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Ohio State makes the cut for high-four star defensive end

The top prospect in Pennsylvania is still considering the Buckeyes, but not the in-state Nits.

Four-star 2022 WDE Enai White
Brian Dohn, 247Sports

As we get closer and closer to the summer months, Ohio State’s coaching staff can now focus solely on recruiting until preseason camp begins. With the recruiting dead period coming to an end in June, the Buckeyes will have their hands full for the near future hosting top prospects and trying to add to their already stacked 2022 class and beyond. This is a pivotal time for program building, and the reason Ohio State is able to have success come August is because of the work they put in on the recruiting trail in the offseason.

Ryan Day and his guys are already seeing some of that hard work pay off, as on Tuesday night the Buckeyes made the cut for high four-star defensive end Enai White.

The Imhotep Institute product has dwindled his prospective suitors down to eight, with Ohio State joining the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Oregon and Texas A&M. Notably, absent from the Philadelphia native’s list is Penn State, as it looks like once again the Nittany Lions will miss out on the top in-state recruit for the fourth consecutive cycle.

What makes matters even worse for the Big Ten foe is that Ohio State has done a tremendous job recruiting the state of Pennsylvania. After landing the state’s top prospect in the 2020 class in wide receiver Julian Fleming, the Buckeyes went into Philly last year and snagged two of the five top players in the area in wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and quarterback Kyle McCord. Ohio State will be looking to replicate their success in Philly by adding White to the fold in 2022.

While Ohio State already has 11 commits in the 2022 class, they do not yet have a defensive end among the group. White is one of their top priorities as things currently stand, and it’s easy to see why there is such vested interest in the nation’s No. 2 weak-side defensive end and the No. 39 prospect overall per the 247Sports Composite. Here is what 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn had to say of White’s abilities:

“Long, wiry frame needs to fill out. Can easily add 20 pounds. Strong basketball player. Outside linebacker potential in 3-4 scheme. Athletic and uses length. Gets off quickly at snap. Runs well and chases backside. Can disengage and find ballcarrier. Plays controlled and understands assignments. Ability to drop into coverage. Has to develop ability to play in three-point stance. Needs to work on exploding off change of direction. Strength at point of attack must improve. Multi-year starter at top 20 program. Early-round NFL Draft potential.”

With a player comparison to Jason Pierre-Paul and already receiving some first-round NFL Draft grades, this is a player that Larry Johnson and co. will be keying in on heavily, especially now that they’ve made his official top schools list.

Quicks Hits

  • In his latest fact or fiction column, Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney believes that 2022 safety Xavier Nwankpa is a lock to Ohio State. Here is the full extent of what he had to say about the four-star safety that the Buckeyes have been high on since the jump:

“Ohio State is way out in front and I’m not sure the Buckeyes can be caught in Xavier Nwankpa’s recruitment. He has a great relationship with the coaching staff, he’s going to have an excellent visit to Columbus in June and even if he still takes his round of official visits, Ohio State is looming so large in his recruitment. Anything can happen but I think the Buckeyes have a great shot at landing him and he could commit after his early June visit.”

Current Ohio State commit Kyion Grayes seems to agree with Gorney’s take.

  • According to Greg Biggins of Bucknuts, Ohio State has picked up its interest in four-star running back Rayshon Luke, and is close to officially offering the St. John Bosco product. The nation’s No. 2 all-purpose back and the No. 187 overall player in the 2022 class, Luke, whose nickname is “Speedy”, currently holds around 12 offers, including some big names among the likes of Florida, Georgia, LSU and Michigan. From the sound of things, the Buckeyes could be next on that list.

“They haven’t offered yet but I think it could be coming soon,” Luke told Biggins. “I’ve been talking with coach [Parker] Fleming and building a relationship with him. If they offer, I’ll definitely take an official visit out there and I have a lot of interest in their program. They said they want to try and get me up for a visit in June and I know Earnest [Greene] is planning to visit too so it would be cool to go up there with him. I’m talking with a few other schools right now too, mainly UCLA and USC but an offer from Ohio State would be huge.”