Ohio State looks to have found their third and final pass-catcher in this year’s recruiting class, as they have just filled the hole that was created when '17 WR Tyjon Lindsey decommitted from the program in favor of Nebraska. Moments ago, '17 WR Elijah Gardiner announced that he was backing off of his pledge to Missouri and was joining the Buckeyes.
Thanks to all the schools that have recruited me but my family and I have decided to further my career at The Ohio State University. ️ pic.twitter.com/ZHhSS9asOd— Eli (@elijahgardiner) January 30, 2017
The under-the-radar prospect was committed to Barry Odom and the Tigers for a little over two months. The 6-5, 185-pounder shrugged off an offer from Houston days after the pledge and an offer from Texas about two weeks ago. However, he didn't shrug off a trip that Head Coach Urban Meyer and new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson made to his high school just five days ago.
Meyer and Wilson changed things quickly for Gardiner on that day. Despite having no offer from Ohio State at that point, The Lone Star State prospect was convinced to take an official visit to Columbus this past weekend to see what the Buckeyes had to show. Today, Gardiner wound up with an offer from the Scarlet and Gray and it didn't take him very long for him to jump on it.
Gardiner's rankings certainly won't jump off of the table for Ohio State fans. He is graded as a three-star prospect and the 1,213th overall player in the class. He also comes in as the 172nd best receiver and the 167th highest graded player from Texas. With that being said, this is a situation where you have to trust the coaching staff — a very successful one on the recruiting trail.
Gardiner was honored as a First Team All-District performer on offense for Kemp (TX) in the 6-3A district. In addition to being a standout receiver for the Yellowjackets, Gardiner also competed in the 200m, 4x400 relay, long jump, and triple jump events for the schools track and field team.
For the Buckeyes, reeling in Gardiner now gives them three true receivers in the class, something they have been hoping for all along. Gardiner will join Trevon Grimes and Jaylen Harris as the newest reinforcements for Wide Receiver coach Zach Smith and Zone 6. Lastly, adding Gardiner to the fold has allowed the Buckeyes to inch a bit closer to Alabama for the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. With National Signing Day right around the corner, and the class close to full, we will see if Ohio State can retake the lead over the Crimson Tide when it's all said and done.
To check out the newest Buckeye pledge in action, look no further: