Better Know a Buckeye: Haskell Garrett

By Vico on March 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm
Haskell Garrett at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl

This week's Better Know a Buckeye feature continues with a profile of Haskell Garrett, a defensive tackle from Las Vegas.

Haskell Garrett

  • Size: 6-2/288
  • Position: DT
  • Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
  • School: Bishop Gorman
  • 247 Composite: ★★★★
  • National Ranking: 70
  • Position Ranking: 6 (DT)
  • State Ranking: 4 (NV)
  • U.S. Army All-American

Garrett will occupy a special place in Ohio State football lore. He will have the distinction as the first player to commit to Ohio State and eventually sign with the Buckeyes from the state of Nevada. His teammate, Tate Martell, later joined him, but Garrett will get this distinction for preceding Martell's commitment by four months. What's more unique about Garrett: he committed to Ohio State less than two weeks after an otherwise innocuous unofficial visit from Zach Smith. He committed to Ohio State, site unseen, with no family connections to Ohio despite also having offers from programs like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and USC. He had yet to visit any of those programs either before offering his commitment. Notwithstanding junior day visits to Notre Dame and USC, his pledge to the Buckeyes last a year until he signed with the Buckeyes last month.

I retell this story below. After discussing his surprising commitment, I offer a scouting report of a defensive tackle prospect who could thrive as a three-technique defensive tackle. I offer a projection of a redshirt in 2017 before concluding with film for the reader to watch at the end of the feature.


The 2017 class in the state of Nevada promised to be a stacked one for programs across the country to recruit. Most of the talent reside in one program: Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. The school is responsible for the top four prospects in the state, five of the top six, and seven of the top ten. 

Nevada might be a relative backwater for prep football; indeed, Bishop Gorman had zero issue winning the last seven state championships while going undefeated against in-state competition. However, Bishop Gorman has more recently flexed its muscle against major programs from across the country. The program has been undefeated since a September 2013 loss at Booker T. Washington in Miami. It scored wins over Brophy College Prep (Phoenix, AZ), at Servite (Anaheim, CA), at Centennial (Corona, CA), St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA), Chandler (AZ), at Bellevue (WA), Long Beach Poly (CA), Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ), at Cedar Hill (TX), and Cocoa (FL). Most impressively, it hosted and beat the St. Thomas Aquinas program from Fort Lauderdale in a three-overtime thriller in 2016.

More Haskell Garrett at 11W

In other words, Bishop Gorman players, like Haskell Garrett, are good enough to beat anyone and play for any program across the country. Ohio State, which does not seriously recruit Nevada or this program for cause of convenience, expressed an interest in the best players the program has to offer.

Ohio State's recruitment of Garrett starts at the end of 2015 and ultimately with a January 2016 visit from Zach Smith to see Garrett in Las Vegas. By that time, Garrett had already acquired major offers from programs like Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas A&M, USC, and Washington. USC, which has a major footprint in Las Vegas and draw from local prospects, was even his first offer early into his sophomore year.

Nothing around this time indicated his recruitment was nearing a conclusion or that Ohio State had any currency with Garrett. Crystal Ball projections favored Texas A&M and Notre Dame. Garrett seemed to talk more about Notre Dame while Texas A&M, at the time, seemed like certain destinations for teammates Tate Martell and Tyjon Lindsey.

It was all that more surprising when Garrett announced his decision on February 10, 2016.


Haskell Garrett committed to Ohio State on February 10, 2016 as the eighth member of what would become Ohio State's full 2017 recruiting class. He chose the Buckeyes over a host of competing offers, but mostly Notre Dame and Texas A&M.

This was a head-scratcher of a commitment when it happened for a variety of reasons. Garrett said nothing publicly about Ohio State before he committed. There was not even a well-circulated recap from Garrett about Zach Smith's January visit to Las Vegas. Further, Garrett would have been, and effectively is, the first ever Ohio State commitment/signee from Nevada, a state whose crème de la crème have conspicuously landed at programs like Notre Dame (Ronnie Stanley) USC (Xavier Grimble), or Oklahoma (DeMarco Murray). Garrett, originally from Hawaii, has no discernible Ohio connections of which to speak either.

The most puzzling aspect of Garrett's decision might have been committing to Ohio State site unseen. These commitments happen for Ohio State, even among out-of-state prospects, but they also make that prospect a prime decommitment threat. Compounding this curiosity, Garrett had yet to see any program. Garrett committed to Ohio State blind and effectively before his recruitment started in earnest. He had no shortage of quality offers either.

A head-scratcher when it happened, Garrett did not seriously waver thereafter. He visited USC and Notre Dame in February and March for their respective junior days. However, every thing else that followed reaffirmed Garrett's commitment to the Buckeyes. He visited Ohio State near the end of March and made two visits during the 2016 season before signing with the Buckeyes in February.


Ohio State fans should not see Garrett as a potential nose tackle. That's not the kind of player he is. However, he is an incredible athlete in the interior of a defensive line and might be the most athletic defensive tackle Ohio State signed since Meyer has been in Columbus.

Watch Garrett's film and you'll see a player whose lateral ability is superb, befitting his status as a top-100 prospect regardless of position. He slants, "gets skinny", and disrupts running lanes and pass protection as well as you can find. It's all the more impressive when you realize Garrett's Bishop Gorman program was playing talent factories from across the country.

Further, Garrett is plain faster off the ball than most of the offensive linemen tasked with guarding him. His first step compensates for a prospect who is not particularly "strong" or "long."

Ohio State fans should also like his the combination of Garrett's recognition, intensity, and ability to change direction in traffic. In other words, he was a one-man screen killer for Bishop Gorman's defensive line.


Garrett will have some important limitations at Ohio State, none of which would disqualify him from playing time. However, they are important limitations.

It seems untenable Garrett could play around 300 pounds. "Size" will never be one of his strengths. This means Ohio State fans should not expect to see Garrett line up on the center's nose nor does it suggest he would do well to take on double teams. If Garrett succeeds at Ohio State, it'll be because a bigger defensive tackle could credibly absorb double teams and leave Garrett the one-on-one matchups with which he could thrive.

Further, Garrett is not a particularly "long" prospect either. This is a comment for which NFL scouts will care more than college coaches, but it does suggest Garrett will want to put a premium on his "punch" and "get-off" moves.


My hunch is Garrett redshirts his first year on campus, along with high school teammate Tate Martell. The competition ahead of him for playing time on defensive line is rather steep. Given his skill set, that redshirt year could be useful toward becoming a break-out star in 2018.


Here are senior-year highlights for Garrett.


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