The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Coaches, Recruits React to the Commitments of Kenyatta Jackson Jr. and Avery Henry, Jeremiah Smith to Visit OSU

By Garrick Hodge on October 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Kenyatta Jackson Jr.

It’s been a busy couple of days for Ohio State on the recruiting trail.

On Eleven Warriors specifically, the red siren has been needed on two consecutive days, signaling a prospect has committed to playing for the Buckeyes. 

On Tuesday, four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson Jr. gave OSU the edge over Oklahoma and announced his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes. A few seconds after the announcement, OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who both Jackson Jr. and his father have attributed a big reason why he committed to OSU, took to Twitter to celebrate the news. Johnson is still No. 1 when it comes to best commitment GIFs in this writer’s humble opinion. 

After he announced his decision on CBS Sports, Jackson Jr. explained his reasoning for choosing the Buckeyes. 

“Just the relationship with the coaching staff, especially coach Larry Johnson,” Jackson Jr. said after the commitment. “My family loves him and he’s a Christian man, my family believes in Christ, that just made the bond even stronger. His track record, the way he produces, Chase Young, the Bosa brothers, I believe that he’ll develop me as a great pass rusher and a great man.” 

Jackson Jr.’s high school teammate and fellow 2022 OSU commit Ryan Turner was equally pleased about the news that his friend since he was 13 years old would be joining him in college. 

C.J. “Captain Buckeye” Hicks and Bennett Christian were among the other Ohio State commits who reacted to the commitment.

Jackson Jr. wasn’t the only OSU commitment this week. Two days after receiving his offer, and just hours after Jackson’s commitment, in-state offensive tackle Avery Henry showed his dedication to the Buckeyes by giving Ohio State his verbal commitment on Wednesday. Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa responded in kind. 

Hicks also extended a welcome to Henry. 

Smith to visit Columbus

The expected recruiting visitors list for Ohio State’s Oct. 30 matchup with Penn State is growing longer by the day. By the time next week rolls around, the confirmed visitors list may be even more impressive than it was for the Buckeyes’ season opener against Oregon on Sept. 11. 

Night games sure do wonders for out of state recruits’ ability to make it to campus, don’t they? 

Earlier this week, a top recruit in the class of 2024 confirmed he will be in attendance at Ohio Stadium. Florida wideout Jeremiah Smith, who received an offer from Ohio State in June, is ranked as the 39th-best prospect and the ninth-best receiver in 2024 per 247Sports’ early rankings for the class.

Smith recently transferred to Chaminade-Madonna High School (Hollywood, Florida), where he plays with Jackson and Turner.

James, Burton exchange jerseys

Last week’s high school football matchup featured a matchup between Texas-based high schools Lake Travis and Del Valle. Ohio State 2022 wide receiver commit Caleb Burton plays for Lake Travis, while 2023 OSU wideout target Braylon James attends Del Valle, where Burton used to be his teammate before transferring over the summer. Burton’s school earned a 52-17 victory, but when the game was over, the two exchanged jerseys as a sign of mutual respect. 

James is one of five wideouts Ohio State has offered in the 2023 cycle. The four-star talent is ranked as the 75th-best prospect and the 11th-best wide receiver in the 2023 class.

Rice to announce commitment

Zach Rice, the top-rated offensive tackle in the class of 2022, will announce his commitment at 8:15 p.m. Thursday. He will choose from a group consisting of Ohio State, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina and Notre Dame.

Rice has kept his decision incredibly close to the vest and has not received any 247Sports Crystal Balls forecasting where he will end up. While his decision is a mystery to most in recruiting circles, it would be pretty shocking if he ended up picking the Buckeyes, especially after they accepted a commitment from Henry.

247Sports updates 2022 rankings

This week, 247Sports updated its composite rankings. The biggest development that's worth mentioning as it pertains to OSU's 2022 commitments is Hicks, who is now the No. 7 prospect in the country, rising 10 spots ahead of his last rating. 

Six more Buckeyes commits are in the top 100: Terrance Brooks (No. 48, down from No. 38), Gabe Powers (No. 49, down from No. 46), Caleb Burton (No. 58, down from No. 40), Kaleb Brown (No. 62, up from No. 67), Kenyatta Jackson (No. 68, up from No. 78) and Kyion Grayes (No. 99, unchanged). 

Rounding out OSU commits' national rankings includes Tegra Tshabola (No. 113, up from 181), Kojo Antwi (No. 133, down from No. 127), Jyaire Brown (No. 155, down from No. 132), Dallan Hayden (No. 273, up from No. 274), George Fitzpatrick (No. 324, down from No. 319), Kye Stokes (No. 346, down from No. 341), Bennett Christian (No. 358, down from No. 347), Ryan Turner (No. 363, down from 355) and Avery Henry (up to No. 1,215). 

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