Four-Star 2025 Linebacker Tarvos Alford Commits to Ohio State

By Garrick Hodge on March 30, 2024 at 6:52 pm
Tarvos Alford

Ohio State has landed one of its top linebacker targets in the 2025 class.

Four-star Florida linebacker Tarvos Alford became the second linebacker in the 2025 cycle to give his verbal to the Buckeyes when he committed to OSU on Saturday. He's Ohio State’s second commitment in as many days as defensive end London Merritt committed to Ohio State on Friday at the start of his unofficial visit to Columbus.

The Alford File

  • Class: 2025
  • Size: 6-2/210
  • Pos: Linebacker
  • School: Vero Beach (Vero Beach, Florida)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #63 (#8 LB)

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and linebackers coach James Laurinaitis were instrumental in landing Alford as the Florida linebacker communicated with an OSU coach nearly every day in the later stages of his recruitment. 

He was offered by Laurinaitis in April, then took a multi-day visit to OSU in June when he participated in a recruiting camp to learn from Knowles and Laurinaitis. Alford returned to OSU on Nov. 11 for a game visit when the Buckeyes hosted Michigan State. 

“The visit was great,” Alford told Eleven Warriors after the visit. “It was pretty much everything I expected it to be. It was great getting my family up there for the first time. They really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was great. I didn’t see an empty seat. Every time they made a play, the crowd got loud. It was crazy. I caught up with coach Jim Knowles, coach Ryan Day, coach James Laurinaitis and coach Tony Alford. They were telling me how I could come in and make an impact right away, and they’d push me when I got there. It’s definitely one of the best stadiums I’ve been to so far. The stadium was huge, and all the seats were sold out. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

While on his visits, Alford noticed how tightly knit the Buckeyes players were in the locker room and how many former players were around the team or on the coaching staff. That went a long way in his decision to pick OSU. The Buckeyes won out in Alford's recruitment over the likes of Tennessee, Florida State, Miami, Texas A&M and others.

“Really, the brotherhood,” Alford said in November regarding the most appealing thing about potentially playing for Ohio State. “Just how so many coaches on the coaching staff played there and then came back. Just knowing after football, you still have a life with Ohio State.

“It’s really just the culture of the whole school, man. When I go there, I always feel at home. I love the coaching staff and created a great bond with all of them. I feel at ease every time I’m there and with them.” 

Pos Name Rating Rank Size School
CB DEVIN SANCHEZ ★★★★★ #5 NATL | #1 CB 6-2 | 170 North Shore (Houston, Texas)
CB NA'EEM OFFORD ★★★★★ #6 NATL | #2 CB 6-1 | 185 Parker (Birmingham, Alabama)
QB TAVIEN ST. CLAIR ★★★★ #48 NATL | #4 QB 6-4 | 210 Bellefontaine (Bellefontaine, Ohio)
OT CARTER LOWE ★★★★ #55 NATL | #7 OT 6-5 | 290 Whitmer (Toledo, Ohio)
DE ZAHIR MATHIS ★★★★ #57 NATL | #5 Edge 6-6 | 225 Imhotep Institute (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
LB TARVOS ALFORD ★★★★ #63 NATL | #8 LB 6-2 | 210 Vero Beach (Vero Beach, Florida)
CB BLAKE WOODBY ★★★★ #72 NATL | #8 CB 5-11 | 180 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Maryland)
DE LONDON MERRITT ★★★★ #101 NATL | #10 LB 6-2 | 250 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
WR DE'ZIE JONES ★★★★ #367 NATL | #49 WR 6-0 | 180 DePaul Catholic (Wayne, New Jersey)
LB ELI LEE ★★★ #557 NATL | #63 LB 6-3 | 215 Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio)
Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports Composite

Once the open period started in January, the Buckeyes made it a priority to visit Alford as Day and Laurinatis went down to Florida to check in on the premier talent. Laurinatis visited him twice that month. Alford returned to Columbus last week for his final OSU visit as an uncommitted prospect.

“(Coach Day) was telling me how I’m a priority to them and that they really need me on campus,” Alford said. “He got into a little bit of how they’re going to challenge me to be a better person on and off the field, too. That was the main topic he was speaking on. Coach Laurinaitis talked about the same stuff.” 

With Alford in the fold, OSU is now up to nine total commits in the 2025 class. He joins Eli Lee as the second linebacker commit in the current class. Other linebacker targets the Buckeyes are still pursuing include Riley Pettijohn, Elijah BarnesGavin Nix and Madden Faraimo.

Alford still plans on taking official visits to Ohio State and a few other schools this summer, but the talented prospect envisions he'll be suiting up for the scarlet and gray next fall.

Alford projects as standout Will linebacker

Per 247Sports' composite rankings, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Alford is considered the 63rd-best player and the eighth-ranked linebacker in the 2025 class. In his junior season at Vero Beach High School (Vero Beach, Florida), Alford racked up 114 tackles (12 for loss), four sacks, four quarterback hurries, an interception and six pass deflections. He is a multi-sport athlete who also competes in track and field. 

Both Knowles and Laurinaitis have told Alford they see him as a Will linebacker in the Buckeyes’ scheme. 

On the field, Alford hits like a truck in open space and is a sure tackler who takes good angles to bring down his target. His instincts and reads are strong pre-snap which make him a standout run stopper.

Alford is also an effective blitzer. His coverage ability may be one of his best traits, though, as he has the speed to hang with elite offensive players. He displayed that by competing against one of the nation's top running backs in the 2025 class, Jordon Davison, during an OSU recruiting camp last June. 

Like all freshman prospects, Alford will probably need a bit of time to learn the defensive scheme and add weight, but he's talented enough to compete for significant playing time on defense by his sophomore season.

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