The Ohio State football team may have closed out the 2023 season cold with consecutive losses to their rival and to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl, but they have begun the 2025 recruiting cycle red hot landing two of the top recruits in the nation within four days of one another.
Zahir Mathis, a 6-6 225-lb. edge rusher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, looks a lot like a former five-star edge rusher who played for the Ohio State football program named Zach Harrison. He is long and lanky, with a lot of upside due to his athleticism, which is fully on display at Imhotep Institute.
According to 247Sports, which is where Mathis made his announcement known today, his composite score is 0.9787. Ranked as the 37th top recruit in the class of 2025, he is considered the top recruit from the state of Pennsylvania and one of the top 5 to 10 edge rushers in the nation depending on which recruiting source you look at.
Mathis made his announcement just four days after five-star Devin Sanchez, making the last week on the recruiting front for Ohio State feel more like Christmas than New Year's. Mathis is the fourth defensive player in the six-man class, giving Ryan Day and Jim Knowles more defensive players than offensive recruits this early in the process, which has never happened since Day took over the head coaching position from Urban Meyer.
It would appear that going into year three of Knowles as Defensive Coordinator, along with a more secure defensive coaching staff, things are beginning to pay dividends on the recruiting trail. Defensive backs Sanchez, and Blake Woodby, along with linebacker Eli Lee are the other three defensive players.
Before Mathis committed, the Buckeyes were already a top 10 class in the way too early recruiting rankings. Given Mathis’ commitment, one would believe the Buckeyes are once again knocking on the door of being a top-five class in the nation.
There will be more commitment announcements coming as the 2024 class wraps up over the course of the next six weeks and more 2025 kids make their commitments known. Stay tuned to Scarlet & Game as we keep you in the loop with Buckeye recruiting news.