The top recruit in the state of Ohio has decided to play his college football for the top program in the state of Ohio.

By Daniel Rapaport
December 18, 2018

The top recruit in the state of Ohio has decided to play his college football for the top program in the state of Ohio, as Olentangy Orange defensive end Zach Harrison committed to Ohio State on Wednesday. Harrison chose the Buckeyes over Michigan, Penn State, Alabama and Cincinnati.

The 6'5.5", 243-pound Harrison is also the top strong-side defensive end in the class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite ranking. He immediately becomes the highest-ranked player in Ohio State’s incoming class, which already features two other five-stars: wide receiver Garrett Wilson and offensive lineman Harry Miller. A speed rusher who ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at The Opening Finals in June, Harrison projects as a top NFL prospect and has drawn comparisons to former South Carolina defensive end and 2014 No. 1 draft pick Jadaveon Clowney.

Complete recap and breakdown of Day 1 of the 2019 early signing period

Harrison’s commitment is a promising early sign for Ryan Day, who will take over for Urban Meyer as OSU’s head coach following the Rose Bowl. Meyer had tremendous recruiting success during his tenure in Columbus, particularly in the state of Ohio; that Day was able to ink the state’s top player bodes well for his long-term chances of bringing in the same type of athlete that Meyer did habitually. Ohio State entered the day with the 10th-ranked recruiting class nationally and second best in the Big Ten, but four-star cornerback Jordan Battle flipped to Alabama and four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis jumped ship to Georgia. Losing the top player in the state to a bitter rival, particularly given the uncertainty that lingers whenever a coach like Meyer departs, would have been a tough pill to swallow for Buckeye faithful. Lucky for them, they won’t have to.

While his high school didn’t have a special season—Olentangy Orange lost in the first round of Ohio’s Division I playoffs—Harrison himself was named first-team all state. He is expected to make his commitment official by signing a National Letter of Intent before Dec. 21, when the early signing period ends.

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