The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
Noah Potter never wavered in his commitment.
The Potter File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6-foot-5.5, 250 pounds
- Pos: DE
- School: Mentor (OH)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 24 (SDE)
Ohio State announced a coaching change on Dec. 4 with Urban Meyer retiring and Ryan Day stepping in as the 25th head coach in program history. A month prior, his brother, Micah, transferred from the Buckeyes' basketball program, then announced on Dec. 10 that he would be playing for Wisconsin.
Potter stuck with the in-state power, though, and signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, the first day of the Early Signing Period.
On April 16, Potter became the fifth member of Ohio State's recruiting class, joining a group that included four-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby, his high school teammates who committed on March 1. Larry Johnson factored heavily in the Buckeyes landing Potter, a four-star defensive end who is ranked as the No. 330 overall player in his class and the ninth-best prospect in the state of Ohio.
“As soon as (Johnson) promised me he’d be there until I leave, I was sold,” Potter told Eleven Warriors when he committed in April. "[That's] huge because our relationship is so good."
Johnson has sculpted both successful college players and future NFL draft picks. Just last year, the Buckeyes had three defensive ends selected in the draft, and Nick Bosa could become the no. 1 overall pick this spring. Next year, Chase Young will be in the mix to be a first-round pick.
Having watched Johnson from afar and also worked with him at camps, Potter hopes to be the next impactful edge rusher. He got a chance to have Johnson coach him at Friday Night Lights in July 2017.
"“It was like he was my actual coach,” Potter said. “I got to see his coaching style and I learned a ton. The way he coaches [stands out]. He doesn't swear; I don't swear. He doesn't yell; he coaches you. I lost a rep and he told me one thing to fix, and then I won the next five reps. He really simplifies pass rushing and makes everything easier.”
Given Potter's athleticism and 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame, he has as good a chance as anyone to become the latest defensive end to develop under Johnson. Potter had more than 20 scholarship offers. Powerhouse schools such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Michigan tried to entice him.
Meyer wouldn't let Potter leave the state under any circumstances, though.
“He said if I didn't go to Ohio State, he would put a dead horse in my driveway and put screws in my tires so I couldn't leave,” Potter said.
Johnson prefers not to play freshman extended snaps, so Potter will likely spend much of his freshman season playing behind Chase Young, Jonathon Cooper, Jashon Cornell, Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday. But he should enter the rotation as a sophomore and quickly begin to earn more playing time.
“He’s been hard to block one-on-one. He’s been able to control his side for us and force teams to try to run away from him,” Mentor head coach Steve Trivisonno said. “He’s been pretty dominant, especially for a kid who’s only been playing football since his eighth-grade year. He’s developing into a great player.”