The Hurry-Up: IMG Academy 2022 Tight End Jax Porter Willing To Consider Preferred Walk-On Opportunity at Ohio State Over Scholarship Offers

By Garrick Hodge on September 23, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Jax Porter

When 2022 tight end Jax Porter entered Ohio Stadium last Saturday, he didn’t want to leave.

“I loved it,” the 6-foot-5, 232-pound tight end said about his visit during OSU’s 41-20 win over Tulsa. “Definitely loved the stadium and tradition and I loved seeing the fans. It was a cool experience. I was blown away.” 

It was Porter’s first visit to Columbus, and the Florida resident is already hoping to make a return trip later in the fall. He’s only been on OSU’s radar the last month or so, and was first contacted by OSU assistant director of player personnel Justin Perez, who invited him to the Tulsa game. Porter, who plays for former Ohio State linebacker Pepper Johnson at IMG Academy, spoke with offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson on his visit.  

“He was a really cool guy and it was a cool experience,” Porter said of Wilson. “He was talking about life outside of football, he told me his son went to IMG so it was kind of cool to catch up with him. He talked about IMG and Ohio State. Definitely a cool experience.”

Porter has only received two scholarship offers from Division I programs, Akron and SMU, but he’s received interest recently from plenty of other Power Five programs. He has not been told by Wilson or any other OSU staff member when an offer may come.

“Honestly it’s more on their time and their schedule,” Porter said. 

For the 2022 class, OSU has one tight end committed in Bennett Christian after Benji Gosnell decommitted in July. It’s not likely OSU will add another scholarship tight end in the class, but it could be interested in a preferred walk-on. 

Despite having full scholarship offers, taking the preferred walk-on spot is a move Porter is considering if an OSU offer never comes. 

“I feel like that goes to say how much I enjoyed the campus and everything about Ohio State,” he said. “I’ve heard great things from my head coach Pepper Johnson who played at Ohio State, I’ve had some friends that told me about it, going there and seeing it in person just blew me away. I have other full scholarship options, but I could really see myself taking the PWO over the scholarships.” 

In the meantime, he also plans to visit Miami, Ole Miss and TCU this fall. Porter plans to enroll at the institution of his choice in the spring, so his decision will likely come sooner rather than later.

“To be honest I’m not totally sure yet,” Porter said of his timeline. “I know I’m graduating in December so I’ll be stepping on a campus in January. So I’d like to get that done in the next month or two.” 

Lee has OSU in top two 

For the class of 2023, Ohio State may only take two cornerbacks. If the Buckeyes had their way, they’d definitely take AJ Harris, a five-star cornerback that is certainly atop of their wish list but is monitoring OSU’s season closely.

A prospect that could be their second priority? Georgia cornerback Kayin Lee, who is rated as the 14th-best cornerback in the 2023 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings. Lee told Lettermen Row this week he has Ohio State and Georgia at the front of his top school list.

“It’s Georgia and Ohio State,” Lee told Lettermen Row. “There are some other schools up there, but they’re most definitely the top two.”

Lee impressed Ohio State coaches earlier this summer when he camped in Columbus on June 2. He ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at that camp and picked up an Ohio State offer a few hours later. 

The Bulldogs are going to be very difficult to beat for Lee’s services. Lee told Eleven Warriors in July that Georgia is his dad’s favorite college football team. Plus, Lee has already visited Georgia twice this season, and does not currently have a visit to Columbus – or any other visit for that matter – scheduled.  

He does not have a commitment date scheduled, but has said in the past it could come at any time.

Martin will listen if Buckeyes call

Ever since Quinn Ewers reclassified to the class of 2021, there’s been plenty of speculation how OSU would address the quarterback position in the 2022 class. For a moment, it seemed to be flipping Penn State commit Drew Allar or bust. Allar has said he remains firmly committed to Penn State, so unless he has a last-minute change of heart, that ship has seemingly sailed. 

Another option might have presented itself, though. Four-star signal-caller Justyn Martin recently decommitted from Cal, and told 247Sports this week he will listen if Ohio State calls. 

“Definitely,” Martin told 247Sports. “If Ohio State shows interest you gotta give it a chance. I have watched a couple games and I like where their program is at.”

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Martin is ranked as the 277th-best prospect and No. 21 quarterback in the 2022 class. He has offers from Ole Miss, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon and USC, among others.

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