There were some hallelujahs being exclaimed around Buckeye Nation on Easter Sunday for a variety of reasons. From a football perspective, Ryan Day and the football team received commitments from two players, most notably four-star, 2023 safety Dijon Johnson. The Tampa, Fla. native is rated as the No. 265 player in the country, 29th corner, and No. 47 player in the Sunshine State according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound corner also held offers from Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Penn State, and many others. Having been at Ohio State’s spring game on Saturday, Johnson decided that he had seen enough and was ready to make his commitment, but he has previously scheduled official visits on the books with OU and USC for this summer; whether or not he will still make those visits is yet to be seen.
Tim Walton was Johnson’s primary recruiter and will be his position coach in Columbus, Tony Alford was also instrumental in his process. Johnson is the ninth commit to the Buckeyes’ 2023 class following the pledge of fellow Floridian Bryson Rodgers earlier in the day on Sunday. Rodgers is a high three-star wide receiver from Zepherhills about 15 miles from where Johnson goes to school.
Johnson is the first CB and third secondary member to join the class following four-star safeties Malik Hartford and Cedrick Hawkins (from Ohio and Florida respectively). The Sunday pledges pushes the Buckeyes to the No. 2 class in the country, behind only Texas Tech.
Johnson is “a big-time cornerback prospect that has the tools required to shut down one side of the field on Saturdays,” 247Sports’ southeast recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins said in his scouting report.
Ivins also noted that the corner recently ran a laser-timed 4.5 40-yard-dash. He also said:
Smooth and controlled in his backpedal as he’s quick to gain depth. Fires out of his breaks with ease more times than not and is able to change directions better than most with his length. Does a nice job of feeling out routes and putting himself in position to make plays, which he did frequently as a junior picking off six passes and returning four of them for touchdowns. Not one to shy away from contact and isn’t afraid to put his hands on a wide receiver, but must contribute to develop press technique if he’s going be a true bump-and-run corner at the next level. Has to also stop relying on his extra gear to bail him out as college wideouts will be much faster. Should be viewed as one of the top prospects on Florida’s I-4 corridor for the 2023 cycle and a potential difference maker at the Power 5 level given his size, movement patterns and ability to create takeaways. NFL upside with his wingspan and speed.
Check out highlights from Johnson’s junior season:
Given all of the buzz around Brian Hartline’s recruiting of the wide receiver position, Sunday’s first commitment came as a bit of a surprise as Rodgers is the No. 367 player and No. 48 WR in the country and No. 73 in Florida according to 247’s Composite rankings.
However, given Hartline’s track record of zeroing in on quality players despite their rankings, there should be little doubt that Rodgers is worthy of the Buckeyes accepting his pledge this early in the process.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba committed to OSU in November 2018 when he was ranked as the No. 289 player in the country before finishing as the No. 28 player nationally. Similarly, when Kyion Grayes committed on February 28, 2021, he was the No. 127 player in the country, but finished the cycle as the No. 88 player. So Buckeye fans shouldn’t get too worried about Hartline “reaching” for a WR.
In addition to Ohio State, Rodgers — a 6-foot-2, 170-pound receiver — held offers from Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, Florida, Florida State, and others. During his junior season at Wiregrass Ranch High School, Rodgers had 42 receptions for 645 yards and 17 touchdowns. At 6-foot-2, Rodgers is a fast, athletic receiver that should fit in well with Day’s prolific passing offense.
Check out Rodgers’ junior season highlights:
Welcome to the family, Dijon and Bryson!