It’s been one heck of a start to 2022 for Ohio State. On New Years Day, the Buckeyes came from behind to defeat Utah 48-45 in a thrilling Rose Bowl. In a game that looked like it could get away from Ryan Day’s team in a hurry, the struggling defensive unit stuck its foot in the ground and allowed just 10 points in the second half as C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba put on a show on the other side of the ball. While it wasn’t the playoff game we were all hoping for, it was certainly one heck of a consolation prize.
The good times continued to roll on Sunday, this time on the recruiting trail. Announcing his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game, four-star defensive end Omari Abor has committed to Ohio State.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound edge rusher was a huge priory target for the Buckeyes, ranking just outside of five-star territory as the nation’s No. 38 player in the 2022 class while sitting as the fourth-best edge rusher in the cycle and the No. 8 player from his home state of Texas according to the 247Sports Composite. Holding just under 30 offers for his services, Abor cut his list down to a top 10 back in April, but it seemed like the biggest threats to Ohio State in this recruitment were Alabama, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M.
That being said, the battle for Abor is not yet set in stone. While the Buckeyes have made a huge first step in landing his initial commitment and should be in the drivers seat the remainder of the way, it is a long time between now and National Signing Day on Feb. 2. Abor has made it clear that he will continue to take visits to schools even after he commits, and so Ohio State still has some work to do in ensuring the talented defensive lineman does end up in Columbus — especially with how well those Texas schools have been coming on in the recruiting game as of late.
Still, it is no small feat in landing Abor’s commitment on Sunday and beating out those in-state programs. A multi-sport athlete at Duncanville High School, Abor has competed in track and field as well as basketball in addition to his work on the gridiron. After earning Texas District 8-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore in 2019, he was a Texas District 11-6A first-team selection on the defensive line as a junior, helping lead the Panthers to a 28-2 collective record over those two seasons. As as senior, he helped lead Duncanville to yet another 15-1 record and a third-consecutive Texas 6A D-I state runner up finish.
Drawing a comparison to NFL Pro Bowler Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos and already being projected as a potential second round NFL Draft pick, this is some of what 247Sports Midlands Region recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks had to say of Abor’s abilities:
“ [...] Flashes impressive pursuit ability with playmaking closing speed. Consistently shows chase-down athleticism and will walk you down from the back side if left unblocked. Natural pass rusher with impressive edge-bending athleticism and the flexibility to get under tackles and run the arc. Fluidity and bend noticeably improved from sophomore to junior year. Instincts and feel for rushing the passer are obvious. Has shown some inside counter nuance. Faced outstanding competition in practice and games. Athletic background includes basketball and track and field earlier in high school. Flashed stack-and-shed strength and disengaging ability more as a junior than a senior. [...] Makes a ton of plays but can get better in tackling technique. Looks more like a true edge than an edge/D-line hybrid, but could possibly fill all roles depending on scheme. When locked in, provides elite playmaking impact, especially as a pass rusher...”
Abor becomes the 19th member of Ohio State’s fourth-ranked 2022 recruiting class, and helps to widen the gap over Penn State as the top group in the Big Ten. He is the third member of Larry Johnson’s defensive line unit, joining Kenyatta Jackson and Caden Curry with potentially one or two more guys along the way before this class is wrapped up — namely four-star DL Hero Kanu, who is set to commit next weekend. Abor is the third-highest rated member of this talented group of future Buckeyes, coming in behind only the five-stars in C.J. Hicks and Sonny Styles, and is the second player from the state of Texas to join the class next to Caleb Burton.
For more of an idea of what Abor can bring with him to Columbus, check out some of these highlights from his senior season at Duncanville: