Ohio State landed its second commitment in less than a week when Mentor four-star defensive end Noah Potter pledged his services to the Buckeyes on Monday evening following an unofficial visit for the program’s annual Spring Game.
The Potter File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6-foot-5, 250 pounds
- Pos: DE
- School: Mentor (OH)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 18 (SDE)
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Potter is considered the 18th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 240 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He picked Ohio State over nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson was the biggest reason why.
“As soon as he promised me he’d be there until I leave, I was sold,” Potter told Eleven Warriors, bringing back to mind how the assistant faced retirement rumors last recruiting cycle. "[That's] huge because our relationship is so good."
Potter has been to Columbus so many times over the last two years it’s almost become impossible to keep track of each visit, but his first trip to campus came for the Buckeyes’ rain-soaked win over Tusla in September 2016. It was then that his intentions became clear.
“It's my dream school,” Potter said, “[but the staff] said they usually offer guys in my position later [in the process] to see how we develop.”
Understanding that he needed to build a strong relationship with the staff — in addition to performing at a high level on the field, of course — Potter returned for another game that fall. He also attended Junior Day in January and became a fixture at Ohio State basketball games, where he cheered on his older brother, Micah.
It wasn’t until Potter visited campus for a one-day camp last summer, though, that he truly believed he could play for a coach of Johnson’s stature. Another trip to campus for Friday Night Lights in July helped them bond even further.
“It was like he was my actual coach,” Potter said. “I got to see his coaching style and I learned a ton. The way he coaches [stands out]. He doesn't swear; I don't swear. He doesn't yell; he coaches you. I lost a rep and he told me one thing to fix, and then I won the next five reps. He really simplifies pass rushing and makes everything easier.”
Potter felt as if the staff was close to offering when he returned to Columbus for the highly anticipated game against Oklahoma in September, especially after a conversation with head coach Urban Meyer.
“He said if I didn't go to Ohio State, he would put a dead horse in my driveway and put screws in my tires so I couldn't leave,” Potter said, noting he also had an open invitation to attend any game he’d like for the remainder of his high school career.
As Potter mentioned, the Buckeyes typically take the process slower with in-state recruits. However, an offer from the Nittany Lions in early October seemingly accelerated that timeline. He returned to campus for Ohio State’s game against (none other than) Penn State, at which time Meyer called him into his office and offered him a scholarship in person.
“To get an offer to play for one of the best defensive line coaches in the world is amazing,” Potter said.
From there, Potter’s relationship with the staff only blossomed. He notably dropped by the Woody Hayes Athletic Center just to say hello to Johnson before heading over to Value City Arena for Buckeyes’ basketball game against Iowa in January, but that turned into a long conversation with Meyer.
"He wants me to spend a whole day with Nick [Bosa] and Chase [Young] to see how they work and how they eat and stuff," Potter said.
By then, Potter was closing in on a decision. He wanted to do his due diligence and visit some other schools, though, so he made trips to Athens, Gainesville, Madison and Tuscaloosa this spring. But after one more trip to campus for the Spring Game on Saturday, Potter finally admitted the inevitable and committed to Ohio State.
Potter becomes the fifth member of Ohio State’s Dynasty ‘19 recruiting class, Indiana four-star running back Sampson James, West Virginia four-star offensive tackle Doug Nester, New Jersey four-star athlete “Rocket” Ronnie Hickman and his teammate, Mentor three-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby.
Eleven Warriors will have more on Potter's pledge shortly.