Few programs have been able to recruit in the face of a pandemic at quite the same level as Ohio State. After hauling in what looks like will finish as the No. 2 overall class in 2021, the Buckeyes are looking to one-up themselves in 2022. Off to the hottest of starts in the junior class, Ryan Day and his staff have hauled in another huge piece to kick off the new year following their impressive win over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl.
On Saturday, five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary committed to Ohio State. Singletary, out of Robert E. Lee High School in Florida, is the No. 5 CB in the country, and the No. 10 player in the 2022 class overall in the 247Sports Composite.
Dropping his top four schools back at the end of November, Ohio State made the cut as the only program north of the Mason-Dixon Line alongside Clemson, Florida and Georgia. Recruited by both Kerry Coombs and Tony Alford, the Buckeyes were actually one of the last schools to offer Singletary, with that officially coming on Nov. 5. Despite waiting to extend the official offer, OSU was clearly interested in the Jacksonville native since the beginning, and in the end they beat out the other 29 programs vying for his services.
Coombs and Ohio State have some recent experience pulling five-star DBs from the Jacksonville area, as the pairing accomplished a similar feat with Shaun Wade in the 2017 class. That connection paid off in the long run, as Singletary mentioned his relationship with Wade when speaking with Rivals about why OSU made his final four schools.
“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.”
It wasn’t entirely surprising to see Singletary wind up with the Buckeyes, as there had been some smoke linking the two parties since mid-December. Steve Wiltfong submitted the first Crystal Ball in favor of Ohio State back on Dec. 18 (with a confidence of nine), and soon after more trusted sources — like OSU insider Bill Kurelic and southeast recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins — followed suit. With his decision slated for Jan. 2, it seemed pretty clear Singletary would become the next member of #BIA.
Exactly what kind of prospect is Ohio State getting in the 6-foot-1 junior? Well, before he even kicks off his senior season for the Generals, Singletary has already drawn second-round NFL Draft grades and a comparison to All-Pro NFL corner Jalen Ramsey. Here is what Ivins had to say about Singletary’s skillset:
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.
With Shaun Wade moving on to the 2021 NFL Draft at season’s end, Ohio State has done a phenomenal job restocking in the secondary. After hauling in a pair of top-100 players at corner in 2021 with the commitments of Jakailin Johnson (No. 3 CB) and Jordan Hancock (No. 4) as well as a trio of four-star safeties, the Buckeyes now already have another highly-rated pair of corners in 2022 with Jyaire Brown (No. 13) and now Singletary — with more almost certainly on the way. The reputation of DBU in Columbus does not appear to be ending anytime soon.
Overall, Ohio State’s 2022 class is now up to 10 commits, with a trio of five-star recruits and six players ranked in the top-100 overall. Now at a whopping 223.58 points (it’s only January, by the way), the Buckeyes have extended their lead as the No. 1 class over LSU, who sits firmly at No. 2 with 149.77 points and seven commits. While 2021 could finish as one of the best classes in program history, there is a very good chance the 2022 group is somehow even better if it continues on its current trajectory.
Want to check out the latest addition to BIA in action? Check out these highlights from Singletary’s junior season with the Generals: