While the games and even practices have come to a halt, the off-field pursuit of talent continues for Ohio State.
The Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class grew Sunday with a verbal commitment from Jakailin Johnson, a four-star cornerback from St. Louis, Mo.
“First off, I’d like to thank God,” Johnson wrote in a note posted on social media. “Without him, none of this would be possible. And I’m blessed for the path he’s paving me. It’s been my dream of playing college football and I’m extremely grateful for my parents, family and coaches that have support me through this process.
“I want to thank all the schools and coaches that recruited me and gave me the opportunity to play at the next level. With that being said I will be taking my talents to THE Ohio State University.”
He is the No. 4 cornerback and No. 59 player in the country according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
Ohio State announced last week it was suspending recruiting visits and off-campus recruiting in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus, and the NCAA followed by declaring a dead period for all member institutions.
That does not prohibit communication, however, so coaches and prospects will be able to stay in touch via phone, text and written correspondence.
Ohio State’s class ranks No. 1 in the country at this point with Clemson second and Florida third.
The class has 11 members, including six Ohioans.
Johnson is the second defensive back, joining safety Jaylen Johnson of Cincinnati LaSalle.
Recruiting the Missouri used to be rare for Ohio State, but four players from the Show Me State have signed with the Buckeyes in the last two years: Cameron Brown and Kamnryn Babb of St. Louis Christian Brothers in 2018, Jameson Williams of St. Louis Cardinal Ritter in ’19 and Mookie Cooper of Maryland Heights Pattonville last year.
Prior to 2018, Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis Burroughs in 2013) was the only Missouri signee for Ohio State since Reggie Germany in 1997.
Germany was one of three Ohio State signees from Missouri in the ‘90s, joining Jimmy Redmond, Will Hill and Butler By’not’e.
In other recruiting news, Ohio State made the final two of Troy Stellato, a four-star receiver from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The nation’s No. 141 prospect is down to Ohio State or Clemson, and his father told 247Sports he has a great relationship with the coaching staffs at both schools.
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