Ohio State added a surprise commitment on Sunday, earning a verbal pledge from Chicago St. Ignatius five-star defensive lineman Justin Scott (6-4, 310).
Scott is the No. 14 overall prospect and third-ranked defensive lineman in the class, and he represents the first five-star defensive lineman to commit to the Buckeyes since defensive ends Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau in 2021.
After originally setting a commitment date back in January – with Notre Dame viewed as a heavy favorite to land his services – Scott pushed back his commitment, and took official visits over the summer to Georgia, Miami (Fla.), Michigan and Ohio State, with his trip to the Buckeyes from June 23-25 the last visit before his commitment.
“He has prototypical size and athletic ability for the position,” said 247Sports recruiting analyst Allen Trieu. “He bends well, gets off the ball quickly and can beat blockers with initial quickness. He closes to the ball with speed as well. For a taller interior defensive lineman, he generally does a good job with pad level and his flexibility helps with that. Not often challenged in high school with offensive linemen with similar size and talent.
“He will have to show he can disengage from Power Five level offensive linemen. He has great upside, though, and actually could play high-level offensive line if he wanted to also, but projects as a defensive tackle that can play for any school and in any scheme in the country.”
Scott is the first commitment in the trenches for defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who is starting off with a bang as he begins to build out his class. The Buckeyes could potentially receive some good news on Monday, as Chicago Kenwood Academy four-star defensive end Marquise Lightfoot (6-5, 220) is set to his announce his commitment, with Ohio State viewed as a favorite.
As for the class as a whole, Scott is the fourth five-star commitment for Ohio State, joining Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep wide receiver Jeremiah Smith (6-3, 198), New Haven, Ind., wide receiver Mylan Graham (6-1, 170) and Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes quarterback Air Noland (6-3, 195), who recently received his fifth composite star from 247Sports.