COLUMBUS — There aren’t many players who’ve been recruited as long by Ohio State as Darrion Henry. That work all paid off with the Cincinnati Princeton 4-star defensive lineman making his college choice on Saturday and committing to the Buckeyes.
Lettermen Row has all the angles on this star lineman and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and more.
What Darrion Henry gives Ohio State on the field
Ohio State has made it a point over the last handful of recruiting cycles to create a bigger, more interchangeable defensive line. At 6-foot-5 and 275-pounds, Henry embodies that pretty well.
He has the quick first step necessary to play on the edge as a tradition 4-3 defensive end, but also the size to move inside in the dynamic Rushmen packages. The Buckeyes crave flexibility in their defensive linemen, and Henry absolutely gives them that.
A shoulder injury suffered during his junior season that required offseason surgery has limited Henry in recent months. But as he regains his strength and gets himself back into football shape, he should regain the form that had at one point made him a consensus top-50 prospect in the Class of 2020.
What Darrion Henry means to Ohio State 2020 recruiting class
With Henry in the fold, the Buckeyes can turn their focus on the defensive line to a handful of national targets, freeing up Larry Johnson and Ryan Day to spend time and resources across the country rather than in their own backyard. That is especially important when it comes to the pursuit of 5-star talents like Vernon Broughton and Desmond Evans.
Henry is the 15th commitment in the Class of 2020 for Ohio State. He’s the sixth prospect in the class from Ohio — and the fourth from Cincinnati as Day has continued to prioritize the Queen City. Henry joins his good friend and future Cincinnati Princeton teammate Paris Johnson, offensive guard Jakob James and kicker Jake Seibert in the commitment column. He also gives Ohio State another weapon in the battle to land another Cincinnati standout, Elder tight end Joe Royer.
The Buckeyes are five commitments behind rival Michigan (20), but the addition of Henry once again helped Ohio State grow its lead as the Big Ten’s top-ranked recruiting class according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings. He is the country’s 11th-ranked defensive tackle, but that ranking has been affected a bit following a subpar camp season as he recovered from the injury he dealt with at the end of his junior year.
What makes Darrion Henry stand out
Henry has been a top target for Johnson for two years as his size, speed and strength combination makes him a rare, elite-level prospect with as good a starting skill set as anyone not named Bosa, Young or Harrison that Johnson has landed in his tenure at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes beat out LSU, Georgia, Tennessee and a host of the country’s best recruiters for Henry, who chose the Buckeyes almost entirely for the opportunity to work with Johnson. That kind of shared respect will go a long way toward his eventual development in Columbus.