Jalen Pace, Son of Ohio State Legend Orlando Pace, Has Committed to the Buckeyes As a Preferred Walk-On

By Zack Carpenter on March 9, 2021 at 12:13 pm
Jalen Pace
Jalen Pace (via Twitter)

The Pace family legacy is going to continue at Ohio State.

Jalen Pace, the son of Ohio State legend Orlando Pace, has accepted a preferred walk-on spot with the Buckeyes, he announced on Twitter today.

Pace will now follow in the footsteps of his father who was a two-time unanimous first-team All-American and two-time Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year for the Buckeyes. Pace, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, was taken with the first overall selection by the St. Louis Rams in the 1997 NFL draft and garnered seven Pro Bowl selections and three All-Pro honors as a left tackle.

His son, however, has starred in a different role for Missouri's Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School. Pace is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound outside linebacker who also played a bit of tight end during his senior season en route to a state runner-up finish in the Class 4A playoffs this past fall.

Pace finished with 46 tackles (29 solo) with three tackles-for-loss, three sacks, three passes defensed and a team-high four interceptions across eight games in 2020. He also added a blocked punt and a forced fumble.

“I’m so proud of all the work that he’s put in, because the process is a lot tougher than most people think,” Orlando Pace told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Benjamin Hochman.

Jalen Pace had three scholarship offers on the table from Dayton, Quincy and Lindenwood University, and he will bring some high-level character to the Buckeyes' program, his head coach says.

“(Jalen is a) warm, really nice, unassuming young man,” MICDS head coach Fred Bouchard told Hochman. “It’s clear he’s been instilled with the right character traits by his parents that will last Jalen’s lifetime.”

Pace will join the likes of Jackson Kuwatch, Mason Arnold, Cayden Saunders and Zak Herbstreit as preferred walk-ons in the Buckeyes' 2021 class in addition to Toby Wilson and Reis Stockdale.

Like Pace, both Saunders and Herbstreit are Ohio State legacies as well. Saunders is the son of former Buckeye and the agent of Dwayne Haskins, Cedric Saunders, and Herbstreit is the son of former Buckeye quarterback and current ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit. And Wilson is the son of Ohio State offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson.

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