- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ohio State might not be looking up at Michigan in the rankings for too much longer if it can keep landing prospects like the one the Buckeyes earned a pledge from Thursday.
ESPN 300 tight end Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor) verbally committed to Ohio State after he visited the Buckeyes on Wednesday. Rumors swirled Wednesday he committed on his visit, but at the very least he left Columbus as a heavy Ohio State lean.
Holmes, a 6-foot-5, 219-pound two-way standout, will likely play defensive end for defensive line coach Mike Vrabel at Ohio State. So once again the Buckeyes have added another powerful piece to what is quickly becoming arguably the strongest position on the roster when considering both the 2012 and 2013 hauls. Since 2012, the Buckeyes have landed 12 four-star defensive linemen, including five-star Noah Spence, a 2012 signee that looks to be headed for stardom in Columbus.
The addition of Holmes fills a need at defensive end in the 2014 class, too, although numbers dictate the Buckeyes could take another with the loss of former ESPN 150 defensive lineman Se'Von Pittman.
Aside from adding a valuable piece to their 2014 class, the Buckeyes are hoping the addition of Holmes could help them gain a foothold in the talent-rich state of Virginia. Three prospects with a five-star ranking reside in Virginia, and the Buckeyes missed out on Quin Blanding and Da'Shawn Hand. Eight prospects from Virginia are in the ESPN 300, and the state is in the same class as Ohio when it comes to producing Division I talent.