Buckeyes Land Seventh Commitment by Flipping Safety
By Tony Gerdeman
On Signing Day 2012, Toledo Central Catholic safety Jayme Thompson (6-2 184), just a junior at the time, committed to Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia.
He chose the Mountaineers over offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Illinois and Cincinnati. Ohio State and Michigan were showing interest, but had not extended offers at that point.
Then, on March 27th, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes offered Thompson a scholarship, and five days later he accepted.
"I have de-committed from West Virginia, and I have committed to Ohio State," Thompson told Scout.com. "I made the switch because of the proximity to home, and the convenience for my family in seeing me play, especially my dad."
Thompson, a Division II second team All-State honoree, participated with over 1,200 others in the Nike SPARQ Football Combine in March and was named to the All-Combine Team at safety.
After measuring in at just under 6-0 at a combine last May, Thompson showed up at the Nike combine in Massillon and measured in at 6-2 and 183 pounds. He ran a 4.77 forty at the combine on a track where only six players were able to run a sub-4.6 forty.
He is ranked a four-star prospect by Rivals, and their 13th-ranked safety in the nation. Scout calls him a three-star, and has him rated as the 31st-ranked safety overall. 247Sports also ranks him as a three-star prospect, rating him the 58th-best safety in the nation, and 40th-ranked overall prospect in the state of Ohio.
"He's a hitter with pretty good size," said John McCallister, who runs the McCallister Scouting Report, which provides reports on Ohio high school prospects to various colleges and universities around the country.
"He's probably a free safety, but I think he can play corner with some work. He's going to get faster, he's a competitor. He's got a lot of self-confidence. He could also play closer to the line of scrimmage and be a strong safety if that's what they want him to do."
Thompson's high school, Toledo Central Catholic, has been very kind recently to the Buckeyes, sending receiver Dane Sanzenbacher to Columbus in 2007. Also, current starting quarterback Deshone Kizer, just a sophomore, looks to be on the verge of a recruiting war between Michigan and Ohio State in the 2014 class.
There was no such war for Thompson's services, as his was apparently a fairly easy decision.
"I was able to speak to Jalin Marshall and Billy Price, and they welcomed me into the class," he told Scout following his visit to Ohio State over the weekend. "They made me feel so welcome, that it made the decision very easy. I feel good about my decision, and know it's being done for the right reasons."
The de-commitment from West Virginia leaves the Mountaineers without a single 2013 commitment, and gives the Buckeyes a third member of the secondary in this class. Recruited as a safety, he has the range to play free, but also the aggressive run-stopping mindset to play strong safety. He might also be a candidate to play cornerback, which is where Michigan was slotting him.
"I think what you have to do is try him at corner because he's big, and then see what happens," McCallister said. "He doesn't have great speed, but he's solid. With his frame, he's obviously going to get bigger, which means that he will get stronger, and with that I think he'll also get faster."
The fact that the Ohio State coaching staff liked Thompson shouldn't come as a surprise, as he had some very good combine performances of late. Plus, he's tall, which seems to be a requirement now at Ohio State when you consider that fellow defensive back commits Cameron Burrows and Eli Woodard are both 6-1 or taller.
"I just saw him a month ago," McCallister said. "He's tall, he's big. Plus, he'll strike you. He'll hit you. I like him because he was at a small combine up in Toledo, and he was up there competing and he didn't have to be because he already had the West Virginia offer. He's good. He's got confidence."
And now he's planning on bringing all of those things to Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are still looking to land another safety, namely Dymonte Thomas (6-1 175) out of Alliance, who is currently committed to Michigan. However, Thomas has steadfastly maintained his commitment to Michigan, and is an active tweeter on the Wolverines' behalf.
We'll see if that changes over the coming months.
The 2013 Commitments
1. Cameron Burrows (6-1 195), DB Trotwood, Ohio
2. Jalin Marshall (6-0 190), ATH Middletown, Ohio
3. Billy Price (6-4 280), DT Youngstown, Ohio
4. Eli Woodard (6-1 185) CB Voorhees, New Jersey
5. Evan Lisle (6-6 265) OT Centerville, Ohio
6. Ezekiel Elliott (6-0 200) RB St. Louis, Missouri
7. Jayme Thompson (6-2 184) DB Toledo, Ohio
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