The Buckeyes finally landed a 5-star defensive tackle when Florida’s Taron Vincent committed to the Buckeyes yesterday via Twitter. Vincent became the fifth member of OSU’s 2018 class.
What kind of impact will Vincent’s commitment have on Ohio State now and going forward?
Vincent is a 6-foot-2 285-pound defensive tackle out of Bradenton, Florida via Baltimore, Maryland. He is rated as the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the country for 2018 and is also Florida’s No. 1 overall prospect. He is now the top prospect in the class of 2018 for the Ohio State recruiting class.
His father was NFL great and current Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, so he has a football pedigree to be sure. After transferring from his home school in Baltimore, Vincent joined the IMG Academy and had a monster junior season. He finished with 92 tackles, five sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss.
When I see the film on Vincent, a recent Buckeye player comes to mind in Cameron Heyward. Heyward was an imposing force on the Ohio State defensive line from 2007-2010. Vincent has the body type and the speed that Heyward possessed while he was disrupting offensive lines for the Buckeyes.
Heyward came in as a true freshman and made an immediate impact for the Buckeyes, helping lead them to the BCS National Championship game in his first season. He finished his storied career at Ohio State as a four-year player who racked up 162 total tackles, 31 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks.
Vincent has the same ability that Heyward did when he was a Buckeye, and if he is able to produce for three or four years at the level that Heyward did when he was at OSU, then the Buckeyes should again have that game-changing player stuffing the middle on the defensive line.
Vincent fits right in with the Ohio State defensive line. He will fill a large void that has plagued Urban Meyer’s recruiting classes since he has been in Columbus. Meyer and company have just missed out on some top-flight defensive tackles over the years, and landing Vincent has to feel pretty good for this coaching staff. The relationships they have built since offering him two years ago were very important in getting Vincent to buy into what Ohio State was offering.
Even though the defensive line for Ohio State has been stout over the past few seasons, adding a talented player like Vincent will only add to their ability to make opposing offenses cower in fear when they line up against the Buckeyes.
The Depth Chart
With the departure of Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Michael Hill, Tracy Sprinkle, and likely Sam Hubbard after next year, the Buckeye depth chart will take a big hit. Vincent should have a chance to come in and compete right away for playing time among the remaining defensive linemen.
At defensive tackle, he will be rotating with Dre’Mont Jones (if he’s still here), Robert Landers, Davon Hamilton, Malik Barrow, and incoming freshmen Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage. If he is able to enroll early and get in some spring weight room work as well as spring practice, he could find himself in the two-deep headed into the fall camp. He has too much ability and talent to spend time sitting on the bench, and Urban Meyer and Larry Johnson know that and will do whatever it takes to make sure that he sees the field early and often.
The Buckeyes have been looking for that star defensive tackle since Meyer arrived in Columbus, and they may have just found their man. Vincent should come in and provide that much needed inside presence on the line that will allow the linebackers and defensive ends the ability to make more plays.
He will likely enroll early at Ohio State, giving him a leg up on getting some early playing time during his freshman year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him add some weight while maintaining his speed and burst off the line.
Whether he is at Ohio State for three of four years will remain to be seen, but he should be a special player for the Buckeyes for as long as he remains in Columbus.