Ohio State was busy on Sunday as they spent their day delivering “official” offers to an abundance of 2022 prospects that they are chasing on the recruiting trail. However, their top-ranked recruiting class did take a major hit as one of the best defenders in the country backed off of his Buckeye pledge. It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, as two highly-touted out-of-state players included the good guys in their final group.
Back in January, Ohio State made a major splash when they reeled in 2023 five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary of Robert E. Lee (FL). It was a position that the Buckeyes desperately needed to address in the class, and to secure the No. 14 overall player and top five cornerback could not be understated. The only task to follow was to keep him in the fold and get the coveted signature from the Sunshine State standout.
There was always some concern about that being the end game in this recruitment, and after Singletary wound up taking official visits to both Georgia and Miami (FL) in recent weeks, there was definitely more reason to worry. On Sunday evening, the Jacksonville native took to Twitter that he would be making an announcement and sure enough, just before 7PM EST, Singletary decided to open up his recruitment and back off of his pledge to the Buckeyes.
Decommitted Respect my decision— Jaheim Singletary (@Jaheim2_) August 1, 2021
Recruitment 100% back open get at me pic.twitter.com/6ZB9tPvSCq
The decommitment from Singletary now puts Ohio State at 15 commitments in the class. It also allowed Big Ten rival Penn State to inch closer to the top spot as the Buckeyes hold a very slim lead atop the recruiting rankings. On the positive side, Ohio State still has four other very good players currently in the fold that are also members of the defensive secondary. Now, it will be worth watching to see if the pursuit for Singletary continues or if a new name comes about for a potential replacement.
Big Ten or SEC for White
It was just over one month ago that Ohio State welcomed 2022 four-star edge defender Enai White of Imhotep Institute (PA) on campus for an official visit to check out what the program had to offer. But the truth is, the Buckeyes have been after the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder for quite some time now.
The Scarlet and Gray offered White in May of 2020 and in doing so, they committed to battling out some of the best in hopes of garnering his services. The No. 3 ranked EDGE in the class would ultimately have opportunities from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M, and many more.
On Saturday, the All-American Bowl selection decided it was time to trim that lengthy list of scholarships down and come up with a few schools to focus on for the remainder of his recruitment. As expected, the Buckeyes and defensive line coach Larry Johnson have done enough up to this point to be included in that list, and now they will have to outlast a trio of SEC programs if they want to bring White to Columbus.
FINAL 4OUR @hayesfawcett3 pic.twitter.com/Xs2BwXQk5R— Enai White (@younggbenji0) July 31, 2021
White has yet to give any indications on which way he may be leaning for college. But one thing is for sure, any of the four programs still in-play would love to bring in a player that Brian Dohn of 247Sports compares to former Florida State Seminole and current Carolina Panther standout Brian Burns.
Lockwood trims list
While the finish to the 2022 recruiting class is priority number one for head coach Ryan Day and the Buckeyes, they are still laying the foundation for what should be another elite level class in 2023. On Saturday — much like White — 2023 four-star tight end Ty Lockwood of Independence (TN) revealed his top schools.
Top 4! Recruitment is still 100% open, but going to focus on these schools the most. Thank you to everybody recruiting me! #Gobucks #spursup #weare #gonoles @ChadSimmons_ @adamgorney @IndyFootball_TN @rledits24 @CoachTBarr @NatlPlaymkrsAca @CSmithScout pic.twitter.com/5SDsTLgjDb— Ty Lockwood (@TyLockwood7) July 31, 2021
Lockwood is a 6-foot-5, 225-pounder that ranks inside the top five at his position. Offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson and running backs coach Tony Alford have led the way on the Buckeyes tracking of Lockwood, and their efforts have them well placed to potentially landing one of the very best that the state of Tennessee has to offer. Lockwood has been in Columbus twice in the last two months on unofficial visits to check out the university, which goes to show his level of interest in Ohio State.
- Steve Wiltfong, 247Sports’ National Director of Recruiting, casted a Crystal Ball prediction on Friday morning in favor of Ohio State landing 2023 four-star defensive lineman Derrick LeBlanc of Osceola (FL). The Buckeyes offered the Top 50 prospect back in July of last year and have already had him on campus three times this summer. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder also included the program in his Top 10 in January.
- While Buckeye Nation awaits the latest on 2022 five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers’ potential year early enroll, On3.com awarded the current Southlake Carroll (TX) product with a five-star ranking and has the 6-foot-3, 206-pounder as the top-ranked overall player in the class. ESPN is the lone major recruiting outlet that does not have Ewers at No. 1 overall.