The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Offers 2025 Defensive Linemen Brandon Brown and Zahir Mathis, '25 DE London Merritt Puts the Buckeyes in His Top 12

By Garrick Hodge on May 31, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Brandon Brown and his mother

Larry Johnson hit the recruiting trail hard on Tuesday.

Ohio State offered two talented defensive linemen in the 2025 class, including Florida product Brandon Brown and Pennsylvania prospect Zahir Mathis.

We’ll delve into both offers below and the news of another defensive end including the Buckeyes in his top schools. 

Brandon Brown

The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Brown was ecstatic when he knew he would have a conversation with Larry Johnson on Tuesday. After they spoke, Brown picked up his 24th Division I offer by landing a Buckeyes offer.

“It felt great,” Brown told Eleven Warriors of the offer. “Ohio State is a premier program, and to hear that they offered me was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Johnson told Brown he envisions him as an interior defensive lineman at the next level.

“They like me at DT,” he said. “They love my use of hands and explosiveness.”

While Brown does not hold a 247Sports composite ranking yet, he has various standout Division I offers, including Georgia, Auburn, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas A&M and USC. As of now, Brown said Ohio State ranks as one of his preferred destinations.

“They are up there,” Brown said. “I have mostly everyone in the country now, but I was waiting on Ohio State. I love how they get guys to the league.”

In Brown’s sophomore year, he recorded 36 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, six quarterback hurries, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. 

Brown said Ohio State and Johnson had recruited him for several months and hopes to visit Columbus soon for either a summer or fall trip. 

“I just want to be in a family atmosphere and a place where they can get me to the league,” Brown said of what he’s looking for in a college. “I don’t have a timetable on my decision.”

Zahir Mathis

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Mathis is one of the premier defensive ends in the 2025 class, ranking as the No. 38 overall player and the sixth-best edge rusher per 247Sports’ composite rankings. 

Mathis boasts 24 Division I offers, including Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC and West Virginia. 

Mathis is the fifth edge rusher OSU has offered in 2025, joining London Merritt, Nasir Wyatt, Javion Hilson and Justin Hill. He also plays tight end for Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia, PA), but the Buckeyes are more interested in his talent as a pass rusher.

London Merritt puts Ohio State in top 12

Speaking of Merritt, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Georgia prospect narrowed down his recruitment on Tuesday, announcing a top 12 of Ohio State, Florida State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Clemson, Texas A&M, Colorado, USC and LSU.

Merritt visited Ohio State in March and was thrilled with his trip. The Buckeyes offered Merritt on Jan. 27.

"It was a wonderful experience. I got a chance to speak with coach Ryan Day and coach Larry Johnson,” Merritt told Eleven Warriors after his trip. “The common theme I picked up on from the coaches is brotherhood, always be a competitor and family."

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