FORT LAUDERDALE – The depth of talent at St. Thomas Aquinas high school is often second-to-none and that certainly is the case when you look at class of 2026 athlete Justice Fitzpatrick.
In case you are wondering, the answer is yes. He is the younger brother of former Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, and while the elder brother went to high school in Jersey City (N.J.) the younger brother is part of the powerhouse program in Fort Lauderdale.
Justice has already seen the offers start to roll in with the Buckeyes being one of the schools to get in early on this talented defender. Alabama has not offered yet but you have to imagine that Nick Saban is keeping a close eye on this one as well.
It is still very early in the process for the younger Fitzpatrick, but growing up around college football, he is keenly aware of the process.
What does he know about the Buckeyes so far?
“I know they’re a great program,” Fitzpatrick said. “They had a championship run not too long ago.”
That run ended when the Buckeyes ran into Alabama in the CFP Championship Game and a depleted Ohio State roster had its hands full with the Crimson Tide and came up short in a lopsided affair.
If (and when) Alabama comes with an offer, many people feel like it might be too much to overcome when a decision needs to be made, and even if that is the case, that is not the message that Fitzpatrick is giving right now.
“I have got to be my own person in my whole process,” Fitzpatrick said when asked if a Bama offer would end his recruitment with a Bama pledge.
Ohio State certainly has had its fair share of brothers on the roster through recent years including the Bosa’s (Joey and Nick) as well as the Hamilton’s (DaVon and Ty). But even in those cases, the little brother had to come to his own decision, even if the draw to Ohio State was great.
“Of course, I might be a little bit biased to my brother but my parents understand that it is going to be coming from where I want to go and where I am most comfortable with,” Fitzpatrick said. “When I look at colleges, the first option is not always going to be Alabama.”
And as long as the door is opened a crack, the Buckeyes will certainly stay involved in this one with a player that certainly has the potential to play on the same elite level of his brother.
But how would Thanksgiving dinner be if Fitzpatrick doesn’t choose Bama? Worse yet, what if it were a school like Auburn?
“Maybe for my brother it might be a little awkward, but everyone else, I think they understand,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think they will just be proud of me.”
Find out more from our final interview of the Southern Swing trip and keep it locked in here to BuckeyeHuddle for the best Buckeye coverage around.