Though a trip to Columbus last month gave Ohio State a glimmer of hope in his recruitment, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star linebacker Raesjon Davis committed to USC on Wednesday morning.
The 6-1, 215-pound Davis, who is considered the fourth-best outside linebacker and No. 48 prospect overall in the class of 2021, was a longtime LSU commitment who reopened his recruitment on Dec. 21 after he did not sign with the Tigers during the Early Signing Period. The Trojans immediately became the favorite to land his pledge thanks to proximity and his familiarity with the program, but the Buckeyes also made a push of their own thanks to head coach Ryan Day and linebackers coach Al Washington.
Davis had only been to campus once before, conducting a two-hour look around the football facilities as part of a nationwide tour with his 7-on-7 team back in March, but he made it a point to return with his parents and uncle over the weekend of Jan. 22-24 before finalizing his decision. The trip earned rave reviews as the Davis family roamed around the city and spent time with some of Ohio State’s early enrollees, thanks to a well-timed move-in, and Cincinnati La Salle three-star safety Jaylen Johnson, who drove up to Columbus just to hang out with Davis.
“I loved it there,” Davis told 247Sports national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins on Jan. 29. “I would definitely say the trip moved them up my list, not just because I liked it, but my parents really liked it there, too. The best part for me was being around all the players. All the early enrollees were with me the whole time and showed us around the campus and the city itself.
“I already knew Evan (Pryor) from 7-on-7 and Tre(Veyon Henderson) from the Future 50, and I was able to meet all the other guys, as well, and they were great to be around. Kyle (McCord) was super cool, I really enjoyed being around him. I knew Jack (Sawyer) already, too, and like him a lot. Jaylen (Johnson) is a great dude, and like I said, all the guys were great and I really connected well with all of them.”
While it felt like the Buckeyes were primed to take the lead in Davis’ recruitment following the visit, there was no movement in the crystal ball predictions in the days leading up to his decision. That ultimately led to him signing with the Trojans, where he’ll join a class that ranks No. 7 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings and includes the nation’s top-rated player, Corona (Calif.) Centennial five-star defensive end Korey Foreman.
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