The long, Buckeye National nightmare is over, Ohio State finally has its first defensive line commitment in the 2022 recruiting cycle, and, folks, it’s a good one. On Tuesday afternoon, four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson made his pledge to play his college football for the Buckeyes official. The No. 78 player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite Ratings, becomes the 15th commitment in the class and joins C.J. Hicks (LB), Terrance Brooks (CB), and Gabe Powers (LB) as top-100 overall players on the defensive side of the ball; wide receivers Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown, and Kyion Grayes are all top-100 guys on the offensive side.
BREAKING: Four-Star Edge Kenyatta Jackson has Committed to Ohio State!— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) October 19, 2021
The 6’5 230 Edge from Hollywood, FL chose the Buckeyes over Alabama and Oklahoma.
More Here (FREE): https://t.co/T6WiKUPslx pic.twitter.com/IzAhITrOT0
Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound edge rusher from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Fla. is rated as the No. 7 edge rusher in the 2022 class and the 11th best player int he football-rich state of Florida. He also had offers from just about every blue blood program in the country, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Texas A&M, USC, and many more.
Jackson had his official visit to Columbus on June 25 and then made an unofficial trip back the following month. Since then, he hasn’t visited any other campus trips. And, during the off-week, OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson visited Jackson last week on Oct. 14.
With a grandfather and two uncles who played in the NFL (Rudy Barber, Rudy Barber Jr., and Kantroy Barber), 247Sports’ southeast recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins projects Jackson to be an eventual Day 2 pick in the NFL Draft.
Over the defensive end, Ivins says, “A long-limbed pass rusher that can get after the quarterback. Has spent the past few years working primarily on the edge as a stand-up pass rusher in a 3-4 defense for one of the South Florida’s top programs. Likes to use heavy hands to displace blockers and slide past them. Plays with a terrific forward lean, keeping his momentum downhill.
“Gives a persistent effort in pursuit, working his way across the field to drop a ball carrier. Usually under control when rounding the corner, but could always get a little more flexible ... Totaled close to 20 sacks his first three years of high school ... Will likely need to add some more mass to his 6-foot-5 frame and develop some go-to pass-rushing moves, but should be ready to face college-sized linemen after a year or two on campus.”
After a handful of decommitments and a notable reclassification, this pledge will move Ohio State back to No. 5 in the 2022 recruiting rankings and within 10 points of Penn State for the lead in the Big Ten. However, it should be noted that while Jackson is OSU’s 15th player in the class, PSU currently has 26 in their group, so they do have a distinct advantage there.
The Buckeye recruiting class would still like to add at some more talent on the defensive line, specifically on the interior, and at the back end of the defense. Safeties Xavier Nwankpa and Zion Branch are both still in the mix, with the former announcing his commitment on Dec. 8 and the latter at the Under Armour All-America Game in January.
Check out Kenyatta Jackson’s highlights: