Photo credit: Collin Kennedy, 247Sports
Ohio State is having a good two days. On the heels of their victory over Utah in the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes got a commitment from Omari Abor during the Under Armour All-America Game.
“The main reason [I picked Ohio State] is Larry Johnson. Just the way he coaches his players, I just really feel like it [will] be a great experience,” he said to On3’s Joseph Hastings. “[We’re] close. Real close. He called me after every game, like, ‘Yo, you messed up on this. You messed up on that.'”
The 6’4″, 240-pound edge defender is the 38th player overall and ranks fourth at his position in 247Sports’ composite rankings for 2022. A native of Duncanville, Texas, he’s also the No. 8 recruit in his home state.
Gabe Brooks of 247Sports compared Abor to Denver Broncos pass-rusher Bradley Chubb, who had 25 sacks and 54.5 tackles for loss over his final three years at North Carolina State before becoming a top-five pick. Drawing a parallel to Chubb is lofty praise, and Brooks explained what Abor can bring to the table:
“If he gets you on your heels, will literally throw you aside. Active hands. Regularly disengages to make plays, whether vs. run or as a pass-rusher. A natural pass-rusher who is particularly dangerous in that department when lined up wide. Shows encouraging fluidity and bend relative to size. Noticeably more fluid with improved lateral range in junior season. Runs the arc well and goes for the ball when he gets home. Instincts and feel for rushing the passer are obvious. Great at setting you up outside and countering inside.”
Brooks added that Abor has lined up in multiple positions along the defensive line but spent the bulk of his time on the edge as a junior at Duncanville High School.
His frame probably leaves him better suited to an edge role. As a comparison, Walter Nolen is the No. 1 defensive lineman in the country. Nolen is the same height as Abor but has 85 pounds on him.
Regardless of where he’s starting, Abor figures to spend a lot of time in the pocket harassing opposing quarterbacks.
Mike Roach @MikeRoach247
Quincy Wright and Omari Abor combine on this sack and it’s 3rd and 42 pic.twitter.com/7wX8YOH6En
Texas DE Omari Abor @BigSmooth___ is one of the biggest movers in the updated #Rivals250, moving up 21 spots to No. 68 overall. @rivalsmike’s thoughts: https://t.co/zTgNAbgKlC
Biggest movers: https://t.co/aUAypJgmzq
Full Rivals250: https://t.co/xNMbQnIrYT pic.twitter.com/37zh6wFpOn
Rushing the passer has always been critical, and it has only grown in importance as Power Five programs ditched pro-style offenses for the spread and read-option. It’s not a coincidence that Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have become College Football Playoff regulars while at the time regularly sending skilled defensive linemen to the NFL.
Abor figures to be a major difference-maker when he joins the Buckeyes.
Ohio State’s loss to Michigan perfectly encapsulated how what was once one of the team’s biggest strengths had fallen off. The Wolverines were constantly harassing C.J. Stroud in the pocket with Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo off the edge, and that was a weapon the Buckeyes didn’t have in their defensive arsenal.
Perhaps Abor can help the program return to the days when Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa and Chase Young were causing nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.