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Future Ohio State wide receiver to suit up in All-American Bowl

Plus, the nation’s top corner has the Buckeyes on his short list

Four-star WR Jayden Ballard
Mark Brennan, FOS/247

While out enjoying time with family and friends you might’ve missed out on some of the latest recruiting news surrounding the Ohio State Buckeyes? Don’t fret! Land-Grant Holy Land is here to get you caught back up with things.

Ballard to play in All-American Bowl

If you didn’t know by now, the Ohio State class of 2021 is stacked. Loaded with talent from top to bottom, another future Buckeye announced he too will suit up and play in the annual All-American Bowl.

Playing either with or against numerous of his soon-to-be OSU teammates, Massillon Washington wide receiver Jayden Ballard is the seventh Ohio State verbal pledge to accept his invite to participate in the event held on Jan. 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

In what is becoming a showcase for future Buckeyes, he joins many fellow 2021 commits—quarterback Kyle McCord, running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor, offensive guard Donovan Jackson, linebacker Reid Carrico and cornerback Jakailin “JK” Johnson.

A first team All-Ohio selection, the four-star rated Ballard displayed big time play making ability with the ball in his hands. Pulling in nearly 70 receptions for the Massillon Tigers as a junior, the 6-foot-2 175-pounder accounted for over 1,200 yards and a school record tying 18 touchdowns to help the Tigers finish the season off with a final record of 14-1.

Considered the No. 11 wide receiver and 68th overall prospect in the entire class of 2021, per the 247Sports Composite Rankings, there’s a lot to like about Ballard’s game. Recruiting analyst Allen Treiu had the following to say on the future Buckeye and what he should bring to the Buckeye wide out group.

“Has good height. Still needs to bulk up, but is well developed in his lower body. Good athlete who also excels on the basketball court. Very natural pass catcher who can adjust to passes and make difficult grabs. Tracks the ball well in the air and wins in contested situations. Gets off the ground quickly and attacks passes at their highest point. Long-strider with solid timed speed. Can get down the field and take the top off a defense. Shows fluidity in his route running. Currently more of a deep ball threat than one who will make a ton of plays after the catch. Has to get stronger and keep working through the route tree, but a very talented athlete who can be a No. 1 receiver in college. Has the potential to develop into and NFL prospect.”

Nation’s top corner has Bucks in top four

Ohio State’s defensive back recruiting has been off the charts with the return of Kerry Coombs to the coaching staff. In 2021, the Buckeyes already have six verbal commits from guys in the defensive backfield, including three corners and three safeties — though their exact positions could change at the next level.

Even with an embarrassment of riches at the position group already, it wouldn’t hurt to add the nation’s No. 1 overall corner to the class. That is exactly what Ohio State would be hoping to do should they secure a commitment from Tony Grimes.

The Virginia Beach native has cut his impressive list of over 40 scholarship offers down to his top four schools, which includes Georgia, Texas A&M and UNC alongside Ohio State. The No. 7 recruit overall in the 2021 class, Grimes has been vocal about wanting to visit each of his top schools to get a true feel for where he will play his collegiate ball before making a final decision. However, with the dead period being extended even further, who knows when or even if those will be allowed to take place.

At this point it’s tough to say for sure where Grimes is currently leaning, as the predictions are all over the place. It seems like the Bulldogs and the Tar Heels have a slight edge at the moment, but there is still a long way to go as the 6-foot CB doesn’t plan to announce his commitment until Dec. 1. If recruiting visits are allowed to resume later this year, don't count out Coombs and the gang on swaying Grimes into joining the nation’s top class.

Quick Hits

  • The Buckeyes offered class of 2022 four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson on Friday. Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida, adds the OSU scholarship to a solid list of potential landing spots. Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Penn State are just some of the programs to dish out an offer to Jackson early in the process.
  • Trying to lock down talent to bring into the fold just like the football squad, Chris Holtmann and the basketball Buckeyes offered class of 2021 four-star combo guard Jalen Warley, via Stock Risers. A top-30 prospect, Ohio State joins the likes of Creighton, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, and Oregon on the hunt for the 6-foot-4 standout from Westtown School (PA).