The Buckeyes have picked up a big target on the defensive side of the ball with linebacker Payton Pierce out of Lucas (Texas) giving Ohio State his pledge. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is a four-star talent by most of the major services and held 40-plus offers.
Ohio State was able to beat out fellow finalists Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Texas A&M for the pledge.
There is little doubt that a major assist has to go to new Ohio State coach James Laurinaitis who made quite the impression on Pierce, first as a member of the Notre Dame staff and then that carrying over to Ohio State.
Pierce started his high school career at Allen (Texas) high school, a perennial powerhouse within the Lone Star State before moving to Lovejoy high school.
Ohio State’s newest commitment visited the Buckeyes just a few short weeks ago at the end of March and by that point it seemed as if the Buckeyes had managed to take all of the momentum in this one.
But that was not always the case as Ohio State was one of the schools to come to the table later than others. Pierce had to reboot his recruitment after Ohio State offered just to regain his bearings and make sure that he was sure of any decision that was coming.
Pierce is only the second member of the class of 2024 on the defensive side of the ball but that number should be on the rise with Ohio State’s spring game coming up among other things. He joins defensive back Garrett Stover on that side of the ball in Ohio State’s top-five rated class for the recruiting cycle.
The Buckeyes could be losing a lot in the linebacker room after this season with both Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg set to complete their fifth year in college football as members of the class of 2019. Cody Simon will be finishing his fourth year and then the Buckeyes get very young at the position.
The Buckeyes only took one linebacker in the class of 2023 with Cleveland Glenville’s Arvell Reese filling the lone slot.
What are the Buckeyes getting with the commitment of Pierce? Be sure to keep it locked in here as we go in depth with our impact piece on what Ohio State is getting there and as important, what does this mean for linebacker recruiting the rest of the way in the class of 2024?