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Ohio State surging for 2022 five-star corner

The Buckeyes appear to be in the drivers seat for one of the junior class’ best prospects.

Five-star 2022 CB Jaheim Singletary
Andrew Ivins, 247Sports

Ohio State’s tremendous early success in the 2022 class has been well documented. We haven't even reached the end of the 2020 calendar year yet, and already the Buckeyes have the nation’s top junior class. The group contains an impressive nine commits thus far, with the top overall recruit in the country in quarterback Quinn Ewers and the class’ top wide receiver in Caleb Burton both committing to the program last month.

With those two five-star prospects already in the fold, Ryan Day could add a third five-star to the mix to kick off the new year. In what would be yet another huge BOOM, 2022 cornerback Jaheim Singletary will be announcing his college decision on Jan. 2, and all signs currently point to him choosing Ohio State.

The five-star Jacksonville native is the No. 5 CB in the class, and the No. 10 player in the country overall. Hailing out of Robert E. Lee High School, the 6-foot-1 defensive back is down to four schools, with Ohio State obviously on the list alongside Clemson, Florida and Georgia.

Despite the Buckeyes being one of the last schools to offer Singletary, they have been in contact with the corner for quite some time. Position coach Kerry Coombs knows the area well, as he was the one who helped pull a five-star corner by the name of Shaun Wade out of Jacksonville back in 2017. In speaking with Chad Simmons of Rivals, Singletary noted his relationships with Coombs and Wade as one of the reasons Ohio State is so high on his list.

“Ohio State offered me later than most, but they were honest about evaluating me, they kept it real from beginning, and even though they offered me later, they have been recruiting me just as long as the others,” said Singletary. “They have history at defensive back, coach Coombs is a great coach and we have a strong relationship. I know Shaun Wade well too, and he has given me a lot of insight on the program.”

Ironically, Ohio State did not make Singletary’s Top 8 list back in October, but once that offer came in at the beginning of November, they quickly became a major player in his recruitment.

“It was tough to get down to four schools, but I had thought about it a lot, and I know it is a life-changing decision, so I took it serious to get it down to four. I went over things with my family, it took us a while to get there, but getting to 10 first, now to four, and soon I will be at one, I have taken the time I needed to.”

While it seemed for a while that the in-state Florida Gators would be the team to beat for Singletary’s services, it is now Ohio State that appears to be in the lead. The Crystal Balls began rolling in over the weekend in favor of the Buckeyes, with trusted sources including 247Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong and OSU insider Bill Kurelic getting involved. On Tuesday, yet another CB came in from Florida insider Blake Alderman — a sign that the local program may have lost their edge.

Singletary is a truly elite cornerback prospect, already drawing comparisons to All-Pro NFL corner Jalen Ramsey. Here is what southeast recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins had to said about the Florida product:

A physically imposing defender with a 74-inch wingspan. Already built well. A ball magnet of sorts that picked off eight passes as a freshman and broke up eight more as a sophomore despite missing some games due to injury. Has the ability to not only redirect wide receivers at the line of scrimmage, but also flip his hips and run with them. Does a good job of timing his breaks once in coverage, but often times relies too much on his length to make plays. Will need to get faster at the next level. Should develop into an impact player for a Power 5 program and eventually play on Sundays.

Only time will tell whether or not Singletary does indeed wind up becoming the latest member of BIA. If he does commit to Ohio State on Jan. 2, he would be joining a 2022 class loaded with defensive talent — including a trio of top-60 overall linebackers in Gabe Powers, C.J. Hicks and Dasan McCullough, as well as four-star CB Jyaire Brown. One day after Ohio State is set to take on Clemson in the CFP, all eyes will be on northeast Florida.

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