Four-Star 2025 Defensive End London Merritt Commits to Ohio State

By Garrick Hodge on March 29, 2024 at 6:34 pm
London Merritt

Larry Johnson has added another impact defensive end for the 2025 class.

London Merritt committed to Ohio State on Friday, forming a deadly one-two pass rushing combo on the edge in the Buckeyes’ 2025 class with Zahir Mathis.

OSU beat out the likes of USC, North Carolina, Texas and Florida to land Merritt. The Georgia native committed to the Buckeyes at the start of his unofficial visit to Columbus this weekend, kicking off a big recruiting weekend for the Buckeyes with a bang.

The Merritt File

  • Class: 2025
  • Size: 6-2/250
  • Pos: DE
  • School: IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #101 (#10 DL)

“Definitely their development,” Merritt told Eleven Warriors in February about 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.” 

Larry Johnson offered Merritt in January of 2023, and since the offer came, the Buckeyes had always been near the top of his recruitment. 

“It was great, growing up I always loved Ohio State,” Merritt said of the offer. “I’m still in awe ever since that day. Now I just have to keep working and maybe if I choose to come here, earn a spot my freshman year. I always loved Ohio State’s color and uniforms.” 

With Merritt in the fold, Ohio State now has eight total commitments in the 2025 class and two defensive ends. OSU still hopes to add other edge players to its defensive trenches, as it continues to pursue Damien ShanklinZion GradyJustin HillJaveon Campbell and Mariyon Dye

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)
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)
LB ELI LEE ★★★ #557 NATL | #63 LB 6-3 | 215 Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio)
Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports Composite

Merritt gives OSU premier pass rusher in 2025 class

Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Merritt is considered the 101st-best prospect and the 10th-ranked defensive lineman in the 2025 cycle.

In his junior season at Woodward Academy (Atlanta, Georgia), Merritt recorded 31 tackles, four for loss, five sacks and 11 quarterback hits. Merritt will play his senior year at Florida powerhouse IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida).

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.” 

At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Merritt already has college-ready size, but he'll likely add additional weight once he reaches campus. His frame suggests he'll play defensive end, but there's always the possibility he could move inside if he bulks up and Johnson and OSU think that move is the right fit. 

Merritt was used both as a linebacker and as a traditional edge rusher at Woodward Academy. He is adept at both chasing down signal callers and stopping the run. He often beats opposing offensive tackles with sheer power, though he also has finesse moves in his repertoire. His motor is off the charts, as his film shows he never stops his pursuit to the ball even when he's initially slowed.

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