The Alford Impact

For the second consecutive evening, Ohio State landed a key recruiting target on the defensive side of the ball. On Saturday it was four-star linebacker T.J. Alford giving his pledge to the Buckeyes as Ohio State continues to amass an outstanding defensive haul in this 2025 recruiting class.

What Ohio State is Getting

Alford is a consensus Top 10 linebacker nationally in the 2025 recruiting class and it’s easy to see why when you see him in person or watch his film. He is a prototype modern three-down linebacker who can deliver the big hit, shoot gaps, and play in space.

The most impressive component of Alford’s game is his closing speed. He has the explosiveness to quickly trigger and get upfield to disrupt running plays and he can use those tools to get after the quarterback as well.

His ability as an open field tackler and in coverage is also high level and he could have a future as a tight end stopper because of his athleticism and length.

Because of all of those athletic qualities, Alford projects to play the WILL linebacker position in Columbus.

What it Means for Recruiting

Ohio State has had a recent history of monster classes, but perhaps classes that skewed more toward the offensive side of the ball. That is certainly not happening this time around as seven of the first nine commitments for the Buckeyes are on defense and there is talent at all three levels of the defense in the fold already.

Alford will complement fellow linebacker commit Eli Lee well as Lee projects to be a MIKE and Alford looks to be a WILL at the next level.

While the current Ohio State linebacker room is fairly inexperienced, it isn’t particularly young. With Cody Simon being a senior and the next wave of players; Sonny Styles, C.J. Hicks, and Gabe Powers all being third-year players this fall, the Buckeyes will really need to replenish the linebackers room in this cycle.

With that in mind, it is inevitable that Ohio State will add at least one more pure linebacker to this class and it’s not impossible to see a scenario where the Buckeyes take four if it is the right four. Super Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods EDGE Justin Hill is being recruited as a hybrid as well, but he is not factoring into my math on this.

Listen to “Assessing the Impact of Four-Star Linebacker Tarvos 'TJ' Alford's Commitment to Ohio State” on Spreaker.

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