In the last installment of Recruiting Commentary we looked at the state of offensive line recruiting in the 2021 class. Today we’re looking at the big guys on the other side of the ball, the defensive line.
To date the Buckeyes have three verbal commitments from defensive linemen and they are three good ones. There are two very highly ranked defensive ends and one very highly ranked interior lineman. They are as follows (all ranking information is via the 24/7 composite ranking):
Jack Sawyer: At 6-5, 248 Sawyer is considered the third-best player at his position nationally and also considered the third-best player at any position nationally in the most recent 24/7 rankings. Clearly, it is a great year for strong-side defensive ends when the top-three players in the nation are all defensive ends, and the Buckeyes have secured the services of one of he best in Sawyer. A very athletic defensive end, Sawyer actually saw duty at quarterback in his high school junior season. He is recovering from a knee injury but is expected to recover fully and be at full strength for this season if high school football is played in Ohio this year. Sawyer is rated the top player in the state of Ohio. He was one of the first commitments to this Buckeye class and was a huge target for Michigan but decided to stay home to play. He is a native of Pickerington, Ohio, and a five-star prospect.
Tunmise Adeleye: Standing 6-3 and weighing 240 pounds Adeleye is ranked the fourth-best strong-side defensive end in the nation and is ranked the 30th-best player at any position nationally. Adeleye attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. His final decision came down to a choice be Ohio State and Alabama and the Buckeyes won out. He is a four-star prospect.
Mike Hall: At 6-3, 290 Hall is considered the fifth-best defensive tackle prospect in the nation and the 54th-best player overall nationally at any position. Like Sawyer, Hall is an Ohio native who has decided to play his college ball in his home state. He is a native of Streetsboro, Ohio and like Adeleye his decision came down to OSU or Alabama. Hall is a player whose stock has risen dramatically over the last nine months or so and his best football is probably still in front of him. He is a four-star prospect. .
Those three players represent a pretty good haul of defensive line talent but there are at least two more defensive linemen the Buckeyes would love to add to this class. The first is strong-side defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau of Sammamish, Washington. Tuimoloau is currently ranked the second-best player in the nation at any position and the second-best player at his position in what is a very good year for defensive ends. He has long-been considered an Ohio State lean and has 92% of his crystal balls pointed at the Buckeyes. If the Buckeyes were to land him they would have the numbers 2, 3 and 4 defensive ends in the nation in this class. He is a five-star prospect. Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford and Southern Cal are seen as the competition for the Buckeyes for his services.
The Buckeyes are also recruiting one more interior defensive lineman in Tywone Malone. Malone is 6-3.5, 300 pound prospect from Oradell, New Jersey. He is ranked the 4th-best defensive tackle prospect nationally and the 53rd-best player overall in the 2021 class. Other programs in the mix for Malone’s services are Ole Miss, Rutgers, Texas A&M and Alabama. Malone is pictured at the top of this column.
A final note/update on offensive line recruiting. The Buckeyes have offered a scholarship to 2023 offensive lineman Adam Leigh. He is the brother of 2021 five-star offensive lineman Tristan Leigh that the Buckeyes would love to add to this class. Adam Leigh holds offers from OSU, Maryland and LSU. LSU is also in the mix for Tristan Leigh.
Editor’s Note: When originally published this report erroneously cited the 24/7 rankings, not the 24/7 composite rankings as had been intended. It has been edited to correctly cite the 24/7 composite. 5:30 PM 7/31/20