Arvell Reese

2023 Ohio State Freshman Class Report: Linebacker Arvell Reese

This is the 14th installment in a series where Buckeye Huddle looks back on each member of Ohio State’s 2023 signing class and the impact they had as rookies, as well as the impact they could have during the upcoming 2024 season. Up next is linebacker Arvell Reese.

Arvell Reese was the latest member of the Glenville Pipeline to Ohio State, fresh off of helping lead Ted Ginn, Sr.’s Tarblooders team to their first state championship in school history. Reese was the 2022 Division IV Defensive Player of the Year in the state of Ohio. He was also a First-Team All-State selection and played in the annual All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Reese was a four-star prospect as a senior at Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. He was ranked the No. 22 linebacker in the nation and the No. 211 player overall. He signed with Ohio State over offers from Alabama, Michigan, USC, Penn State, Iowa, and more. Reese was ranked the No. 5 player in the state

2023 Season

Arvell Reese was a summer enrollee for the Buckeyes last season. He opened up fall camp with the linebackers, then quickly got some cross-training in at defensive end. As a linebacker recruit, the thought was that he could eventually grow into a defensive end.

When Reese arrived at Ohio State last June, he was 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, with the frame to handle more. Which is one of the reasons why head coach Ryan Day and defensive line coach Larry Johnson wanted to get him a look at defensive end. It was also something that Day had talked with Glenville head coach Ted Ginn, Sr. about much earlier.

“Coach Ginn, during the process of recruiting Arvell, had mentioned that maybe that was something that he foresaw could come down the road,” Day said back in August. “And when Arvell got here, we immediately saw that he has a lot of talent. Explosive, twitchy, smart, big, and he did a nice job at linebacker. We felt like maybe taking a look for a week at defensive end, because he’s gonna get to 255 really fast. He has some twitch and has the strength and has the length of play at defensive end, and maybe as a freshman that may be the best for him. But we have not currently made any decisions yet.”

Despite not getting to campus until June and then dealing with some positional experimentation, Reese still saw time in the first two games on special teams. He suffered an injury in the second game of the year and missed the next five games before finally returning to special teams.

Reese played in eight games last year, but did not see any time on defense.

So Now What For Arvell Reese?

Ohio State has lost its two starting linebackers, so everybody on the roster from last year has moved up a step. Should he stay at linebacker, Arvell Reese figures more into the Mike side of things than Will, though those positions do need to be somewhat interchangeable.

Reese has always been able to cover a bunch of ground, and he hits what he sees. Currently there is no experienced backup behind expected starting middle linebacker Cody Simon, which means Reese will battle the likes of redshirt sophomore Gabe Powers for that spot.

Defensive end could also still be in the mix, though that’s not as necessary this year with OSU’s top five guys back. There is also the possibility that defensive coordinator Jim Knowles brings back his hybrid linebacker/defensive end “Jack” position, which was shelved last year.

Regardless of where he ends up this year, he is currently in the middle of a fantastic growth period. He just got out of bowl prep and is now in the middle of winter workouts. Next month will begin his first spring camp. The Arvell Reese that will be seen in September will be much different than the one who first arrived last June. And the one who was seen last June already had his coaches pretty excited about the possibilities.


Safety Malik Hartford
Receiver Brandon Inniss
Safety Jayden Bonsu
Offensive Tackle Luke Montgomery
Defensive End Joshua Mickens
Tight End Jelani Thurman
Defensive Tackle Will Smith, Jr.
Cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt
Quarterback Lincoln Kienholz
Linebacker Nigel Glover
Offensive Guard Austin Siereveld
Cornerback Jermaine Mathews, Jr.
Defensive Tackle Jason Moore

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