Despite losing long-time offensive line commit Doug Nester to start Wednesday’s national signing day, the Ohio State Buckeyes added two signees to the unit today. First, four-star Enokk Vimahi committed, and now, Indianapolis native Dawand Jones pledged to play his college football at Ohio State.
The 6-foot-8, 360-pound tackle is the 13th-ranked player in Indiana and the 87th-ranked offensive tackle in the country. The Buckeyes held off a late charge from James Franklin and Penn State, and Jones held offers from USC, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Florida, Oregon, and many more.
A three-star talent, Jones will add depth to the offensive line unit, as it is expected that Vimahi will not be on the field for the Buckeyes in order to complete a two-year mission as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Scouting report: Dawand Jones is a tough guy to project or scout, because so much with him is unknown right now. At 6-foot-8, 360 pounds, Jones is a massive tackle, obviously, but he won’t be playing at that weight in college. Ohio State likes their tackles closer to 300 pounds, and Jones has at least a full season of training before he can comfortably shed some weight and be in a position to play college football
Losing weight takes time, especially in an environment where it’s important he doesn’t just lose weight, but maintains strength. Ohio State knows how to do it, but it’ll take quite a bit of work with Mickey Marotti to get Jones down near 325, which I would expect is the goal. The best physical comparison for Jones is probably Taylor Decker, because they both stand at 6-foot-8, and Decker played around 315 at Ohio State.
The good news, and the reason that Ohio State wanted Jones so bad, is that he’s a legitimate athlete. He’s not a statue by any means, as is evident by his numerous division one college basketball offers. If he’s able to do that at 360 (he may actually be closer to 340 right now), he’s only going to get more athletic as he gets closer to what Ohio State wants from the physical profile of a tackle.
All of that is to say that Jones is a project. He’s going to take a couple years to get ready. He’s tremendously talented, and a natural athlete, but a lot of the stuff that he does on film right now just isn’t feasible at the next level. However, when he is in a place where Ohio State feels he can comfortably play a full game, he’s going to be very good. He has the intelligence, and the strength to succeed. The key for the Buckeyes is refining him. ~Patrick Mayhorn
Check out highlights of Jones on the field: