Top-100 2025 Prospect London Merritt Says Ohio State is “Definitely One Of the Top Schools On My List,” Will Make Official Visit in June

By Garrick Hodge on February 24, 2024 at 10:10 am
London Merritt

One of Ohio State’s top defensive end targets in the 2025 cycle has locked in a pair of visits to Columbus.

Four-star defensive end London Merritt told Eleven Warriors he plans on returning to Columbus for his fourth visit sometime next month for a spring practice, then will take an official visit to OSU on June 14. 

Ohio State already has a top-10 defensive end in its 2025 class in Zahir Mathis, but the Buckeyes are hoping to add a second in Merritt. Momentum is trending in a positive direction for OSU with the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) product, who is considered the 73rd-best prospect and the ninth-rated edge prospect in the 2025 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

“They’re definitely one of the top schools on my list,” Merritt told Eleven Warriors of Ohio State. “They’re definitely top three for sure.”

Other schools Merritt is considering in addition to Ohio State include USC, North Carolina, Texas and Florida. 

“Definitely their development,” Merritt said of what appeals the most about Ohio State to him. “And how they get their players ready for the NFL, and getting coached by a legendary coach like Larry Johnson. Also they have a good business program. Business is one of the things I was thinking about majoring in. But definitely playing for coach Johnson and his ability to get me ready for the next level.” 

Merritt said he hopes to make a commitment within a few months, but “definitely” sometime before the start of his senior year. 

“Definitely having a great relationship with the staff and my position coach,” Merritt said of the biggest factors in his recruitment. “Development to the next level and what kind of education I’ll get.”

Merritt has developed a strong relationship with OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who visited him during the January active period. Ryan Day stopped by Merritt’s school a few days after Johnson to assure the 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end he’s a priority to the Buckeyes.

“It was great to see both of them in person again,” Merritt said. “Coach Johnson came a couple days before coach Day so I got to chop it up with him. We went to my high school defensive coach’s office and talked with him. Coach Johnson was kind of bragging about me to him about how I can play, I can bend and how versatile I am on the edge and stuff like that. Talking with coach Day when he came, I talked about coming back for a visit next month and talked about coming for an official visit in June.”

Johnson has told Merritt he envisions him as a defensive end primarily at the next level with the capability to play in multiple defensive alignments.

“He told me my speed sticks out and my ability to flip my hips around the edge or whatever you will,” Merritt said. “He also talks about me being able to adjust to the speed of the game in college quickly. Because he saw my film and noticed I was playing defensive tackle here and there, even though I won’t play defensive tackle in college, but he could see that I have that power from that position. He also said I may be able to drop back in coverage a little bit. He sees me as a versatile player that can pretty much do it all.” 

Merritt has a strong relationship with Johnson, but has also taken notice of what defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has done to change the perception around Ohio State’s defense over the past two seasons.

“I definitely like what he’s done,” Merritt said of Knowles. “He definitely turned the defense around. I’ve talked to him before and we’ve talked about me being on the edge. I definitely see myself fitting into his defensive scheme and playing on the edge.”

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