensive end talents in the country.

On Tuesday, four-star weak-side DE Kenyatta Jackson (Chaminade-Madonna Prep/Hollywood, FL) released his Top 12 schools, and the Buckeyes were one of the teams to make the cut. Cutting his list down from at least 24 offers, Ohio State was included alongside Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, and UNC.

Jackson is the No. 7 WDE in the 2022 class, the No. 8 player out of Florida, and the No. 79 recruit in the nation overall, according to 247Sports’ rankings. The 6-foot-4.5, 230 pound defensive lineman has a history of family members who played in the NFL, with his grandfather Rudy Barber playing for the Miami Dolphins, his uncle Rudy Barber Jr. playing for the San Francisco 49ers, and his uncle Kantroy Barber a former member of the New England Patriots.

Ohio State is one of the more recent programs to offer Jackson (May 29), with officially only the Clemson (June 1) and Ole Miss (June 3) offers coming more recently. Having only just cut his list in half, we are likely a long ways away from having any sort of feel for where the 2019 Miami Herald All-Broward 5A-IND first-team selection is leaning. There are currently no Crystal Ball predictions in for Jackson — as expected at this stage in the game — but it is worth noting that only Ohio State and Clemson are teams listed as “warm” among his college interests on 247Sports.

Quick Hits

  • 2021 offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger will be announcing his commitment on Wednesday afternoon, the four-star prospect announced via Twitter. With a top four of Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and LSU, the No. 12 OT in the country will almost certainly be choosing the defending National Champion Tigers. All 11 Crystal Balls for the Michigan native are in favor of LSU, as it looks like Jim Harbaugh will miss out on yet another top player from his own backyard.
  • Brian Hartline has been nothing short of phenomenal in the recruiting game in his short stint as Ohio State’s wide receivers coach. After pulling in a haul of four top-100 receivers in 2020, including the nation’s No. 1 wideout in Julian Fleming, Hartline will have a chance once again to reel in the top WR in the country if he can close the deal with five-star 2021 prospect Emeka Egbuka. What makes Hartline so good at this whole recruiting thing? His ability to build relationships.
  • Anthony Cook, a former four-star recruit and cornerback for the Texas Longhorns, has entered the transfer portal. Cook was the No. 10 CB and No. 64 player overall in the 2018 class, and had been highly considering Ohio State during his initial recruitment. It doesn’t seem all that likely at the moment that a reunion may be in order, but it’s something worth keeping an eye on.