Sometimes in college football recruiting, there are schools and recruits that just fit each other perfectly. These matches are rare, but they do happen, and just minutes ago, Ohio State added a commitment from what I would consider to be one of those “perfect fit” kids. 2020 safety Lejond Cavazos is officially a Buckeye commit, more than a year after picking up a scholarship offer.
This news isn’t very surprising, but it’s still a huge deal for Ohio State to get this pledge locked up. Cavazos has been one of Ohio State’s top 2020 defensive targets for nearly two years now, when they found him as a freshman. Since then, he’s visited campus four times, and spent a ton of time around the coaching staff.
His most recent visit, two weeks ago for a camp, was the one that sealed the deal. He saw everything he needed to see from Ohio State, Ohio State saw everything they needed to see from Lejond, and honestly, it’s surprising that he didn’t commit on the spot, because he was close.
Instead, he held off a bit, to think over the decision. Nothing changed, Ohio State remained the pick, and that held true today when he announced his pledge on Twitter. Obviously, because he won’t be an official Buckeye until 2020, we’re quite a ways out from seeing this commitment pay off on the field. However, when Lejond does suit up in Columbus, what can Buckeye fans expect to see?
On the field.
The first thing to consider about Lejond’s game is that he saw significant playing time at IMG Academy, the best high school football program in America, as a sophomore. At 15 and 16 years old, Lejond was good enough to play over older safeties, and when he did play, he shined.
A lot of what Cavazos showed when he played last season was athletic potential, a willingness to hit, and physical traits that can be built on by Alex Grinch and Greg Schiano. At 6-foot, 186 pounds, Cavazos has prototypical safety size, and fantastic speed. He’s a great athlete, and shows flashes of greatness as a pure coverage safety.
He doesn’t have a ton of the technique down yet, and the game hasn’t seemed to slow down for him consistently quite yet, but when it does, he could be a star. He has great range, and because of his speed and natural instincts, he’s able to cover a ton of ground, even when he has to survey the entire field.
His coverage skills, while not perfect yet, are pretty solid. He has fluid hips, and can usually keep up with receivers. He has the body control to make plays in the air, and his hands are very good, especially for a defender. With more experience and coaching, especially at the next level, Cavazos could look a lot like former Buckeye Malik Hooker in a couple of years.
When it comes to tackling, it’s the same story. Cavazos is strong, and willing to tackle, but his technique needs some help. He tends to hit a bit high, and takes very aggressive angles that can sometimes get him in trouble. I don’t think that he’s ever going to be a devastating hitter, but when he learns the rugby style tackling that Ohio State runs, he’ll be as solid as a safety needs to be.
In the class
There’s a ton of excitement around the 2020 class at Ohio State, and for good reason. it kicked off in April with a commitment from offensive tackle Jake Wray, and some of the best players in America seem to be Buckeye-leans right now. With that being said, Lejond is just the second member of the group, though that’ll almost certainly change this weekend.
Defensive back will be a big position of need in 2020, as Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade, Marcus Williamson and Brendon White could all be off to the NFL draft by then. The class is obviously a long way from being done, but right now, R.J. Mickens and Miles Brooks are both worth watching as cornerbacks that could eventually join Lejond in the backfield.
Cavazos’ commitment moves Ohio State to 11th in the country, and first in the Big Ten, as they jump over Michigan. Cavazos picked the Buckeyes over 20 other offers, from some of the best programs in the country, including USC, Wisconsin, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UCLA.
You can view Lejond’s highlights below, and read the commitment piece on him here.