Defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie sent in his Letter of Intent to Ohio State on Wednesday, officially making him a member of the Buckeyes’ 2019 recruiting class.
Here’s a look at what he could mean for the future of the program.
Weight: 285 lbs
Position: Defensive tackle
Hometown: Wake Forest, North Carolina
247 Composite Rating: 3-star, No. 867 player overall
Position Rank: No. 58 defensive tackle
When He Committed: On Early Signing Day, over schools like North Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
Projection: One year after loading up at defensive tackle, the Buckeyes took a one-man class at the position in 2019. That man is Jaden McKenzie.
He likely profiles as a 3-tech lineman, the position filled by players like Dre’Mont Jones and Davon Hamilton on the 2018 Ohio State football team.
McKenzie is from Wake Forest, NC, the same program that produced Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and Stanford running back Bryce Love.
The program won the North Carolina state championship in 2016 and 2017, and then turned it into a three-peat this year.
His recruitment came down to a battle between two schools with new head coaches. Ultimately, OSU’s Ryan Day won out over North Carolina’s Mack Brown.
He also held offers from schools like Clemson, Tennessee, Wisconsin, UCF, and West Virginia.
His recruitment was pretty low-key compared to a lot of prospects, but the Buckeyes have had their eyes on McKenzie for a while. They first offered him a scholarship in late June.
He visited Columbus for the first time for the Michigan game in November.
His highlight reel showcases some really intriguing potential.
You can see McKenzie rushing off the edge of a three-man line, and using a combination of strength, technique, and speed to get to the quarterback.
McKenzie joins 4-star defensive end Noah Potter and 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison as the only true defensive linemen in the class. Craig Young, a 3-star prospect currently listed as an athlete, could end up at defensive end as well.
You can watch McKenzie’s highlight reel below.
Jaden McKenzie’s Highlight Reel