As National Signing Day draws closer, we’ll be profiling each of Ohio State’s class of 2017 signees and commits. With five 5-star prospects committed, the Buckeyes have put together what could end up being a historically talented class. Next up in our series is Cincinnati Winton Woods 4-star defensive tackle Jerron Cage.
Jerron Cage bio
High school: Cincinnati Winton Woods
Weight: 275 pounds
Position: Defensive tackle
Overall ranking: No. 236 (247Sports composite)
Position ranking: No. 14 (247Sports composite)
Early enrollee: No
Revisiting his recruitment
Significant offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State
Commitment date: July 21, 2015
What happened: Cage is the younger brother of Notre Dame defensive tackle Daniel Cage, so this always figured to be a tough battle for the Buckeyes. However, Ohio State took an aggressive approach and managed to get a commitment out of Cage before Notre Dame even offered.
Two months after Cage’s July 2015 commitment, Notre Dame issued an offer. That action set off a year-and-a-half-long worry for Ohio State fans fearful that the Irish might be able to flip him. Cage did indeed unofficially visit Notre Dame — and was present for many games for the obvious reason of watching his brother — but Cage held firm with his commitment.
Where he fits
Cage is a real-deal defensive tackle, which is exactly what Ohio State needs. Too often in recent years, recruiting misses have forced the Buckeyes to rely on defensive ends converted to interior linemen. That won’t be the case with Cage. He’ll give Ohio State a great run-stopper up the middle and should be a handful for opposing offensive linemen.
Will he play in 2017?
It doesn’t seem likely. As mentioned in Haskell Garrett’s capsule, no current Ohio State defensive tackles avoided a redshirt. Cage is a tremendous prospect, but he still needs to add some size. Furthermore, he’s not an early enrollee and the Buckeyes returned their entire defensive line two-deep. He’s a great addition at a position of need, but he might not be called upon to help right away.