Five-Star Defensive Tackle Is Urban Meyer's First Commitment
By Tony Gerdeman
Beginning just the third week in his tenure at Ohio State, Urban Meyer finally landed his first commitment as the Buckeyes' head coach.
Tommy Schutt (6-3 301), a defensive tackle out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, made it known on Monday that he wanted to be a Buckeye. Schutt, a five-star prospect, and the fifth-ranked defensive tackle overall according to Scout, was previously committed to Penn State until Monday.
The Army All-American took his official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. Tt could not have gone better for either Schutt or the Buckeyes.
Schutt chose Ohio State over the likes of Florida, Auburn, Miami, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, USC and Wisconsin.
Originally he wanted to commit to Notre Dame, but they no longer had room for another defensive tackle in their class, so he ended up at Penn State. Then, with the scandal at Penn State, he began to look around.
Schutt, who began his high school career as a running back, is nimble for a big man, but not too nimble to stop the run.
"The fact is he’s the entire package," Schutt's head coach Chad Hetlet told ESPN last month.
"He’s smart. He’s strong. He’s physical, athletic, has a nose for the ball. There aren’t too many areas where you say, 'He doesn’t have that.'"
But it's not just his own coach who raves about his abilities, it's also the coaches who have to play against him as well.
Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg told ESPN: "I believe Tommy Schutt is one of the best point-of-attack defenders I have coached against in 18 years. He is very sudden and explosive. If the ball gets near him, he will gobble it up. He explodes into blockers and sheds very well. He has a low center of gravity and uses leverage very well."
"Schutt was tough to block." York coach Bill Lech told ESPN.
"He made their entire defense better. If you doubled him, that freed up another linebacker. If you tried to solo him, you couldn’t do it. Won’t miss him a bit here at York."
Illinois was the first school to offer Schutt back in December of 2009. It was just the first of many to come his way.
Schutt finished his career with 33 sacks, 45 tackles for loss, 21 batted balls and eleven forced fumbles. He had 73 tackles as a senior and 67 as a junior.
This now gives Ohio State a class of 17, with room for approximately six more spots. The commitment will no doubt help in the recruiting of five-star offensive tackle Jordan Diamond, who is also from Illinois.
Per Scout's rankings, this gives the Buckeyes their second five-star defensive lineman in this class. Paired with five-star defensive end Adolphus Washington, the current defensive line haul looks like a good one for Ohio State, but Urban Meyer is far from done yet. He still has his sights set on another defensive end or two, and right now, is anybody in a position to doubt that he will make it happen?
Schutt becomes the first Illinois high school defensive lineman to commit to Ohio State since current Buckeye Garrett Goebel arrived in the 2008 class. Goebel was Scout's fourth-ranked defensive tackle that year, by the way.
For the Buckeyes, who began to wear down up front as the season went on, Schutt's arrival should bring nothing but blessings. Even without knowing exactly how the defensive front will look, there is always a place for a run stopper in the Big Ten.
Johnathan Hankins came in as a three-star prospect and emerged almost immediately as a freshman. Schutt has many of those same abilities, though it's entirely too early to expect the same type of results.
Still, depth is always a good thing on the line of scrimmage, and Schutt certainly fits that bill.
Ohio State returns everybody except for Evan Blankenship on their defensive line for 2012, but it's clear that even more talent is in store for the Buckeyes on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Right now, it's starting to look like Schutt and Washington are just the beginning.
Tommy Schutt - Glen Ellyn, IL - DT (6-3 301)
Scout: 5-star DT; 5th-ranked DT; 42nd-ranked prospect overall
Rivals: 4-star DT; 5th-ranked DT; 52nd-ranked prospect overall
ESPN: 4-star DT; 12th-ranked DT; 130th-ranked prospect overall
24/7: 4-star DT; 11th-ranked DT; 97th-ranked prospect overal
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