5-star defensive end Zach Harrison chooses Ohio State over Michigan

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 12:56am

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh missed out on the commitment of five-star defensive end Zach Harrison on Wednesday.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh missed out on the commitment of five-star defensive end Zach Harrison on Wednesday. Buy this photo
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Five-star defensive end Zach Harrison has committed to play for Ohio State.

Harrison announced his commitment Wednesday on a live stream from Olentangy Orange High School, ahead of the early deadline for the 2019 recruiting class to sign a National Letter of Intent.

The Michigan football team, at one time, seemed to be in the lead to earn Harrison’s services, but things turned quickly after the Wolverines were dominated by the Buckeyes, 62-39, less than a month ago. Since then, expectations have slowly but surely shifted that Harrison would end up at Ohio State.

However, it is a big loss for Michigan.

Harrison is the No. 4 player in the country for the 2019 class, the No. 1 strongside defensive end and the top-ranked player from Ohio, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.

The Wolverines are returning players like sophomore Kwity Paye, junior Josh Uche and freshman Aidan Hutchinson at defensive end, but with last season’s starters Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich moving on, the 2019 class of defensive ends may be needed to add some depth. And Michigan has three defensive end committed in four-star David Ojabo and three-stars Mike Morris and Gabe Newburg, but Harrison appears to be the most ready to contribute next season.

Had Harrison chosen to come to Ann Arbor, he would have been the Wolverines’ highest-rated recruit since Rashan Gary’s commitment in 2016, and the second five-star of their 2018 class after safety Daxton Hill committed earlier Wednesday morning. 

But Harrison did not commit to Michigan.

Instead, with the addition of Harrison, Ohio State now has three five-star recruits to the Wolverines’ one.