The Hurry Up: Ohio State Offers Defensive Tackle Again While Four-Star Defensive End Sets Announcement Date

By Andrew Lind on August 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Antwuan Jackson
Antwuan Jackson

The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.


This afternoon, Ohio State offered a scholarship to Brenham, Texas, Blinn College defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson, a former four-star prospect who transferred from Auburn after his redshirt freshman season.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Jackson seriously considered the Buckeyes, taking an official visit for the 17-14 loss to Michigan State in 2015, but but opted to join the Tigers instead as part of their 2016 recruiting class just one month later. He grew extremely fond of defensive line coach Larry Johnson at the time, however, which is why Auburn blocked a possible transfer to Ohio State — as well as any other SEC school, Clemson, Georgia Southern and Mercer — when he announced his intentions to leave the program in mid-May.

Now I understand, though I don't agree with head coach Gus Malzahn's reasons for prohibiting Jackson from transferring within the conference or to schools the Tigers will play this fall. Auburn doesn't want him to share information with an opponent and give them an advantage. But to restrict him from becoming a Buckeye without having to jump through a number of hoops first is just petty, and for that Malzahn should be ashamed. It's not like the Tigers are going to make the College Football Playoff anytime soon anyway...

All that said, Jackson transferred to Blinn after his appeal to have the restrictions overturned was denied. And just Ohio State cornerback Kendall Sheffield last winter, he'll now be able to sign a National Letter of Intent with whatever school he chooses this December.

Specific reasons were never given for his desired departure, though many have speculated that Jackson was unhappy with being redshirted during his freshman season — which was exactly why Sheffield left Alabama last summer. And when it does come time for him to make a decision, I anticipate Ohio State will be the choice.

In fact, I would have already made a 247Sports Crystal Ball predicition if his recruiting profile was updated.

Jackson doesn't have a specific timetable, though, and other schools will undoubtedly try to land his pledge. South Carolina has been mentioned as a potential destination, as his brother Bryson Allen-Williams is a linebacker for the Gamecocks. He's a senior, though, meaning the Buckeyes are the only team to have a plausible connection to Jackson at this moment in time.

With five-star Taron Vincent the only defensive tackle currently in the fold and both Tracy Sprinkle and Michael Hill set to graduate this spring, landing Jackson's pledge will certainly be a priority for the staff this fall. He'll likely take another official visit and then make a decision on his future shortly thereafter.  


The only other realistic option at defensive tackle at this point in the recruiting process is Pocatello, Idaho, Highland four-star Tommy Togiai, who is set to take an official visit Ohio State for the game against Oklahoma next weekend. But the official offer to Jackson certainly makes it less likely he ends up in Columbus when things are all said and done.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Togiai — who is considered the seventh-best defensive tackle and No. 97 prosect overall in the Class of 2018 — made his first and only trip to campus for Friday Night Lights. But much like Jay Tufele last cycle, the general feeling surrounding his recruitment is that the distance would be too much for Ohio State to overcome, especially given his interest in schools like USC, Utah and Washington.

Togiai's official visit on Sept. 9 will be very telling for both sides, as he'll get his first taste of Columbus on game day and the staff will be able to get a better understanding of where the Buckeyes stand in his recruitment. If his interest is sincere, Ohio State will have a very tough choice to make down the line when it comes to Jackson and Togiai.

Depending on who you ask, the answer to which prospect has the higher upside may vary. So it'll come down to which is more likely: Landing the prospect with whom you have a long-established relationship or the one that's half the country away?  

#BOOM x2 

Ohio State fans will already be tuned into the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4, 2018, as commits Sevyn Banks, Brenton Cox and Brian Snead will play in the exhibition and New Jersey four-star defensive end target Jayson Oweh is set to announce his college decision among Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.

Now there's even more incentive, as Cleveland Heights four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith announced on Twitter Tuesday he too will make his college intentions known that afternoon. He's down to Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and USC.

Of course, the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Smith shared the news just a few days after I wrote the following:

There hasn't been much to discuss when it comes to Smith in recent weeks, as he's flown a bit under the radar since his trip to California to visit USC and spend time with family in late July. He hasn't set an announcement date and doesn't seem to favor one school over another, either.

So, you're probably wondering, is that a cause for concern when it comes to Ohio State?

Not really. Smith, you have to remember, has only played one season of organized football. He's continuing to perfect his craft in practice, and focusing on his senior season is just as important as figuring out which school he'll attend. Smith will take official visits this fall, I'd assume to all five schools, and then make a decision on his future.

Meyer and defensive line coach Larry Johnson have made it clear Smith is a priority for them, and no matter what happens with five-star defensive end Micah Parsons and/or four-star Jayson Oweh, he has a spot waiting for him in the class. Now it's just a matter of Smith taking the time to figure out where he wants to be.

I will say, though, don't sleep on the Nittany Lions, as head coach James Franklin has made quite the impression on Smith's family.

So could Ohio State potentially land two highly sought-after defensive end targets on the same day? Absolutely, but that's a long way in the distance. With Cox already in the fold and Pennsylvania five-star defensive end Micah Parsons favoring the Buckeyes, too, you can bet schools are pointing out the potential logjam of talent at the position if they'd all end up in Columbus.

As of right now, my heart tells me all three choose Ohio State in spite of that. But my head tells me only Smith and Oweh or Parsons actually does.


Ohio State currently sits atop the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings with 17 total pledges, the latest coming from Huber Heights Wayne four-star wide receiver L'Christian “Blue” Smith on Sunday morning. The Buckeyes remain among the favorite for several of the top-ranked prospects in the nation, too, which means they could potentially end Alabama's seven-year run as the mythical recruiting champions.

But that said, there are only a limited number of spots remaining, meaning we're in a bit of a holding pattern until each makes their respective decisions. Among them are the aformetioned Oweh, Parsons and Smith, as well as:

  • Fairfield five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman

The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder is down to Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, USC and Wisconsin and plans to make a decision in December.

  • Houston five-star cornerback Anthony Cook

The 6-foot, 168-pounder is down to LSU, Ohio State and Texas and plans to make a decision before Halloween.

  • St. Louis four-star wide receiver Kamryn Babb

The 6-foot-1, 189-pound Babb is down to Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and USC and has no timetable for a decision.

That would give Ohio State 23 commitments with the freedom to chase Jackson, Togiai and a fourth linebacker like Solomon Tuliaupupu through National Signing Day.

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