The commitment on Sunday of four-star defensive lineman Jason Moore was a huge addition for Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class. After only having one committed player along the defensive line before Moore to that point, it was time the Buckeyes and position coach Larry Johnson added an elite playmaker on that side of the ball, and someone who can bring a major impact from his edge rusher position.
Listed as the No. 53 player nationally per the 247Sports Composite, any time you land that caliber of athlete regardless of position it’s going to be celebrated. But Moore’s commitment may mean that much and more to Ohio State when looking at a couple of various aspects of his background.
Sure, every player on Ohio State’s recruiting board is there for a reason, whether it be from a pure talent base and beyond, but looking more in depth at what Moore brings to the table and where he comes from, this recruitment may have been more important to the Buckeyes and their current class than many recruiting followers may have realized.
Here’s why Moore’s commitment was not only exciting, but needed.
Raw talent and potential for more
Not far off from being a five-star prospect, there’s a reason why Moore is the the fifth-best player at his position in the 2023 class per the Composite. Additionally, being the top-ranked player in Maryland this cycle, Moore is every bit of a top-100 player, and Ohio State has had more than enough success at developing guys like him for the next level — especially at his position. Look at the previous NFL Draft boards and see how well the Buckeyes have fared in that regard.
While the 20-plus offers from the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida, Penn State, Auburn, and several more really give you all you need to know about Moore’s talent, the 6-foot-6, 255 pound frame he currently has directly points to how impactful he can be on the edge of the defensive line. The length allows him to bend and stretch in pursuit of the ball carrier, but having a basketball background to go along with it, Moore is really athletic for his size and has tons of room to continue getting bigger and stronger.
A perfect example of why he’s a “must-have” player in the class, his talent and ranking give the Buckeyes exactly what they’re looking for in a defensive end target. Everything he brings to the table helps Ohio State’s depth and pass rush and in a position where many times the game is won and lost. This commitment was crucial for the Buckeyes.
Obviously speaking, landing a talented four-star is always necessary when wanting to finish at or near the top of the recruiting rankings at the end of each year, but from a pure talent stance, Moore, with all of the size and potential he brings to the table in addition to a college-ready frame, makes him that much more important to this 2023 haul.
Building strong ties with a familiar prep program
Knowing talent many times can be the deciding factor of looking to land a recruit, where Moore becomes a little more special is because of where he’s from. To many Ohio State fans, his recruitment may even be recognized directly because of his high school team, and the recent history here would make complete and total sense.
Another product of Maryland’s DeMatha Catholic, Moore of course is from the same prep powerhouse that produced former Buckeye great, Chase Young. From the same position on the field, you know Moore has been taught and developed from a high school program that knows what they’re doing when it comes to churning out DI type players. From a schedule standpoint, it’s proven each year DeMatha plays not only some of the top prep teams in their area, but nationally as well. The caliber of player at DeMatha is known by Ohio State, and Moore is the next link in the chain.
Where the commitment of Moore gets even more interesting is from the pipeline aspect. Two players from DeMatha may not exactly be a large quantity to deem it a pipeline, but again, knowing what Ohio State was able to have with Young and now Moore, you get the notion that both the high school staff as well as Ohio State’s staff are pretty comfortable with each other, and that bodes well for future players the Buckeyes want to key in on.
Surely DeMatha isn’t finished producing great players, and having Ohio State ties to the program with two of their higher ranked guys is an aspect the coaching staff has to love.
Larry Johnson isn’t done yet
On top of talent and background, the final aspect of Moore’s commitment that makes him a major key to 2023’s recruiting class is the idea that it further proves Larry Johnson’s continued success. Let’s face it, unfortunately Johnson isn’t going to coach forever, and while the negative recruiting rumors surrounding him and a possible retirement have already been used before with top targets to lure them away from Columbus, this commitment just keeps the Buckeyes and Johnson with a full head of steam moving forward.
Landing an elite player such as Moore is one thing, but in doing so with Johnson, who had to beat out other top national suitors, the negative recruiting gets shushed a little bit. That’s exactly what Ohio State needs as they look to build up the rest of the 2023 defensive line class for one, but as eyes also look forward to the future classes too.
Where some may take a shot at how long Johnson can keep going, winning national battles on the recruiting front is a recipe to add even more guys. With elite talents such as John Walker and Matayo Uiagalelei still out there and highly considering the Buckeyes in their own recruitments, additions like Moore help because other top players see the momentum Ohio State has. That creates the potential to start a domino effect of top national guys wanting to play together at the next level.
At any rate, when Johnson lands players like Moore, it’s not only a good thing for the roster, but it’s also great for the future of the position recruiting.
Overall, the commitment of Jason Moore is just one player, but the after effect can be so much more when you consider all of the above in what has become a recruit that brings more to Ohio State than just talent alone. This addition is something that can positively impact the Buckeyes for some time, and it’s worth noting how important Moore is to this class and why he deserves recognition as such.