Five-star 2024 Defensive End Elijah Rushing Hopes to Visit Ohio State Again After Receiving “Really Exciting” Offer from Buckeyes

By Garrick Hodge on January 13, 2023 at 10:10 am
Elijah Rushing

On Wednesday, Arizona defensive end Elijah Rushing got the call he had been waiting for.

Ohio State coach Larry Johnson contacted the five-star edge rusher to let him know the Buckeyes saw what they needed to see to feel comfortable extending the 6-foot-6, 235-pound prospect an offer.

“He said he had taken his time to really dive deep into the film, look at the highlights and look at the games,” Rushing told Eleven Warriors of his conversation with Johnson. “He said I have made a complete 360 from the player I was last year. He said I was more intense, more ferocious, and that my techniques have gotten that much better. He and the OSU staff thought it was the right time to make it happen.” 

Upon receiving the offer from OSU, one of more than 30 Division I offers he’s picked up in his recruitment thus far, Rushing was thrilled. 

"It was really exciting," Rushing said. "Definitely just to hear coach Johnson say those things and speak positively of me just gave me more confidence in my game and gave me a reason to keep pushing.

“It’s definitely a huge offer. Just off the strength of what coach Johnson has done with the program.” 

The Arizona standout has significant praise for Johnson, who is Rushing’s lead recruiter. 

“He’s the No. 1 defensive line coach in the country,” Rushing said of Johnson. “He’s put multiple defensive players at my position in the league. Any defensive player that gets an offer from coach Johnson, it’s an honor to have.” 

Rushing has long had interest in OSU. He attended the Buckeyes’ spring game last April, which is the only visit he’s made to Ohio State so far.

“The atmosphere was amazing. I loved it,” Rushing said of his spring game visit. “I didn’t get to see much of campus when I was here, but I got to see the facilities and the facilities look great.” 

Regarding Ohio State, Rushing said he’s relatively familiar with the program and has looked up to Chase Young for quite some time.

“I felt like when I started looking at Ohio State, the biggest comparison I had seen to my frame was Chase Young,” he said. “He was a tall, long body, with long arms. That was something I kind of admired and I started diving into his film and I loved what I saw.”

Considering his billing, Rushing is likely near the top of Ohio State’s recruiting board for defensive ends in the 2024 class. Rushing is considered the 16th-best prospect and the third-ranked edge player in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings. 

Rushing delivered a dominant junior season for Salpointe Catholic (Tuscon, Arizona) as he racked up 73 tackles (13.5 for loss), 11.5 sacks, one pass deflection and four forced fumbles in 12 games in 2022.

“Definitely my length,” Rushing said of his biggest on-field asset. “I definitely try to use that to my advantage as much as possible. Using my long arms as much as I can because I have an 81-inch wingspan. Not many people in the state can really take that away or deal with that. That’s something I use on top of my strength and speed to counter off of that. 

“I’m still perfecting my techniques, but I want to say as the year went on, I understood how to read the offensive linemen more and more. I just really understood the game of football more. Just how to pass rush and all those things in regards to how to get an offensive lineman off his base and how to read where his weight is leaning toward and utilize that to do what I need to do.” 

As of now, Rushing doesn’t have any concrete plans to visit OSU. But that could change soon, as he plans on committing sometime this summer and dropping a top five at the end of the spring. He said he hopes to get back to OSU for a visit before making any decisions.

“Not right now, but everything is up in the air. I’d absolutely (love to visit),” Rushing said when asked if he had a visit scheduled.

Johnson and Ohio State will do everything they can to make sure they’re one of the final five schools for the talented pass rusher.

“Really just the fit, if the scheme makes sense for me, if the school makes sense, if the team and atmosphere makes sense,” Rushing said on what the most important factors to him in his recruitment are. “It’s just how I feel in that program and if I can be developed into the player I want to be. Everyone who goes into this sport at the D1 level has aspirations to go to the NFL, so that’s a non-negotiable that a school can give me the best chance to move forward there. And then a place that we can compete on a daily basis and compete for winning it all.”

View 36 Comments