The Buckeyes signed 26 players in the 2018 recruiting class, and only offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere was ranked higher by the recruiting services than 5-star IMG defensive tackle Taron Vincent (Bradenton, FL).
Petit-Frere was seen as the No. 1 offensive tackle and the No. 7 player, while Vincent was ranked the No. 1 defensive tackle and the No. 20 player overall. Vincent, Petit-Frere, and 11 other Buckeye teammates represented 13% of the Top 100 players in the nation, which gives you a different way of looking at just how talented the 2018 recruiting class is.
Vincent did not enroll early, which will delay his development initially, but it is far from a road block to immediate success. The more stout obstacle for him in 2018 will be the Ohio State depth chart.
What To Like
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds, Taron Vincent will likely come in and focus on playing the three technique position on the interior.
Vincent is the son of former NFL cornerback Troy Vincent, so he has been around football his entire life. He understands the game very well, and understands the leverage that his position requires.
Vincent is an explosive trench man who can blast into the backfield either between blockers with his quickness or through a blocker with his power and leverage. When he does get into the backfield, he will also pursue laterally as the play breaks down.
He is No. 54 in the clips below.
Vincent played inside and outside for IMG, excelling in one-on-one situations wherever he lined up. His quickness is troublesome for offensive guards, and tackles didn’t exactly excel against him either.
He doesn’t stay blocked for long, especially if there is only one player trying to do the blocking.
While I don’t expect to see this happen often, Taron Vincent is also very effective against the quick kick.
So what is there to like? Just about everything. He’s not the biggest guy, but he doesn’t need to be. He can get into the backfield with a quickness, but when he gets there, he still maintains control.
Coming from a football family, Vincent has seen what it takes to reach your potential as a player, so he understands what is going to be required of him at Ohio State. Just having that understanding will help him adjust this summer.
Vincent’s style of play fits in perfectly with the type of play-making defensive tackles that Larry Johnson wants in his front four. He wants penetrating disruptors, which is the perfect description for Vincent. He is strong and alert, possessing the quickness required to act on what he is processing.
Even when he is getting blocked, he is still looking for the football.
Larry Johnson also wants pass rushers at the three tech, which is why he has placed former defensive ends like Dre’Mont Jones and Adolphus Washington there. This is also why he loves his Rushmen package so much. Jones is expected to take one of the four spots in that lineup this season, and Vincent has the same kind of potential to remain in on passing downs.
Ultimately, however, his job is going to be to stop the run, which he seems perfectly comfortable doing.
Taron Vincent was one of three defensive tackles signed by the Buckeyes in 2018, and the only one who didn’t enroll early. He will likely play the same position as Tommy Togiai, who shined this spring and lost his Black Stripe. Redshirt sophomore Malik Barrow will also be healthy this season, and sophomore Haskell Garrett will also be on the field. They will all be behind Dre’Mont Jones, who will command more snaps, while also being part of a rotation.
There are no proven three techs behind Jones, though there is plenty of talent in the four players mentioned above. The best players will play, and if that is Vincent, he could be in line for some decent snaps this season.
The Bottom Line
Vincent looks like a complete player in both his understanding of the game and his ability to play it. Given his upbringing and his time spent at IMG, he could take to Ohio State very well and very quickly.
The final clip below just gives an all-around look at what Buckeye fans can expect to see from him down the road, and possibly as soon as this season.