Ohio State has landed a commitment from one of the very best recruits out of the state of Texas in the 2025 class.

On Saturday, the Buckeyes scored a verbal pledge from McKinney (Texas) High linebacker Riley Pettijohn. It’s a massive win for coach Ryan Day and his staff; Pettijohn is a 5-star recruit in the industry-generated 247 Composite and was deciding between Ohio State, USC, Texas, South Carolina, and Texas A&M.

He announced his commitment live on 247Sports’ YouTube page.

Pettijohn made official visits to Ohio State (May 31), USC (June 7), Texas (June 14), and Texas A&M (June 21). Texas was once considered to be the favorite in his recruitment, but the buzz started to pick up in recent weeks that Ohio State was trending. Pettijohn told 247Sports after his commitment he’d known where his heart was for a week leading up to his announcement.

His father, Duke, was a defensive lineman for Syracuse from 1997-2000, and a great one at that. Duke was a 2-time All-Big East selection. But Pettijohn will make his own path in college.

Linebackers coach James Laurinaitis was key in this recruitment. “With him coming from the league, he knows a lot about ball,” Pettijohn told 247Sports. He has NFL aspirations, and a profile to get there with a strong career in Columbus.

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The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Pettijohn is ranked as the No. 4 linebacker in the 2025 class and the No. 9 prospect from the state of Texas. Overall, he sits at No. 31 in the national player rankings in the industry-generated 247 Composite.

His junior season at McKinney was outstanding. Pettijohn collected 125 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. He also blocked a field goal. In addition to football, Pettijohn also runs the 100m and participates in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. He recorded a 10.77-second 100m time as a junior.

Pettijohn becomes the 23rd known commitment for Ohio State in the 2025 class. He’s the fourth 5-star to give their pledge to the Buckeyes, who currently have the top-ranked class in the country. Oregon is the only other program in the country with more than 2 known 5-star commitments.

You can see Pettijohn’s highlight tape below, via Hudl: