The Hurry-Up: Kenyatta Jackson Making Official Visit As He Decides Between Ohio State and Oklahoma, Buckeyes Host No. 1 Overall Prospect Lebbeus Overton

By Garrick Hodge on July 26, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Kenyatta Jackson Jr.

Add another key Ohio State target to the list of recruits visiting campus this week.

Four-star edge rusher Kenyatta Jackson Jr. will head to Columbus for an official visit on Wednesday, his father Kenyatta Jackson Sr. told Eleven Warriors on Monday. 

“We got a call from (OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson) that they were having an event and gave us a special invitation,” Jackson Sr. said. “I made it my business to make that happen. We will be there this week and this weekend.” 

This visit may be essential in locking down Jackson Jr., considering Jackson Sr. told Eleven Warriors his son is down to two teams: Ohio State and Oklahoma.

“It’s 50-50,” Jackson Sr. said. 

Jackson Jr., the 76th-rated prospect in the class of 2022 and the seventh-best edge recruit according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, visited Columbus in late June. While on the visit, Jackson Sr. realized it would be special to watch his son play for Johnson and the Buckeyes. 

“You have the best defensive line coach in the country,” he said. “He produces more defensive linemen to the NFL than any other. But most of all, everything is authentic from the head coach to the defensive line coach.”

Hailing from Hollywood, Florida, Jackson Jr. is teammates with OSU defensive back 2022 commit Ryan Turner at Chaminade-Madonna Prep. The pair have been friends since they were 13 years old. 

“I’m going to give him the option to make a grown man business decision,” Jackson Sr. said. “He’ll have to live with it when he makes choices. We broke everything down to a narrow path and now we’re tunneling it to making a decision between now and during the season. But it’s on him.”

Of course, Jackson Jr.’s other final school of choice has been in the news quite a bit in the past week. Oklahoma, along with Texas, are taking steps to bolt the Big 12 for the SEC, which has plenty of ramifications on college football collectively as a whole. 

But the potential conference shakeup will have zero impact on Jackson Jr.’s decision, Jackson Sr. said.  

“That’s a good move for Oklahoma, but of course it probably won’t be official for a year or two,” Jackson Sr. said. “But if it does happen, they will compete, because they’re doing a very good job at recruiting kids. The kids they’re recruiting right now they hope don’t decommit between now and National Signing Day. But they’re tremendous, you can’t say anything negative about Oklahoma right now. I do think they’ll compete in the SEC just based on how things are going with recruiting.”

Another recruiting nugget: Clemson was said to be high on Jackson Jr.’s list early in the process, but Jackson Sr. said the Tigers were hampered by Dabo Swinney’s policy of not allowing any official visits in June and because “some things didn’t go as planned on their side.”

OSU, who already has 17 commits for 2022, has yet to receive a verbal from a defensive line prospect. Other top defensive line targets include Caden Curry, ​​Hero Kanu, Chris McClellan and Enai White.

Buckeyes host top 2023 recruit

The recruiting dead period ended Sunday, and Ohio State didn’t waste any time taking advantage of it. Having already landed a verbal commitment from the class of 2022’s best prospect, the Buckeyes started the process of trying to land the top-rated recruit two years in a row by hosting the class of 2023's best. 

Lebbeus Overton, a defensive lineman from Alpharetta, Georgia, visited Columbus Sunday night. Overton, a five-star recruit, also holds a basketball offer from the Buckeyes and also toured the basketball facilities on Sunday.

Like five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Overton has a perfect 1.0000 rating in 247Sports’ composite rankings (well, at least until Ewers recently went down to 0.9999 in the latest update). He’s one of four defensive linemen to ever be given a 1.0000 rating, joining Jadeveon Clowney, Rashan Gary and Robert Nkemdiche. In his sophomore season at Milton High School, Overton had an eye-popping 21.5 sacks. 

OSU has yet to land a commitment from any position in the class of 2023.

Nichols sets commitment date

Decision day is looming for a priority OSU offensive line target.

Addison Nichols, the third-best interior offensive line prospect for the class of 2022, will choose between Ohio State, North Carolina and Tennessee at noon on Aug. 2. 

It’s difficult to assess which way Nichols is leaning at the moment. Ohio State has made Nichols a priority for the class, along with Earnest Greene and Kam Dewberry. But the 6-foot-5, 318-pound lineman from Georgia has plenty of ties to the Vols, considering Knoxville is where his grandparents reside and Tennessee is his mother’s alma mater. 247Sports has a crystal ball prediction of Nichols choosing the Volunteers. 

OSU already has two offensive line commitments for the class in George Fitzpatrick and Tegra Tshabola. The Buckeyes would like to sign four linemen if possible, but could conceivably take five if they hit on all of their targets.

Markway announcing school Tuesday

The fourth-best tight end in the class of 2023 is set to announce his commitment at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. 

Mac Markway, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound tight end from St. Louis, will pick from a list of Ohio State, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, LSU and Notre Dame. 

With the caveat that anything is possible, the thinking here is that Markway prefers to play in the SEC. 247Sports has given a crystal ball projection of Florida for Markway. 

Murphy picks Alabama 

As expected, 2022 linebacker Shawn Murphy is headed elsewhere. 

After narrowing down his final five to Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Florida and Penn State, Murphy committed to the Crimson Tide on Sunday.

OSU didn’t see a great schematic fit for Murphy, the 67th-best player and the seventh-best linebacker in the class. The Buckeyes already have two commitments from inside linebackers for the 2022 class in five-star C.J. Hicks and four-star Gabe Powers.

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