clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BOOM! Ohio State lands five-star defensive lineman Eddrick Houston

Also, four-star Edge rusher Booker Pickett sets Columbus visit.

Eddrick Houston on a visit to Ohio Stadium
Tom Loy | 247Sports

After Ohio State and defensive line coach Larry Johnson lost out on five-star Edge rusher Dylan Stewart after having been the presumptive favorites for the majority of his recruitment, many people — myself included — openly questioned whether or not Johnson still had his fastball when it came to recruiting. The Mount Rushmore d-line coach has still been able to pull in top talent in recent years, but a disturbing pattern has begun to emerge with elite Edge rushers being Ohio State leans more months (or more) before ending up committing elsewhere.

Well, while he is not an Edge rusher, five-star defensive lineman Eddrick Houston’s commitment to Ohio State on Tuesday night should shut up us LJ naysayers, at least for the time being. Houston is the No. 23 player in the entire 2024 recruiting class and the No. 4 defensive lineman according to 247Sports Composite Ratings. A Buford, Ga. native, Houston ultimately picked the Buckeyes over Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, and USC, with the Crimson Tide being the reported runners-up.

Houston joins an unbelievable one-two punch on the defensive line for Ohio State in the current cycle alongside the No. 14 player nationally (and No. 3 d-lineman) Justin Scott. The class currently does not have a defensive end (more on that below), but it sits solidly in the No. 2 spot nationally behind only the two-time defending champion Georgia Bulldogs. However, since UGA has racked up that score with four more commitments than OSU, Houston’s pledge increases the Buckeyes’ lead in terms of average player rankings. Houston is the seventh top-100 player in Ryan Day’s 2024 class and its fifth five-star recruit according to 247Sports Composite rankings joining Scott, wide receivers Jeremiah Smith and Mylan Graham, and quarterback Air Noland.

247Sports’ director of scouting Andrew Ivins thinks that Houston has the makings of a difference-maker at the next level.

“Racked up 10 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries as a junior while working primarily out of a four-point stance in a three-man front,” Ivins said. “Could likely be deployed in a similar role at the next level, but might also be able to stand-up and work as a rush linebacker of sorts on Saturdays, or even beef up and attack from the inside as a 3-technique ... should be viewed as a potential difference-maker on Saturdays given motor, length and burst ... Sunday potential as best football appears to still very much be ahead of him.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman has speed, once anchoring his high school’s 4x400 team; he posted a 55.70 in the 400-meter dash as a junior. He also made it to the Georgia state wrestling semifinals as a sophomore.

By all measures, this is a home run for the Buckeyes and for Larry Johnson. Ohio State has been plagued in recent years by a run of underwhelming defensive recruiting over the stretch of a few years early in Day’s coaching tenure. However, with a staff seemingly in place, it appears that they are finally starting to consistently land top talent again... now if they could just do it on the edge.

Quick Hits

  • While he might not have the rating of No. 13 Stewart or No. 64 Marquise Lightfoot (a long-time presumed Buckeye lean who committed to Miami), there is a big-time Edge rusher planning to visit Columbus this fall. According to the 247Sports Composites, Booker Pickett Jr. is the No. 190 player in the 2024 class and No. 14 Edge rusher. Rivals’ Jeremy Birmingham is reporting that Pickett is planning to visit Columbus in October, and I would think Oct. 21 for the game against Penn State would be a nice environment.

A Tampa, Fla. native, Pickett stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds and has offers from 37 schools, including Georgia, Florida State, South Carolina, and Miami, all of whom are believed to be in strong consideration along with OSU. Though Pickett’s dad played at Miami, he does have strong Ohio State connections as his uncle is former Buckeye great and Super Bowl champion Ryan Pickett.

Check out Booker Pickett Jr.’s 2022 highlights: