The Hurry-Up: Kenyatta Jackson Jr. to Decide Between Ohio State and Oklahoma Tuesday, Jackson Arnold Picks Up OSU Offer and Xavier Nwankpa Announces Commitment Date

By Garrick Hodge on October 18, 2021 at 5:43 pm
Kenyatta Jackson Jr.

You already know the narrative by now.

Ohio State has yet to land a defensive lineman in its 2022 recruiting class. Considering the Buckeyes would like to land around five and it’s certainly the biggest remaining need of the cycle, that could be seen as worrisome. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, that drought may be over in less than 24 hours. 

As Dan Hope graciously informed you on Friday while I was in Florida, 2022 four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson Jr. will make his college decision at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jackson’s father told Eleven Warriors last week. 

Jackson Jr., who is rated as the No. 78 prospect nationally and profiles as the class’ seventh-best edge rusher per 247Sports’ composite rankings, has been 50/50 on Oklahoma and OSU dating back to July. While Alabama has been announced as one of his top three finalists, the Crimson Tide have not really been in consideration for months. 

If Jackson Jr. commits to OSU, he’d join Chaminade-Madonna Prep teammate and cornerback Ryan Turner in Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2022.

Several Crystal Ball projections from 247Sports have predicted Jackson Jr. lands with the Buckeyes. When Jackson Sr. last spoke to Eleven Warriors, he said his son would be ready to announce a commitment after the two experienced a gameday atmosphere in Oklahoma. Seeing as the family announced their plans to announce a verbal before ever reaching Norman, that seems to bode well for Ohio State’s prospects of landing the 6-foot-5, 231-pound standout.

OSU offers Arnold

Last week, Ohio State extended an offer to 2022 quarterback Devin Brown, a USC commit, in an effort to strengthen its quarterback room for next season. That wasn’t the only offer the Buckeyes extended toward a prep signal-caller. 

After scouting his game in person Friday night, Ohio State quarterback coach Corey Dennis offered 2023 four-star quarterback Jackson Arnold, a Guyer High School (Denton, Texas) standout. Dennis watched Arnold rack up 307 yards and two touchdowns, albeit in a 38-31 loss, Guyer’s first defeat in eight contests. 

Arnold, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound signal caller, becomes the sixth quarterback in the recruiting class of 2023 with an offer from the Buckeyes. The Texas resident is rated the 233rd-best prospect nationally and the 14th-best quarterback in the 2023 cycle. To this point, Arnold has offers from 16 Division I schools, also including Notre Dame, Arkansas, Ole Miss, TCU, Baylor and Tennessee. 

In his junior season, Arnold has thrown for 1,663 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 64 percent of his passes. He’s also added four rushing touchdowns.

Nwankpa sets decision date

While Dennis was scouting Arnold, Ryan Day and defensive backs coach Matt Barnes were in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday to check in 2022 priority safety target Xavier Nwankpa and 2023 offensive tackle Kadyn Proctor

Nwankpa, who has announced a top three of Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa, set a decision date on Sunday evening: Dec. 8. 

Considering the Hawkeyes have gained a lot of momentum with the 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect, OSU convincing Nwankpa to play for the Buckeyes instead of his home state school may be a tall order. Yet, there remains hope. 

Nwankpa, rated the 45th-best prospect and the third-best safety in the 2022 cycle, will visit OSU on Oct. 30 when the Buckeyes host Penn State. Plus, current Buckeyes are already in Nwankpa’s ear about joining OSU.

Miller to attend PSU game

In a bit of a surprise announcement, OSU received news it would host another crucial visitor when it hosts Penn State: four-star defensive lineman Christen Miller

Miller, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive tackle from Georgia, already visited the Buckeyes this fall when he attended the home opener against Oregon. He visited his hometown Georgia Bulldogs later that month, then said his final decision will come down to Ohio State and Georgia. 

Considering the Bulldogs were supposed to be Miller’s final visit before he announces his commitment in January, a spur of the moment trip to Columbus from Miller certainly raises a few eyebrows. While Georgia is still considered the favorite in most recruiting circles, this one will be interesting to keep tabs on over the next few months.

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