Ohio State wins out in race for blue-chip Texas linebacker Payton Pierce
Ohio State landed a big-time commitment on Tuesday from a big-time playmaker.
Lucas (Texas) Lovejoy linebacker Payton Pierce has committed to the Buckeyes. The 4-star defender held scholarship offers from more than 30 Power 5 (or soon-to-be) schools, but Jim Knowles and James Laurinaitis sealed the deal.
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— Payton Pierce (@payton_pierce26) April 11, 2023
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Pierce should start out as a MIKE linebacker for Ohio State, a position he starred at for Lovejoy. As a junior, Pierce recorded 131 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 6 pass breakups, and 5 forced fumbles. As a sophomore, he earned the Texas District 7-5A-II Defensive Newcomer of the Year award.
He’s ranked as the No. 15 linebacker prospect in the 2024 class by the industry-generated 247 Composite and is the No. 151 overall recruit in the country.
“The environment is one I want to be in,” Pierce told Eleven Warriors’ Garrick Hodge. “You’re with a bunch of guys that want to be the best, have the standard of being the best and are going to college to be the best.”
With Pierce’s verbal pledge, the Buckeyes are up to 10 known commits for the 2024 class — a group that ranks No. 2 nationally. His commitment also ties Ohio State with Georgia for the most blue-chip commits in a single class so far (9).
You can see Pierce’s highlight tape below, via Hudl: