Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?
Ohio State earned the commitment of four-star defensive tackle Darrion Henry on Saturday as he chose the Buckeyes over LSU and Tennessee. Henry is rated as the No. 11 defensive tackle in the Class of 2020 and the No. 2 Ohio prospect.
Let’s take a look at how his commitment influences Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting class.
On The Field
Henry was recently reclassified from defensive end to defensive tackle by 247Sports, and it makes sense for his playing style. He has a way of combining strength with a block-shedding ability that is one of the best at the high school level.
At nearly 6-foot-5, he’s a little tall for a defensive tackle, but at 280 pounds, he’s a little heavy for an end. That body type could lead to a more versatile role along Larry Johnson’s defensive line. That versatility at Henry’s level of play gives Johnson and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison quite a toy to play with on the defensive front.
At Princeton High School, Henry has shown a capability to play in the defensive front seven in nearly every capacity. He’s lined up inside and fought off double teams, line up on the outside and swam past linemen into the backfield and even lined up in a standing position on the edge.
His first step for his size is abnormally quick, and his hands are just as quick. His ability to close in on ball carriers in the backfield is good too, but the way he finishes tackles is what really jumps out about his rush. Rarely does a ball carrier sneak past a racing Darrion Henry.
In some camp and combine settings, Henry has appeared a little slower than expected, but this spring in particular, he has been battling a minor injury. Henry is certainly a prospect that turns it on when the lights come on.
In The Class
In February, when Ohio State had just six offensive commitments in its 2020 class, Henry was expected to be the first defensive commitment, but he decided to extend his recruitment to take looks at programs in the SEC.
His commitment to Ohio State has been a long time coming, however, and even though there have been three defensive commitments since February, Henry’s commitment brings in just as much excitement as it would have in February.
The Buckeyes have already earned the commitment of in-state defensive end Ty Hamilton, who also brings versatility to the defensive line, but Henry is well ahead of Hamilton in not only his immediate abilities on the field but also with the state that his body is in. Both defensive linemen participated in a private workout with Larry Johnson during Ohio State’s one-day camp June 6, and Henry’s size stood out among the entire group.
The Cincinnati native becomes the eighth top-150 commitment in the Buckeyes’ recruiting class.
Off The Field
Henry has long been associated as one-third of the Cincinnati trio that includes five-star offensive tackle commit Paris Johnson Jr. and four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas. The trio took several visits together throughout the winter and spring and advertised themselves as a package deal.
Henry and Johnson even tried to negotiate an Ohio State offer for Thomas when it didn’t appear the Buckeyes were going to extend one to the Princeton linebacker.
As time has passed, the Cincinnati prospects appear to be headed in their own directions, though it has seemed like Henry and Johnson have always been the closest of the three. With Henry’s commitment to Ohio State, fans’ anxiety about the future of Johnson’s commitment should be put at ease.
Thomas is likely destined for a low-level Power Five program like Kentucky or Cincinnati.