Signed: Ohio State Gets A Developmental Piece at Defensive Tackle in Eric Mensah

By Andy Anders on December 20, 2023 at 8:22 am
Eric Mensah

The second of Ohio State's two defensive line signees is an intriguing one.

Defensive tackle Eric Mensah isn't likely to play a featured role in his first couple of seasons at Ohio State. But his 6-foot-3, 290-pound frame and speed off the line of scrimmage provide physical tools that could be developed into something formidable.

"He’s a big kid that can run," Mensah’s high school coach, Lou Sorrentino, told Eleven Warriors in September. "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."

The Mensah File

  • Size: 6-3/290
  • Pos: DL
  • School: Mountain View (Stafford, Virginia)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★
  • Composite Rank: #830 (#96 DL) 

Originally a complementary piece on the interior defensive line with five-star Justin Scott, who has since flipped his commitment to Miami, Mensah is a three-star prospect ranked 830th overall in 247Sports' composite rankings and 96th among defensive linemen.

He committed to Virginia Tech initially, eager to play near his hometown of Stafford, Virginia. In June, however, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson started to take an interest in the less-heralded recruit once he noticed his performance at OSU's recruiting camp. The Buckeyes' play under the longtime front-line mentor stood out to Mensah immediately once he took a closer look in September.

"While I was watching Ohio State’s defensive line play, I was just like, ‘Wow,'" Mensah said. "Their power getting off the line and seeing their explosiveness and pursuit to the ball and everything just brought joy to me. They’re a really disciplined team and you know they know what they’re talking about and they know what they’re doing."

Johnson and Mensah kept in touch following the recruiting camp, developing a strong relationship that stretched into the fall. The interest from both sides picked up after Mesah took an official visit to Columbus on Sept. 9 for OSU's home opener against Youngstown State. Six days later, he pledged his services to the Buckeyes.

"He was really happy and excited. Like, really excited," Mensah said of Johnson. "What made me want to be a Buckeye was the fact that Ohio State’s program was really good, and the love the coaches showed me while I was up there was immaculate. The relationship we built, even though it was in a short amount of time, was still everything I wanted from a coaching staff."

Sorrentino made use of Mensah all along Mountain View High School's defensive line, and found the behemoth could be used either to plug up gaps in the run game or get after quarterbacks. He especially appreciates Mensah's coachability.

"As a football player, he’s got those traits you look for," Sorrentino said. "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."

Mensah will enroll early at Ohio State and start his development track this spring.

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