clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Update on Ohio State defensive line recruiting

After successful hauls at both WR and DB, the Buckeyes will now look to focus on the DL. On Monday, Ohio State missed out on one of their priority defensive line targets, but made the top 10 for another.

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Happy belated Independence Day, and hopefully you enjoyed the holiday weekend. While you may have been spending time at cookouts and watching fireworks with loved ones, the Ohio State football team was making recruiting headlines. In case you missed anything on Monday, Land-Grant Holy Land has you covered.

Update on Ohio State DL recruiting

The past two weeks have been extremely kind to Ohio State. Two weeks ago, the Buckeyes had an incredible run at wide-receivers, earning three commitments from top-100 recruits at the position. The addition of the three gives Ohio State one of the best WR recruiting groups in history. Not to be outdone though, the Buckeyes then turned around and earned three commitments at defensive-back last week. The incredible run has the Buckeyes sitting with the No. 2 class in the country, with more room to add.

The Buckeyes will continue to focus on the defensive side of the ball, mainly putting priority on the linebacker and defensive line. The Buckeyes have earned just one DL commitment in the 2023 class in four-star DL Will Smith (Dublin, Oh / Dublin Coffman), and on Monday the team saw multiple dominoes fall that has likely made the position group the team’s biggest need.

Four-star DL target Darron Reed (Columbus, GA / Carver) was sitting near the top of Ohio State’s big board, and on Monday he decided to commit to LSU over the Buckeyes. His commitment had come down to the two schools, and despite Ohio State’s best efforts, Reed will be playing college ball in Baton Rouge.

Reed’s decision will send the Buckeyes back to the drawing board, but the team is not without a plan. The Buckeyes are still heavily recruiting plenty at the defensive line position including Jordan Hall, Jason Moore, Matayo Uiagalelei, Desmond Umeosulu, and John Walker.

Of the group, the Buckeyes are sitting best with Umeosulu and Walker. The Buckeyes have been viewed as on the outside-looking-in with the remaining members of the above group, but they are still legitimate contenders with them all, including Hall, who included the team in his top schools on Monday in what may be the coolest top school release yet this cycle.

Hall has the Buckeyes among his top 10 schools alongside Oregon, LSU, Miami, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Florida and USC. The Seminoles are the heavy favorites in Hall’s recruitment, but the Buckeyes will try to convince him to change his mind before his commitment date.

Of the defensive line targets Ohio State has the best chances with, Walker will likely be the first to commit. He has a commitment date set for July 28, and the Buckeyes are the runaway favorites for him, holding both the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. Umeozulu has not yet set a commitment date, but the Buckeyes are also favorites to land him following an official visit late last month.

Both Walker and Umeozulu are blue-chip prospects and would make for excellent additions alongside Ohio State legacy Will Smith. Walker is the No. 11 DL and is the No. 97 overall prospect in 2023 while Umeozulu is the No. 14 DE and the No. 136 overall prospect.

Quick Hits

  • Four-star CB Christian Gray committed to Notre Dame over Ohio State, USC, LSU and Missouri on Monday. The move should not come as a surprise to Ohio State, as it already has four commitments at the position in the class, and will likely not have room for another.
  • Switching to the hardwood, Chris Holtmann and the Ohio State men’s basketball team officially played host to the 2023 No. 2 prospect in Ohio on Monday in four-star small forward Devin Royal. The Ohio-native and his family visited Ohio State Monday and the visit seems to have gone as well as possible. Royal has seen plenty of attention from programs outside of Ohio State and the Buckeyes will need to work hard to keep him in Ohio.