Ohio State Defensive Tackle Commit Eric Mensah Hoping to See a Change in Himself After His First Semester of College

By Garrick Hodge on December 18, 2023 at 11:35 am
Eric Mensah

On Tuesday, it finally hit Ohio State defensive tackle commit Eric Mensah that he would be a Buckeye soon.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound three-star prospect from Virginia had an in-home visit from Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Mensah called it a surreal experience. 

“It was really good,” Mensah told Eleven Warriors of his in-home visit. “It was an experience I haven’t really had with my coaches, just having the head coach coming to my house was memorable. It was really fun, I loved it.

“It actually did hit me (that I’m going to college soon), I’m not going to lie. Because I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve only got a few more weeks.’ Now, I’ve got to make sure everything is good with my application, and we’re already there.” 

Mensah will be an early enrollee next semester and arrive on campus with some of his fellow commits on Jan. 7. While Johnson and Day spent a few hours in Mensah’s home, the pair of coaches gave him a primer on what he can expect his first semester of school and practice to be like.

“They were telling me everything I needed to know about college,” Mensah said. “Academically, time management, plus they told me about college conditioning, which is a big step. They also said I should be prepared for morning meetings and all that stuff. Plus telling me what to bring and not to bring. They just gave me notes to help me out when I get there.” 

Mensah has immediate and long-term goals for his Ohio State career, and his ambitions aren’t limited to on-field production.

“My first semester, I want to set myself up high,” Mensah said. “I want a 4.0 GPA my first semester. I also want to see a change in myself being more independent now, so when I come back home, it’ll be like, ‘Oh, Eric is different physically, mentally and spiritually.’ ...It’ll be a dream come true to play in college and participate in spring ball. Especially coming in early to practice, condition and lift.” 

Mensah appeared on Johnson’s radar after his junior season in 2022, then impressed the veteran defensive line coach again in June after showcasing his talents at a recruiting camp. He visited Ohio State’s home opener against Youngstown State in September, then flipped from Virginia Tech shortly after the trip. 

“He’s a big kid that can run,” Mensah’s high school coach, Lou Sorrentino, told Eleven Warriors in September. “He’s about 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, he’s been a four-year starter for us. He learns and grows each year as far as the game is concerned. He’s been a super kid to coach. He’s outgoing, always has a big smile on his face, and if there’s a big dance party, he’s usually in the middle of it. He’s beloved by everybody. As a football player, he’s got those traits you look for. We move him all around the line. He can pass rush. He can stuff the run. He’ll chase down the ballcarrier, and he plays hard. Like I said, he’s been a coach’s dream for us.”

In his senior season, Mensah helped lead Mountain View High School (Stafford, Virginia), to an 11-1 record. Mensah said he made improvements to all aspects of his game from the start of the year to its end.

“One of the biggest things I’ve gained this year, when I watch film, I now know what to note. I know what to see, and I know what to watch,” Mensah said. “I know how to catch (tendencies) on what people are doing to have you know where the play is going. Also my conditioning, from side to side. I know whatever I do in practice really reflects what I do in the game, so I really make sure I do really well at practice. Otherwise, it’s going to reflect that in the game.”

Mensah will likely play the three-technique in Jim Knowles’ scheme, and the Virginia prospect made it a point to watch as many Ohio State games as possible this year and watch Tyliek Williams, Ty Hamilton and Michael Hall Jr. to see their approach to the game. 

“I have watched a little bit of their games and everything,” Mensah said. “They’re really good. They're explosive, strong and fast. Watching them makes me a little excited because I might be playing with some of them.”

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