Ohio State '23 IN DE (RS FR) - Joshua Mickens

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    4-STAR DE JOSHUA MICKENS
    A one-time LSU commit, defensive end Joshua Mickens decommitted from the Tigers' class last November and flipped his commitment to the Buckeyes on Dec. 21, 2022. Mickens ranks as the No. 19 edge rusher out of Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis. He was the top-ranked player from Indiana in the 2023 class and No. 144 overall, per the 247Sports Composite.

    Also a multi-sport athlete, Mickes won the Midwest Indoor Championships shot put title and averaged 13 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 blocks in basketball as a junior. He will focus purely on football with the Scarlet and Gray and look to be one of the next great Ohio State defensive ends coached by Johnson.

    Scout's take: Possesses requisite physical tools for a true edge projection, whether putting a hand on the ground or standing up in a hybrid role. Good height with wiry strong frame that holds ample space to add needed mass.

    Plays with his hair on fire. Unregulated motor with accompanying pursuit athleticism. Shows chase-down ability and provides dangerous back-side threat. Flashes encouraging dip-and-bend athleticism to run the arc. Highly productive junior season with 20-plus TFL, a dozen sacks, several forced fumbles.

    Efficient in hand violence with little wasted activity. Flashes some heavy-handedness in dislodging pop against bigger blockers. Quick first step adds juice to pursuit acceleration.

    Owns an outstanding overall athletic profile with three-sport participation. Averaged 13 points and seven boards per game in a junior hoops campaign that featured not only good athletic context, but sport-specific skill (53 percent FG, 72 percent FT). Decorated shot put competitor with at least three throws from Spring 2022 indoor and outdoor competition beyond 50 feet.

    Will need to continue adding mass to combat point-of-conflict size and strength at the high-major level. A bit unorthodox in movement patterns, gets the job done, but can get looser and twitchier in short-area lateral scenarios. Generally a good tackler but occasionally compromises form for a big hit. Can get more consistent in snap anticipation to further elevate pass-rush threat.

    Bona fide Power Five-caliber edge prospect who checks a number of desired attributes in regards to frame, athletic foundation, and production. Projects as a potential impact player down the road for a high-major school with the long-term potential to become an NFL Draft candidate. - 247Sports National Scouting Analyst Gabe Brooks
     
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