With the early enrollees having officially stepped on campus in the last week or so, it's time to kick off our Bucks To The Future series. For those that have not been around Land Grant Holy-Land in the past, this is where we profile all of Ohio State's incoming prospects. We kick off this years series with the second commit in the 2015 class and one that is currently enrolled and taking classes at Ohio State. Let's take a look back on the story of how the Buckeyes landed Jamel Dean.
Weight: 185 pounds
247Composite: 31st ranked CB, 46th best player from Florida, and 326th best overall in his class
High School: Cocoa High School, Cocoa, FL
The recruitment of Jamel Dean started off in an unusual fashion when big time programs made notice of him before lower level schools. On May 15th of 2013, Ohio State TE coach Tim Hinton made his way down to Florida on a recruiting trip. One of those stops was Cocoa High School in Florida to check out a practice that the Tigers were having. When practice concluded, Dean learned that he received his first offer and it was from the Buckeyes.
Shortly after snagging his first offer from the Scarlet and Gray, Dean received his second offer from Mississippi State. On June 8th, 2013, Dean participated in the "Al Golden Football Camp" on the Miami (FL) campus. A standout performance at the camp netted Dean two more offers, this time from the in-state Miami Hurricanes and the Temple Owls. Later that month, the Gators also gave the 6'1", 185-pounder a scholarship opportunity.
Despite holding an offer from Mississippi State, Ohio State and Temple, it was initially the in-state programs, Florida and Miami (FL), that had the inside track to landing Dean. But things would change rather quickly for the Cocoa High prospect. On July 9th, 2013, Dean announced that he would make his way to Columbus and participate in the "Friday Night Lights" camp. After an impressive performance inside of Ohio Stadium, Dean put the Buckeyes atop of his list.
Dean maintained that the Buckeyes were his leader throughout the later months. Next up for Dean was to begin planning another stop to the Columbus campus. Those plans came to fruition when Dean took in the Ohio State rout of the Nittany Lions, 63-14, on October 26th, 2013. Finally, Dean felt it was the right time to make his decision and on December 1st of that year, Dean gave Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes his commitment.
December of 2013 was a bittersweet end to the year for Dean. The good news was that he became the second member of the 2015 Ohio State recruiting class. The bad news was that he also suffered a torn ACL. Despite the injury for Dean, he was able to check out an Ohio State bowl game practice on the 31st for The Orange Bowl against Clemson, which Ohio State would lose 40-35. In March of 2014, Dean got some exciting news when he was cleared to run.
Two months later, Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett paid a visit to Dean but to no avail. The Gators also tried to get back in the mix and actually got Dean to attend a summer camp in June. Much like the Seminoles however, the visit didn't make Dean second guess his decision.
On July 25th last year, Dean made a return visit to Columbus for the FNL camp once again. With his senior season around the corner, Dean was named a team captain by Cocoa High School Head Coach John Wilkinson for his senior season. On August 25th, Dean signed a midyear aid agreement with Ohio State. Wilkinson, his head coach, announced in September of 2014 that Dean would be an early enrollee for the Buckeyes.
Another tough hurdle came for Dean when he unfortunately suffered a torn meniscus in his final game as a Tiger at Cocoa High. Last month, Dean made things official when he signed on the dotted line as an early entree to the team. But before he could enroll in January, Dean had to head to California to take in the Semper Fidelis All-America game, which he could not play in due to that meniscus injury. Shortly after the trip to west coast, it was time for Dean to come to his new home in Columbus, Ohio and he officially joined the team the day of the National Championship game.
With the injury that Dean suffered at the end of his senior season, the most important thing is getting through the rehabilitation process. I am sure the widely expected scenario for Dean would be a redshirt season so he can have time to learn the system and make sure his body is at full strength.
However, the early entree situation puts Dean in a better position than some may think. A torn meniscus is not an injury that will keep you out for significant time. It's important to remember that Dean tore his meniscus close to two months ago, so who knows where he stands in the healing process. If Dean gets back to full strength and does enough to impress the coaches and get his black stripe removed in spring ball, you never know if he could see the field as a true freshman. No matter what the case may be though, I would expect either a redshirt season or special teams participation as the most likely bet for next season.
Did you know?
Jamel Dean was a trackstar at Cocoa High School (FL). The speedsters fastest recorded 100M time was 10.58, which was good for first place at the Florida 2A Region 3 meet in April of 2013. Dean also held the No. 2 spot at the meet with a second 100M run of 10.75.