Ohio State Buckeyes are going hard after Damon Payne. The college recruiting cycle is always newsworthy throughout the year. College programs are constantly trying to improve their rosters, and currently, teams are keeping an eye on the best talent available to add to their 2021 recruiting classes. One of the most coveted players is defensive tackle Damon Payne.

Damon Payne in Ohio State Buckeyes's priority list

Payne is 6-foot-3 and 297 pounds and plays for Belleville high school in Michigan, reports Cleveland. 247Sports considers him a five-star prospect and has ranked him as the 27th best player nationally and the 3rd best player at his position.

Payne’s big frame has impressed scouts, and he already looks ready for the collegiate level. He moves well for his size and his agility and strength forces opposing offensive linemen to always account for him on every play. Payne can also play at nose tackle on offense and some college teams have considered using him on their offensive lines if he signs with them. His physical attributes and versatility on both sides of the ball have gotten him offers from the best college programs in the country.

In February, Payne narrowed down his options to ten schools. Ohio State made the list along with Alabama, Michigan, Arizona State, Kentucky, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, and USC. Michigan could use their home state appeal to convince Payne to stay in his home state, but the Wolverines will have to jump ahead of Alabama, Kentucky, and the Buckeyes who are the three most likely teams to sign him.

Ohio State has had some success recruiting in Michigan in recent seasons, adding two players from the state last year. Payne has visited with Alabama and Kentucky but is yet to visit with the Buckeyes. However, he attended the team’s spring practice last year.

A quality player for Ohio State Buckeyes

The five-star prospect would be a quality addition for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

He would join Ohio native, Mike Hall who has already committed to the program. Hall also plays defensive tackle and is a four-star prospect. If Payne joins Hall on the team, the two could develop into devastating defensive players over the next two seasons. Ohio State has produced some excellent pass rushers over the last few years.

Last year, Chase Young was the standout player on defense. Many analysts are in consensus that he will be the second pick in the draft next month. In 2019, Ohio State defensive lineman, Nick Bosa was also drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the second pick of the draft. The 49ers made the super bowl this year, and Bosa a key player in the team’s super bowl run. Stay tuned for more news and updates on the Ohio State Buckeyes.