Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict at Auburndale five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen once again trimmed his list of scholarship offers on April 2, at which time he named a top eight of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oregon and USC.
The 6-4, 300-pound Nolen, who is considered the top-rated defensive tackle and No. 2 prospect overall in the class of 2022, picked up an offer from the Buckeyes during a virtual visit with head coach Ryan Day and defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Their growing relationship is a big reason why Ohio State made the cut.
Nolen has never been to Columbus but is considering taking an official visit sometime this summer or during the fall. He plans to announce his college decision at the Under Armour All-America Game in January.
If he ultimately chooses the Buckeyes, Nolen and Southlake (Texas) Carroll five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers would give Ohio State a commitment from the top-rated offensive and defensive players in the country. That’s happened just four times in the internet recruiting era, with Texas signing quarterback Vince Young and defensive tackle Rodrique Wright in 2002; Ole Miss signing offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche in 2013; and Clemson signing quarterback Trevor Lawrence and defensive end Xavier Thomas in 2018.
No team has ever secured pledges from top two players overall, though.
The Buckeyes have not yet landed any commitments along the defensive line for the class of 2022 but find themselves in a good position with several of their top targets at tackle, including Nolen; Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley five-star Travis Shaw, Columbus (Ga.) Hardaway four-star Mykel Williams, Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove four-star Caden Curry and Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove four-star Christen Miller.
For four free issues of the print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/