Nearly two years after he committed to Ohio State, Jack Sawyer finally got to make it official on Wednesday.
As the No. 4 overall prospect in the recruiting class of 2021, Sawyer could have gone to just about any school he wanted. But really, from the time Sawyer received his offer from Ohio State in April 2018 – when he was still just a freshman at Pickerington North High School – his eventual commitment to the Buckeyes was only a matter of time.
The Sawyer File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot-5/250 lbs.
- Pos: DE
- School: Pickerington North (Pickerington, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★★
- Composite Rank: 4 (3 SDE)
For the Central Ohio native who became the first member of Ohio State’s recruiting class of 2021 when he committed to the Buckeyes in February 2019, Wednesday – the day he was finally able to send in his National Letter of Intent and sign with Ohio State – was a day he’s been dreaming of for many years.
“It’s been a long time coming, and it’s been a lifelong dream of mine,” Sawyer told Eleven Warriors in a recent interview. “When I finally pull that letter of intent out and put that pen to paper, it’s definitely gonna be an emotional day for me. At least early on in the morning, when I sign the official one, I’m probably gonna shed a few tears just because it’s a lifelong dream. I’ve been committed so long, and it’s finally here. Finally gonna be able to get to Ohio State and show everyone what I’ve got.”
What Sawyer’s got is, well, just about everything you’d want in a defensive end. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Sawyer is already built like an elite edge defender, and he pairs his NFL-caliber frame with excellent athleticism and advanced pass-rushing skill for a player who hasn’t even started his collegiate career yet.
In just a few weeks, Sawyer will arrive as an early enrollee at Ohio State, where Mickey Marotti and his strength and conditioning staff will help Sawyer become even faster and stronger while Larry Johnson will look to develop him into the Buckeyes’ next superstar defensive end.
He’ll walk into a defensive end room that could have plenty of returning veterans next year including Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday, Javontae Jean-Baptiste and fellow five-star recruit Zach Harrison, and as a top-five overall recruit, he’ll face the expectations of following in the footsteps of the Bosas and Chase Young and developing into a future top-five NFL draft pick.
Sawyer, who’s said all along that his goal is to earn a spot in the rotation as a freshman, is ready to embrace the challenges in front of him.
“It’s the next step, next chapter in my life, and it all starts over again,” Sawyer said. “Now I’m gonna go in as the low man on the totem pole as a freshman and work my way up. It’s gonna be exciting, just gonna be ready for the next step.”
Because Sawyer opted out of his senior season at Pickerington North, making that decision when it looked as though as the Big Ten would be playing in the spring and he might actually have the opportunity to play as a midyear enrollee, it’s been over a year since Sawyer has played an actual football game. That won’t lessen the expectations for him at all as he comes in, though, and he’s still been training as hard as ever, telling Eleven Warriors that he is “way more explosive and way faster than I’ve ever been in my life.”
A two-sport star at Pickerington North who also could have played college basketball – though he won’t be playing for Chris Holtmann’s squad at Ohio State – Sawyer is the crown jewel of the Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class and the player who set the foundation for Ohio State to once again build one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
By committing to Ohio State so early in the process, Sawyer helped convince other top prospects – not only from the state of Ohio, but all over the country – to sign with the Buckeyes too, and he’s a strong candidate to be one of the first players in Ohio State’s 2021 class to not only make a big impact on the field, but also become a leader in the locker room.