Ohio State finally has a defensive end in the 2018 recruiting class.
Four-star Cleveland Heights prospect Tyreke Smith (6-3 260) committed to Ohio State on national television Thursday evening during the Under Armour All-American Game.
“It’s a blessing and truly an honor,” he said.
Smith chose Ohio State over his other finalist, Penn State. He also held offers from Alabama, USC, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Bowling Green.
The No. 4 weakside defensive end in the nation per the 247Sports Composite, Smith is the No. 60 player in the 2018 class and the No. 3 player in Ohio.
Smith shared the Division I Defensive Player of the Year honors for his 2017 performance, which saw him tally 23 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 22 quarterback pressures, six passes batted down, and 52 tackles. He also caught four touchdown passes at tight end.
Perhaps most amazingly, Smith has only played football for two years, so he is only getting better.
What he has already shown in his highlights is a player who wins due to effort and strength, but is more than just a bull rusher. He stays low and uses leverage, getting everything out of each snap. His size and motor are similar to departing Buckeye defensive end Tyquan Lewis.
Tyreke Smith is not scheduled to enroll early, but when he does get to Columbus, he could find himself immediately entrenched in the two-deep simply because of the lack of numbers at defensive end. The Buckeyes will return just Nick Bosa, Chase Young, and Jonathon Cooper as scholarship defensive ends, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson is always looking to rotate players if they are good enough to play.
Smith is a very good athlete who will also be able to eventually slide inside on passing downs if need be. He joins defensive tackles Antwuan Jackson, Tommy Togiai, and Taron Vincent, as well as “big athlete” Alex Williams in Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class.
Togiai and Vincent will play together in the Army All-American Bowl on Saturday. Jackson is a junior college transfer who will arrive with redshirt sophomore eligibility.
Tyreke Smith Highlights
[Tyreke Smith photo courtesy 247Sports.com]