In-state tight end prospect verbally commits to Ohio State

Credit: Paul Vernon

Credit: Paul Vernon

Ohio State’s 2025 recruiting class grew to 20 members Thursday with the verbal commitment of Brody Lennon.

A 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end from Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, Ohio, he chose the Buckeyes from more than a dozen suitors including Indiana, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Penn State and West Virginia.

He is a three-star prospect who is ranked 22nd among players in Ohio and the No. 30 tight nationally in 247Sports Composite rankings.

Lennon is the eighth player from Ohio to commit Ohio State for 2025, matching the total of in-state signees for the Buckeyes last year.

Eight is also the most Ohioans of any recruiting class in the Ryan Day era, which began in 2019.

The last time Ohio State signed more than eight players from the Buckeye State was 2016 when the total was 10. That is also the last time Ohio State’s class had more than 39% in-state signees.

If Ohio State ends up getting to double-digit in-state recruits this year, it could represent a follow-through on Day and general manager of player personnel Mark Pantoni’s statements about adjusting the recruiting focus to be more local.

That would be in response to the transfer portal and name, image and likeness payments roiling the recruiting landscape over the last few years.

Also noteworthy: Lennon is the second tight end to commit to Ohio State this cycle, joining four-star prospect Nate Roberts of Washington, Okla.

Ohio State signed two tight ends last year for the first time since 2016, but that came with an asterisk. While Damarion Witten of Cleveland Glenville was ranked as a tight end, Day said he could start his career at receiver for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State’s 2016 class included Luke Farrell, Jake Hausmann an Kierre Hawkins, all from Ohio, but the Buckeyes brought in only six tight ends in the following seven classes and rarely appeared to have more than on reliable player at the position at a time.

That all happened in the wake of a 2014 national championship team that benefitted from being able to deploy two tight ends late in the season, a strategy both then-head coach Urban Meyer and subsequently Day often spoke of replicating in later seasons.

Simultaneously, tight end recruiting was marked by misses.

Since 2016, more players signed as tight ends have ultimately transferred than become starters, necessitating position changes to keep the room productive.

That is likely to continue this fall when Gee Scott Jr., who signed as a receiver, is projected to be the starter, but hopes are high for sophomore Jelani Thurman, who was a four-star tight end prospect in the class of 2023.

Last season, Scott was the No. 2 tight end behind Cade Stover, who signed as a linebacker, and the top three tight ends in 2022 were Stover, Scott and Mitch Rossi, who came to Ohio State as a walk-on running back.

Ohio State also saw the need to bolster the 2024 tight end group by signing Ohio University starter Will Kacmarek out of the transfer portal in January.

Lennon is the fourth player to commit in the past week and the third from Ohio, joining Westerville North offensive lineman Jake Cook, Ontario receiver Bodpegn Miller and Zion Grady, a defensive lineman from Enterprise, Ala.

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