Coveted Defensive End Target Commits To Ohio State Buckeyes Over FSU Football

The Seminoles miss out on one of their top defensive end targets.

Florida State is pursuing some of the top defensive ends in the country to add talent to its defense in the 2025 class. The Seminoles already have top-50 recruit Javion Hilson in the boat but want to build a haul around the four-star prospect.

On Monday, one of the most coveted targets on the board made his pledge to a different program. According to his social media, blue-chip defensive end Zion Grady has committed to Ohio State following an official visit over the weekend. He chose the Buckeyes over schools such as Florida State, Miami, Auburn, and Tennessee.

READ MORE: Former FSU Football Defender And Son Of Seminole Legend Transfers Out Of Tallahassee

This is a disappointing reality for the Seminoles as Grady was a prospect that the coaching staff recruited for multiple years. In total, he was on campus seven times during the last two years, including three trips in 2024. There was always uncertainty about pulling him out of the state of Alabama with Auburn and the Crimson Tide in pursuit. Ultimately, he went with a program farther away from home than all three.

Grady is coming off a junior season where he totaled 87 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and an interception. He's got ideal size, athleticism, and strength to develop into a dominant player at the college level.

With Grady off the board (for now), Florida State's focus will shift to recruits such as five-star Jared Smith and four-star Jalen Wiggins. Smith is another prospect from Alabama while Wiggins hails from Tallahassee but is currently pledged to rival Florida. Both players officially visited FSU in June. Three-star Nicolas Clayton was a prior target who committed to Wisconsin on Saturday.

It's imperative for the Seminoles to land a running mate to pair with Hilson at defensive end in #Tribe25. Three signings at the position would be ideal for Florida State with potential losses looming follow the 2024 season. Sione Lolohea will graduate while Patrick Payton and Marvin Jones Jr. are candidates to make an early leap to the NFL.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end is regarded as the No. 66 overall prospect, the No. 6 EDGE, and the No. 6 recruit in Alabama in the 2025 class according to 247Sports.

The Seminoles hold four verbal commitments in their 2025 class which ranks No. 70 in the country.

READ MORE: FSU Football Achieves Top-10 Spot in ESPN's Future Power Rankings

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Dustin Lewis


Lewis joined NoleGameday in 2016 and is currently in the role of Editor-In-Chief. A graduate of Florida State, Lewis contributes to football, recruiting, and basketball coverage. Connect with Dustin on Twitter at @DustinLewisNG.