St. Louis De Smet Jesuit four-star cornerback Jakailin Johnson officially ended his recruitment when he signed with Ohio State during the first day of the Early Signing Period on Wednesday.
The 6-1, 175-pound Johnson is considered the third-best cornerback and No. 47 prospect overall in the class of 2021, as he recorded 93 tackles, 11 interceptions and two fumble recoveries in three full seasons at the varsity level. The cousin of Ohio State sophomore wide receiver Jameson Williams, he picked the Buckeyes on March 15 over finalists Clemson, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and USC.
Johnson landed an offer from the Buckeyes’ in May 2019 and visited Columbus twice, including the program’s inaugural Buckeye Bash and BBQ that June and the 34-10 win over Michigan State that October. He was considered a heavy Notre Dame lean, however, until the sudden departure of cornerbacks coach Todd Light in December 2019.
That allowed Ohio State to get back in the picture with Johnson, and the subsequent hiring of defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs seemingly pushed the Buckeyes to the forefront of his recruitment.
Coombs, wide receivers coach/area recruiter Brian Hartline and secondary/special teams coach Matt Barnes each visited Johnson during the evaluation period in late January, and he then included Ohio State in among his final schools in mid-February.
Johnson was set to visit Ohio State for the annual spring game on April 11, and most prognosticators expected him to commit that weekend or shortly thereafter. But with the NCAA putting a halt on recruiting visits due to the coronavirus pandemic, he instead chose his 17th birthday for his commitment date.
This marks the fourth consecutive cycle Ohio State has pulled a prospect from the St. Louis area, as Johnson joins Christian Brothers College four-star wide receivers Kamryn Babb and Cameron Brown in 2018; Cardinal Ritter College four-star wide receiver Jameson Williams in 2019; and Maryland Heights Pattonville Senior four-star Mookie Cooper in 2020.
Johnson is joined in the Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class by several other defensive backs, including Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett four-star cornerback Jordan Hancock; Nashville Ensworth four-star Andre Turrentine; Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro four-star Denzel Burke; Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren four-star Jantzen Dunn; and Cincinnati La Salle three-star Jaylen Johnson.
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