Top twenty rated Ohio State football defensive recruits of all time

·7 min read

In case you haven’t heard, the Ohio State football program technically landed its highest-rated defensive prospect in the history of keeping track of these sorts of things. That’s right, defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau picked the Buckeyes over Oregon, USC, and Washington on Sunday — and all of Buckeye Nation rejoiced.

It got us thinking though. Who are the other highly rated defensive prospects that he passed over on the way to becoming the best? So, we decided to check and share it all with you based on the 247Sports Composite Rankings. The tools haven’t been around that long, and that means we’re not going all the way back to the 70s and 80s — not even the 90s in fact.

Still, you’ll see that there are some pretty big names on the list, and the fact that Tamilauio is ranked ahead of them all should have everyone pretty excited.

So, here it is. The top twenty defensive commitments in the history of tracking and ranking prospects in Ohio State’s recruiting efforts. We count down from twenty to No. 1 Tuimoloau.

Taron Vincent, Defensive Line

Where is Ohio State ranked in Lindy's 2021 college football preview?
Where is Ohio State ranked in Lindy's 2021 college football preview?

Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) and defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste (8) and defensive tackle Taron Vincent (6) following the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9884 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2018 class

No. 1 rated defensive tackle, No. 20 overall prospect

C.J. Hicks, Linebacker

Kettering Alter running back C.J. Hicks Jr is tackled by Hamilton Badin defenders during their playoff game, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9886 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2022 class

No. 2 rated linebacker, No. 17 overall prospect

Adolphus Washington, Defensive End

Where would Ohio State have been in 12-team CFP through playoff era?
Where would Ohio State have been in 12-team CFP through playoff era?

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) scrambles against Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Adolphus Washington (92) in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9895 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2012 class

No. 2 weakside defensive end, No. 19 overall prospect

Raekwon McMillan, Linebacker

Ohio State vs. Clemson: Cowherd makes pick while trashing Big Ten
Ohio State vs. Clemson: Cowherd makes pick while trashing Big Ten

December 31, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) tackles Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9896 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2014 class

No. 1 rated inside linebacker, No. 22 overall prospect

Dorian Bell, Linebacker

Sept 2, 2010; Columbus, OH, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd running back Andre Booker (19) fumbles while being tackled by Ohio State Buckeyes defensive back Dominic Clarke (28) and linebacker Dorian Bell (11) on the opening play of their game at Ohio Stadium. Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9899 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2009 class

No. 2 rated outside linebacker, No. 20 overall prospect

Curtis Grant, Linebacker

Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Curtis Grant (14) celebrates a big defensive play against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the first quarter of the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9901 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2011 class

No. 1 rated inside linebacker, No. 23 overall prospect

Shaun Wade, Cornerback

Former Ohio State DB Shaun Wade officially inks rookie deal for Ravens
Former Ohio State DB Shaun Wade officially inks rookie deal for Ravens

Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade (24) is shown during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9904 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2017 class

No. 2 rated cornerback, No. 17 overall prospect

Jamario O'Neal, Cornerback

Jan 7, 2008: New Orleans, LA, USA: Ohio State Buckeyes safety Jamario O'Neal (3) carries the ball after making a catch in the first quarter against the LSU Tigers during the BCS National Championship game at the Louisiana Superdome. Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9908 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2005 class

No. 3 rated cornerback, No. 23 overall prospect

Donte Whitner, Cornerback

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9912 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2003 class

No. 3 rated cornerback, No. 22 overall prospect

Marco Cooper, Linebacker

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9918 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2000 class

No. 1 rated outside linebacker, No. 16 overall prospect

Jaheim Singletary, Cornerback

https://twitter.com/Jaheim2_/status/1402791753846042625?s=20

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9918 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2022 class

No. 5 rated cornerback, No. 12 overall prospect

Mike D'Andrea, Linebacker

COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 24: Linebacker Mike D'Andrea #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes stands on the sideline during the NCAA Pigskin Classic against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on August 24, 2002 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Texas Tech 45-21. (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9926 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2002 class

No. 1 rated inside linebacker, No. 16 overall prospect

Zach Harrison, Defensive End

Ohio State Football: Way-too-early 2021 projected depth chart, defense
Ohio State Football: Way-too-early 2021 projected depth chart, defense

Nov 30, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (33) during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9933 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2019 class

No. 2 rated strongside defensive end, No. 12 overall prospect

Baron Browning, Linebacker

Ohio State vs. Rutgers football: 5 keys to a big Buckeye victory
Ohio State vs. Rutgers football: 5 keys to a big Buckeye victory

Nov 23, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Baron Browning (5) celebrates after pressuring Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Will Levis (7) into an incomplete pass in the second half at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9940 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2017 class

No. 1 rated outside linebacker, No. 11 overall prospect

Jeff Okudah, Cornerback

Chad Johnson offers to help "train" Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah
Chad Johnson offers to help "train" Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Jeff Okudah (1) during the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9955 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2017 class

No. 1 rated cornerback, No. 8 overall prospect

Chase Young, Defensive End

Ohio State football: All Historical unanimous First-Team All-Americans
Ohio State football: All Historical unanimous First-Team All-Americans

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (2) prior to the game against the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9957 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2017 class

No. 2 rated weakside defensive end, No. 7 overall prospect

Nick Bosa, Defensive End

Ohio State football recruiting: Ranking top signees in Buckeye history
Ohio State football recruiting: Ranking top signees in Buckeye history

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9965 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2016 class

No. 1 rated strongside defensive end, No. 8 overall prospect

Noah Spence, Defensive End

Sep 14, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive lineman Noah Spence (8) reacts after sacking California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Golden Bears 52-34. Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9975 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2012 class

No. 1 rated weakside defensive end, No. 5 overall prospect

Jack Sawyer, Defensive End

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: Jack Sawyer #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes gets ready for the start of the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9982 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2021 class

No. 3 rated defensive lineman, No. 4 overall prospect

J.T. Tuimoloau, Defensive End

https://twitter.com/Hayesfawcett3/status/1411779774914043907?s=20

The Goods

247Sports Composite Rating: .9990 (5-star)

Ranking in the 2021 class

No. 2 rated defensive lineman, No. 4 overall prospect [listicle id=52645] Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion.

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