I know all of Buckeye Nation was holding their breath leading up to National Signing day to see if we were going to get a signature from the outstanding edge rusher Omari Abor, who had been committed to Ohio State since the Under Armour All American Game. There had been discussions that he would still be taking visits after his commitment and whether or not the Buckeyes could keep him in the fold and give Larry Johnson and Jim Knowles another piece to add to a really strong defensive class.
Thankfully, when signing day came, Abor had signed on the dotted line with the Buckeyes, giving them yet another elite defensive prospect in the 2022 cycle. Four of the five highest rated Buckeye commitments in this class are on the defensive side of the ball, something that was sorely needed after multiple years of subpar defensive play.
Abor is just one of many standouts in this class, but let’s talk about what makes him so special and why I think he has the potential to be an absolute game-wrecker.
Omari Abor- Defensive Edge Rusher- Duncanville HS, Duncanville (Texas)- 6-foot-4, 240 lbs.
Abor is a prospect that I have been following for the better part of two years, ever since he first discussed his interest in Ohio State. Early on, I did not think that the Buckeyes had much of a shot, seeing as the Texas standout had every school in a 500-mile radius competing for his services. However, when it comes to Ohio State and defensive line pitches, there is one thing everyone in the country knows, they develop first round pass rushers. From Joey Bosa to Nick Bosa to Chase Young, and going back even further to Cam Heyward and Sam Hubbard. I could keep going, but the development of talent on the defensive line is impossible to ignore if you are a top-rated recruit.
That track record of development, along with the use of the five-star freshmen Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau last season in really must have sold Abor on being a Buckeye. Knowing that he can get early snaps — and significant snaps at that — had to be a contributing factor in this recruitment here.
Ok, so let’s go ahead and take a look at the tape. Right off of the bat, the first thing that I noticed was that he has great footwork and patience. He flies to the football, but has a controlled focus on his responsibility while doing so.
He sticks to his assignment but as soon as the play goes off schedule and the offensive improvises, he has fantastic closing speed to clean up any spontaneous plays that quarterbacks or ball-carriers try make.
Look at the clip that begins at the 24 second mark above, the ball-carrier appears to be wrapped up, but as soon as he gets out of the tackle, Abor sprints across more than half of the field to take down the back. That right there is exactly what I want to see out of my defense; effort and fight.
His burst off of the line of scrimmage is also something to keep an eye on, as I believe it will only get quicker with more weight and speed training, but his burst is already more advanced than many pass-rushers at his age.
The quick movement off of the snap, coupled with his borderline-elite closing speed, has him not giving the offense much time at all to get plays set up downfield — or even intermediate passing plays.
Abor also does a fantastic job at getting the offensive lineman's hands off of him as quickly as possible. Whether it’s using hand fighting technique (which we all know Johnson loves to teach), or simply bull-rushing the tackle and throwing them so far off balance that they can’t get their heavy hands underneath his pads. Being free of the lineman's hands allows Abor to use all sorts of pass-rush or bull-rush techniques to stop the run or pass.
Abor also gets great power out of his stance and appears comfortable both with his hand in the dirt as well as standing up as a pass rusher occasionally. Another smaller thing that I noticed was his tackling technique; Abor has great form and wraps up really well on nearly all of his tackles. Based on the film, he does not seem to attempt many arm tackles. Abor is not only a great pass rusher, but also very good against the run.
The defensive end has that elite bend around the edge that you look for in edge rushers as well, he can round the corner around offensive linemen with great flexibility to get underneath of the hands trying to stop him from getting around the edge. He will only improve in this area as he gets more collegiate weight training and reps against Big Ten caliber tackles.
That being said, the competition that he has already faced at the high school level is pretty impressive. Abor played for Duncanville High School which is in the highest high school classification in Texas, 6A. His school played a national schedule taking on the likes of Mater Dei in California in 2021 and in previous years schools like IMG Academy.
The elite competition level that Abor went up against in high school did nothing but prepare him for life in the Big Ten. Every day in practice he went up against players that also are going to Power 5 schools and learned from some of the best coaches in Texas. Now he makes his way to Columbus with that alpha mentality that you love to see out of your players. That mentality is going to give him a lot of opportunities to shine, and to shine early in his career in Columbus.
He fits more of the edge rushing role than an interior lineman option in my opinion, and will get his shot there to start his career; a career that I believe will ultimately lead to the NFL. His natural instincts for reading the offense mid-play and his closing speed are his two best qualities and things that will only improve once he gets to campus; in fact, I believe that we see at least one double-digit sack season from Abor before his time is up in the Scarlet and Gray.