The Buckeyes do not yet have any true defensive ends in their 2018 recruiting class, but that could be changing on Thursday as two of the nation’s better prospects at that position announce their verbal commitments.
Ohioan Tyreke Smith (Cleveland Heights HS) and New Jersey prospect Jayson Oweh (Blair Academy) will both be announcing their commitments live on ESPN2 during Thursday’s telecast of the Under Armour All-American Game. The game kicks off at 6:00 pm.
Rated as 4-star prospects, both players will be choosing between Ohio State and Penn State. Smith is thought to be leaning toward OSU, while Oweh is tilting in PSU’s direction.
Smith (6-3 260) is the No. 4 weakside defensive end in the nation and the No. 60 prospect in the 2018 class per the 247Sports Composite. He attends the same high school as current Ohio State wide receiver Jaylen Harris. He also holds offers from Alabama, USC, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Youngstown State.
Smith was a First-Team All-State selection and shared the Division I Defensive Player of the Year honors in the state of Ohio for his 2017 performance.
Oweh (6-5 236) is the No. 5 strongside defensive end in the nation and the No. 106 prospect in the Composite. He also holds offers from Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida, and Harvard.
— Jayson Oweh (@JaysonOweh) January 3, 2018
Ohio State currently has three 2018 defensive tackles signed in Taron Vincent, Tommy Togiai, and junior college transfer Antwuan Jackson. They also signed “big athlete” Alex Williams, who could end up just about anywhere on the line of scrimmage, on either side of the ball.
Landing either player is imperative for the Buckeyes, and it looks like they won’t go home empty handed.
Smith and Oweh won’t be the only Buckeye targets or signees playing in the Under Armour game, as running back Brian Snead, cornerback Sevyn Banks, linebacker Teradja Mitchell, and offensive lineman Matt Jones will be there as well. Former commitments Brenton Cox (DE) and Emory Jones (QB) are also scheduled to participate.
We will have more on the game Thursday and a recap of notable performances on Friday.
[Tyreke Smith photo courtesy 247Sports.com]