Ohio State Buckeyes: Georgia CB’s commitment continues recent trend

Credit: Marcus Hartman

Credit: Marcus Hartman

Ohio State football’s summer recruiting push continued Monday with a verbal commitment from Kayin Lee.

A four-star prospect from Cedar Grove High School in Georgia, Lee is the No. 13 player in his home state in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

He is the 18th-ranked cornerback in the nation and 14th player to join Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class.

Lee is the fourth player to commit to Ohio State since June 20, and his pledge put the Buckeyes atop the national recruiting rankings, ahead of 15-member classes from Notre Dame, Texas and Penn State that ranked 2-4 as of Tuesday morning.

At this point in the recruiting cycle, Northwestern (10), Minnesota (16), Iowa (17), Michigan State (18) and Purdue (19), though rankings will no doubt change significantly as more players commit this summer and fall leading up to the early signing period in late December.

Cincinnati’s 20-man class is ninth in the nation.

Ohio State’s class has been heavy on offense so far with a running back, three offensive linemen and five receivers.

Lee is the fifth defensive player to join the class and fourth defensive back.

He and Dijon Johnson of Tampa, Fla., are rated as cornerbacks while Lakota West’s Malik Hartford and Cedrick Hawkins (Cocoa, Fla.) are safeties.

Safety is a focus in the new defense being installed by coordinator Jim Knowles, but cornerback depth could be a concern in the near future.

There are six cornerbacks on the 2022 roster with senior Cam Brown and sophomore Denzel Burke the only known entities at this point in their careers.

Since 1988 when John Cooper became head coach and increased the program’s focus on national recruiting, Ohio State has signed 23 players from Georgia.

Ironically, the first player on that list is Tim Walton, a Columbus Carver High School grad who signed in ‘89 and became the Buckeyes’ secondary coach in January.

Cooper ultimately signed four players from Georgia, including starting linebacker Kevin Johnson of Athens, in his 13 years at Ohio State.

HIs successor, Jim Tressel, recruited the state more heavily. Tressel signed eight Georgia natives in 10 years, including starters Brandon Mitchell (Atlanta), Anderson Russell (Atlanta), Larry Grant (Norcross), Cameron Heyward (Suwanee) and Bradley Roby (Suwanee).

Ohio State signed six players from Georgia in seven years under Urban Meyer, including starters Raekwon McMillan (Hinseville), Vonn Bell (Rossville) and Antwuan Jackson, who attended the same high school as Lee.

Since taking over for Meyer as head coach at the conclusion of the 2018 season, Ryan Day has signed five players from Georgia, including starters Harry Miller (Buford) and Steele Chambers (Roswell).

So far, every member of Ohio State’s 2023 recruiting class is from Ohio (five players) or the South. Six are from Florida with one apiece from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Players who commit now can sign a binding letter of intent in December.

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