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Ohio State trending heavily for four-star edge rusher

The Buckeyes could be nearing their first defensive line commitment in 2022.

Four-star 2022 DL Kenyatta Jackson
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

It has been quite a while since Ohio State landed its last commitment in the 2022 class. In fact, you would have to go all the way back to June 30, when four-star corner Terrance Brooks announced his pledge, for the last addition to Ryan Day’s formerly No. 1 class. In that time frame, the group has fallen all the way from the top to the No. 7 spot in the country, so clearly the sky is falling in Columbus, right?

Well, not quite. For starters, Ohio State’s national ranking in the 2022 class took a big hit when five-star QB Quinn Ewers decided to reclassify to 2021 to get an early start on his collegiate career at OSU. There was also the obvious losses of Jaheim Singletary and Dasan McCullough — two highly touted players formally committed to the program. However, if you look at the grand scheme of things, the Buckeyes’ class still ranks No. 2 nationally in average player rating (93.97) behind only Alabama (94.11), and Day and his staff are still in on a large number of top talents who are taking their time in their recruitments.

Speaking of one of those top targets, Ohio State appears to be closing in on landing one of the cycle’s best edge rushers in the near future. Four-star defensive lineman Kenyatta Jackson has been a guy on Larry Johnson’s radar for quite some time now, having offered the Florida native back in May 2020. Currently ranking as the No. 7 edge rusher and No. 78 player in the class overall, it appears Jackson is nearly ready to make his commitment, and the buzz appears to be good news for the Buckeyes.

Looked at earlier this year as a potential Clemson lean, on Wednesday the Crystal Ball predictions began flooding in for Jackson to wind up at Ohio State. A total of four new prognostications came down the pipe around the same time, including from trusted names among the likes of Steve Wiltfong, Bill Kurelic and Andrew Ivins. While Crystal Ball predictions by no means are a guarantee of where a player will commit, generally a sudden rush in favor of one school — especially as a player nears his commitment — is a pretty good indication.

If Jackson does in fact commit to Ohio State, it would give the Buckeyes’ their first defensive line commit in the 2022 class as the 15th member overall. Jackson would also become the seventh top-100 player in the group and the third player from the Sunshine State — joining Kye Stokes and Ryan Turner as a trio of Florida natives. It has been a bit odd for Larry Johnson to not yet have a player locked in among his position group this late in a cycle, but getting things rolling with Jackson would be a great step in the right direction.

Quick Hits

  • Ohio State made the short list for four-star defensive lineman Keith Sampson Jr. on Wednesday afternoon. The No. 33 DL and No. 6 player out of his home state of North Carolina has cut his options down to 10 schools, also including the likes of Alabama, Duke, ECU, Florida State, Georgia, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia and UNC alongside the Buckeyes.