The Hurry-Up: Larry Johnson Thinks New Defensive Assistants Are “Great Recruiters,” Arvell Reese Makes High School Butkus Award Watchlist, Kristopher Jones Plans to Visit OSU

By Garrick Hodge on August 17, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Larry Johnson

Speaking publicly for the first time since last season ended, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson gave Ohio State, the football team's fans and defensive linemen recruits good news on Tuesday.

Johnson, who will turn 70 this year, is not planning on walking away from coaching football any time soon. 

“My retirement plan is way away from here,” Johnson said. “I enjoy coaching. And the day that I stop enjoying coaching and having a passion for what I do, then I'll do that. But I don't get up in the morning and say, ‘Well, this is it.’ I don't do that. That's not the way I function. I get up every morning dying to get into this building and coach those guys. And when I can't do that anymore, it’ll tell me. But right now, I'm not telling myself anything. I gotta get going. It’s time to go play a game.”

Johnson’s commitment to continuing to coach can only help OSU’s chances of landing impactful 2023 defensive lineman targets, such as Keon Keeley, Damon Wilson, Matayo Uiagalelei, Desmond Umeozulu, Jalen Thompson and Kayden McDonald

The longtime Buckeyes defensive assistant is the lone holdover from last year’s defensive staff, the second time in his Ohio State career that’s happened in an offseason. But after eight months of working with cornerbacks coach Tim Walton, safeties coach Perry Eliano, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and other assistants, Johnson is impressed with what each of them brings to the recruiting trail and loves working hand-in-hand with them to ensure Ohio State lands premier talent on the defensive side of the ball.  

“It’s really just about sharing, right? Sharing an idea of how you do it, how you present,” Johnson said. “I think that’s most important. Those guys came in with great ideas now. They are great recruiters. And it’s just a matter of how we do it, what’s the Buckeye sell, what are we selling as a defensive staff and what’s important. And I can’t tell you how great these guys are and just putting their whole niche on top of it. And that’s what it is. It’s just a collaboration of all of us trying to get the right fit, the right player and then recruiting as hard as we can. And selling something great, which is easy at Ohio State.”

Reese makes high school Butkus Award watchlist

Ohio State 2023 four-star linebacker commitment Arvell Reese is up for one of the nation’s top honors for a high school linebacker. 

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Glenville standout was one of 51 prep players placed on the preseason watchlist for the 2022 high school Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker. Semifinalists will be selected on Oct. 31 and a list of finalists will be revealed on Nov. 21. The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7. 

Reese is one of two linebackers from Ohio to make the watchlist, joining Ironton standout and Cincinnati commit Trevor Carter. Florida had the most players represented on the watchlist with 11, followed by Georgia (8), Texas (4) and Mississippi and Pennsylvania (3).

Jones hopes to visit OSU this fall

A four-star 2024 linebacker with an Ohio State offer is hopeful of visiting Columbus this summer. Virginia prospect Kristopher Jones told Eleven Warriors he’s “definitely trying” to take a gameday visit to OSU this fall but isn’t sure of what game he’ll attend yet. 

OSU offered Jones after attending a recruiting camp on June 15. He’s considered the 139th-best player and the sixth-best linebacker in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

“An offer would change my recruitment a lot,” Jones said shortly before getting offered by Jim Knowles. “This is a prestigious school. So it would definitely change my recruitment a lot.”

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