Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson landed his first commitment for the current recruiting cycle when Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson pledged his services to the Buckeyes on Tuesday afternoon over finalists Alabama and Oklahoma.
“Just the relationship I have with Coach Johnson, the history behind him and how many defensive ends he’s produced over the years,” Jackson told SI All-American when asked why he chose Ohio State. “My family loves him. He’s a Christian. It was just that connection with my family and I and building that relationship.”
The 6-foot-5 and 235-pound Jackson, who is considered the seventh-best edge defender and No. 78 prospect overall in the class of 2022, took official visits with all three finalists – as well as an unofficial visit to Florida State – in June.
The trip to Columbus, which he made alongside teammate and four-star cornerback commit Ryan Turner, seemingly pushed Ohio State to the forefront of his recruitment. The duo then returned to campus in an unofficial capacity for the program’s Buckeye Bash and BBQ in late July.
Jackson had hoped to make a game day visit with the Sooners before announcing his college decision, but a recent visit from Johnson – who was able to make the trip to Florida during Ohio State’s off week – ultimately sealed the deal for the Buckeyes.
“(He was) pretty excited,” Jackson said of Johnson's reaction to the news. “Jumping all over the place, screaming and things like that. It was pretty cool. He’s an emotional guy, but I’ve never seen that side of him.
"It made me feel great. It made me feel wanted. Even though I knew how he felt about me, it made me feel even more welcome to the family.”
Jackson has no plans to take additional visits other than another to Ohio State if his schedule permits. For more on his impact in the Buckeyes' 2022 recruiting class, click here.
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