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Ohio's top high school football players: Meet the state’s best defensive linemen

Who are the top defensive linemen in Ohio high school football this season?
Pickerington Central_Elder_Nate Swanson.18

By Jordan Carter

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Ohio high school football.

Our first list focused on the linebackers, next came the wide receivers, and we finished last week with the state's top quarterbacks.

This week we started with the biggest stars in Ohio high school football: the offensive linemen and now the defensive linemen.

There are thousands of standout football players in Ohio, and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Use the comments section to discuss the other defensive linemen worthy of fans’ attention in 2021.

Pictured above are Pickerington Central's Tyler Gillison, left, and CJ Doggette Jr. (photo by Nate Swanson), who will continue playing together in college at Cincinnati.


CJ Doggette Jr. Pickerington Central

Cincinnati Bearcats commit C.J. Doggette Jr. is a 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive tackle who helped lead Pickerington Central to an 11-1 season as a junior and came one win short of a state title. Four of the team's 11 victories were shutouts, and defense has continued to be the team's strength this season as Doggette has routinely drawn double-teams.

Tyler Gillison, Pickerington Central

Another Cincinnati commit, Tyler Gillison is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive tackle who terrorizes offensive linemen alongside Doggette. Gillison is a power rusher with a long, loose running style who will aim to keep bowling over offensive linemen alongside Doggette as a Bearcat.

Ashton Duncan, Ironton

Ashton Duncan is a 6-foot-3, 242-pound defensive end who's committed to play for Miami (Ohio) next season. Duncan is an excellent team leader who's elusive and quick, and he plays with great hands and strength.

Dakari Frazier, Pickerington Central

Yet another stalwart on the Pickerington Central defensive line, Ball State commit Dakari Frazier is a 6-foot-4, 245-pound pass rusher who plays aggressive and fast. Frazier sheds his blocks easily and tends to hit-stick ball carriers shortly afterward.

Clive Wilson, Chaney

Three-star Boston College commit Clive Wilson is a 6-foot-5, 235-pound athlete. He didn't play organized football until his sophomore year of high school, and he started playing defensive end during the wacky 2020 season. He can apply significant pressure on quarterbacks even while engaged with blockers thanks to his length, but he has the speed to get around the edge.

John Jackson, Barberton

Kent State commit John Jackson is a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive tackle who also plays tight end. When Jackson makes plays, he has a knack for motivating his teammates to do the same.

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