Ohio State added a big piece to its defensive line recruiting efforts on Sunday night, landing Top 100 defensive end Jason Moore out of powerhouse DeMatha Catholic in Maryland. Much like last year, the defensive line recruiting started off a bit slow this cycle but has a chance to finish strong. Let’s take a look at what Moore brings to the table.
What Ohio State is getting
Moore is one of the most intriguing defensive line prospects in the 2023 recruiting class nationally. At 6-foot-6, 255-pounds, he is a unique talent with his size, frame, and ability to get after the quarterback. Moore is a tremendously powerful pass rusher, most frequently using a great bull rush to overwhelm opposing offensive tackles.
He uses that strength and explosiveness well while already having a great understanding of how to use his hands and length to gain leverage and to shed blocks. Because of his impressive frame and where he plays his high school football, the Chase Young comparisons have flown around. Moore is a bigger bodied lineman than Young was at this stage, but Young filled out quite well as a high school senior and then into his freshman year at Ohio State. Moore probably will end up being a little bigger and a little more versatile in where he can line up but is probably not quite as twitchy coming off the edge as Young.
Moore’s future is undoubtedly bright, but his future position is probably still up in the air. He might just be one of those freaks of nature that can play on the edge at 280-pounds as his frame will ultimately carry that type of weight. But if not, he could be a devastating interior pass rusher.
The most likely scenario is that he is some combination of the above, a versatile pass-rusher who can line up on the edge or inside depending on the down and distance and matchups. For someone like Jim Knowles who likes to move guys around in his front seven, this looks like a perfect fit for the Buckeyes.
Regardless, this is one of the nation’s top defensive line prospects and an enormous pick up for Larry Johnson and Ohio State.
What it means for recruiting
Ohio State looks to just be getting started along the defensive line as Moore joins local standout Will Smith Jr. to form two of what will likely be about five defensive linemen once the dust settles. While it stung for the Buckeyes to miss out on four-star Columbus (Ga.) native Darron Reed last week, a player they had a great chance to land in recent months, Moore’s commitment definitely takes some of that sting away.
There are also still several big-time targets in play for the Buckeyes. Florida four-star defensive tackle John Walker announces later this month and Ohio State is a definite possibility there. There is also pass rushing specialist Desmond Umeozulu who the Buckeyes are currently in a strong position to land. Additonally, four-star defensive end Jalen Thompson listed the Buckeyes in his top five on Sunday and did not take an official visit to Columbus in June, so Ohio State still has that in its back pocket.
But the biggest fish of all remains in play in St. John Bosco (CA) star Matayo Uiagalelei. Ideally, Ohio State would add an edge player like Umeozulu to pair with flex prospects like Moore and Uiagalelei and pure interior guys in Smith Jr. and Walker. That’s a very realistic scenario as we sit here today.
Moore’s commitment was a big one for the Buckeyes and almost the opposite scenario of what happened with Darron Reed. Notre Dame looked to have the inside track here for a while, but Ohio State made a late push, as LSU did with Reed, and was able to secure the commitment. Winning a battle for such a great prospect, at a premium position, and against a major recruiting rival, is hard to overstate.