COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State picked up a commitment from four-star defensive end Noah Potter on Monday night. Here’s what it means for the Buckeyes and their 2019 recruiting class.
* Potter gives Ohio State its second in-state commitment in this 2019 recruiting class. He joins three-star offensive lineman Ryan Jacoby, his teammate at Mentor High School. Potter’s commitment gives the Buckeyes five commitments in their 2019 recruiting class.
That class is ranked No. 17 in the country and No. 3 in the Big Ten.
* Potter is the No. 8 player in Ohio, the No. 240 overall player in the 247Sports composite ratings and the No. 18 strong-side defensive end in the country. He chose the Buckeyes over offers from Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State and others.
* At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Potter will bring a lot of size and athleticism — something the Buckeyes are always looking for along the defensive line. We’re talking about a kid who changed his number from 43 to 97 because he wants to emulate Joey and Nick Bosa. Potter’s not on the same level as the Bosas as recruits, they were both five-star prospects, but you see the traits of a disruptive defensive lineman.
“He forces people to decide, are they gonna run at him or away from him?” Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno told cleveland.com. “If you’re gonna run away from him, that allows us to do some different things on defense. You have to get more than one guy blocking on him in the passing game, and that allows us to do things too. He’s a big, long, athletic guy who causes problems.”
Potter had 68 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior. Like most prospects his age, Trivisonno said Potter is only scratching the surface of his potential when you think about how he could transform in a college weight program.
* He’s positioned himself as one of the top defensive end prospects in the country, which is more impressive considering Potter hasn’t been playing football that long.
Potter took up football in eighth grade. By his sophomore year he was a player Mentor felt comfortable playing outside or inside at tackle when injuries necessitated some shifting around.
“He plays with a motor,” Trivisonno said. “That’s not always an easy thing to teach. He’s got very good hands. He’s good on his feet. Those are really important traits.”
* Yes, he’s the younger brother of Ohio State basketball player Micah Potter. And that’s probably a special deal for the Potter family. But that’s a happy coincidence for one of the program’s top defensive end targets. The Buckeyes would have liked Potter if his brother played basketball in Alaska.
* Consider Potter the first chip to fall in a pursuit of two elite, in-state pass rushers. The top prospect on Ohio State’s board is five-star Olentangy Orange defensive Zach Harrison.
Harrison is the No. 3 player in the country, an essential get. Penn State seems to be the stiffest competition, and it doesn’t feel like a done deal even though Harrison visits often being from just down the road. Harrison has an official trip to Penn State next week.
The plan for some time has been to pair Harrison and Potter together. Potter got the first part of that plan sewn up on Monday.
* Expect the Buckeyes to likely take two defensive ends in this recruiting class. Nick Bosa will be the only player leaving after the 2018 season. Chase Young, Jonathon Cooper and Jashon Cornell — who moved from tackle to end this spring — are all expected to be back. The Buckeyes bring in four defensive ends in the 2018 recruiting class: Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday, Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Alex Williams.