Ohio State lost out on one of the program’s top remaining targets in 2024 on Saturday as Buford, Ga., five-star safety KJ Bolden (6-1, 185) announced his commitment to Florida State.
Bolden is the seventh-ranked overall prospect in the class and the top-ranked safety, and he chose the Seminoles over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Ohio State. Bolden took his official visit to Columbus in June – one of several visits he has taken to the Buckeyes over the past year – but it was not enough to sway him away from Florida State.
Ohio State officially got involved with Bolden after offering him in October of 2021, and an advantage later arrived on the Buckeyes’ coaching staff after safeties coach Perry Eliano – a cousin of Bolden – joined Ohio State.
While Ohio State did recently land Springfield, Ohio, four-star cornerback Aaron Scott Jr. (6-2, 190) last week, Bolden’s decision to head elsewhere is another in a recent string of misses on that side of the ball. The Buckeyes have lost out in recent weeks on Chicago Kenwood Academy four-star defensive end Marquise Lightfoot (6-5, 220), Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy four-star linebacker Edwin Spillman (6-2, 214), Washington (D.C.) Friendship College Academy five-star defensive end Dylan Stewart (6-5, 235) and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa (6-3, 230).
Ohio State already has a safety committed in West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep four-star Jaylen McClain (6-0, 185), and the Buckeyes continue to pursue Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep four-star Zaquan Patterson (6-0, 185).