The Ohio State Buckeyes bring in another big-time recruit, as four-star outside linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste (Oradell, NJ / Bergen Catholic) has signed with the Scarlet and Gray. Following his press conference, head coach Urban Meyer noted that the OLB prospect had signed and sent in his LOI to the Buckeyes.
Meyer told the Big Ten Network after his press conference, “Jean-Baptiste out of New Jersey signed with us.”
It came down to the wire for Jean-Baptiste, as it seemed that the Nebraska Cornhuskers were deemed as the likely landing spot for the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder. However, things changed after Jean-Baptiste’s last visit with Nebraska on Jan. 12. Since then, the No. 16 OLB in the class took an official visit to OSU on Jan. 19, and head coach Urban Meyer and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano met with the New Jersey native on Feb. 1.
Ohio State wasn’t just in contention with Nebraska for the four-star; the Texas A&M Aggies, who are know head coached by Jimbo Fisher, held an official visit with JJB on Feb. 2, according to 247sports.
In total, 23 schools made offers for Jean-Baptiste to be part of their respective program. In the end, though, the Buckeyes emerged as the victors for the No. 6 prospect in all of New Jersey. JJB will now join Dallas Gant as the two OLBs in Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class.
Javontae Jean-Baptiste is a fiery, raw athlete who checks all of the attributes of a future pass rushing specialist. At 6’5, 215 lbs, he has a long, wiry frame which allows him to keep separation on blockers, while making plays all over the field. As noted, he needs to hit the weight room to add some mass to his frame, but he’s one to keep an eye on after he redshirts this season.
He’s listed as an outside linebacker, but I wouldn’t mind if they used his length in pure pass rush situations coming off the edge with his quickness and long arms. He needs work in coverage if he wants to play a three-down OLB role, so a redshirt year to add some thickness to his frame would do wonders for his future.
Ohio State’s Class of 2018
|Antwuan Jackson Jr.||DT||6'2.25||305||Yes|