Football Recruiting

Say Hello to Your 2018 Ohio State Signing Class

Ohio Stadium Fireworks

 

COLUMBUS — Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class is finally in the books, and for the Buckeyes, it’s a pretty good read.

Urban Meyer and his coaching staff signed 26 players — 25 from high school and one from junior college.

Of the 26 players, 12 are expected to end up on offense, 13 are expected to end up on defense, and one player — 6-foot-7 Alex Williams is still to be determined on what position he will play.

The class finished up ranked No. 2 in the 247Sports Composite rankings behind Georgia, but for the second year in a row the Buckeyes had the highest average ranking per recruit.

In this group of players is the No. 1 center (Matthew Jones), the No. 1 offensive tackle (Nicholas Petit-Frere), the No. 1 defensive tackle (Taron Vincent), the No. 1 overall junior college player (Antwuan Jackson), the No. 2 safety (Tyreke Johnson), the No. 2 all-purpose back (Jaelen Gill), the No. 2 tight end (Jeremy Ruckert), the No. 2 inside linebacker (Teradja Mitchell), and some other pretty good players.

The story of the day was the way Ohio State closed on 5-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. The Buckeyes had the final official visit for him last weekend, and according to Meyer, Greg Schiano was very involved in landing the nation’s top offensive lineman.

Ohio State added five players total to the 21 players they signed during the initial signing period in December. Joining Petit-Frere were New Jersey defensive ends Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Ohio defensive end Tyreke Smith, and California receiver Chris Olave.

In terms of positional numbers, the Buckeyes signed one quarterback, two running backs, one H-back, four wide receivers, one tight end, three offensive linemen, three defensive ends, three defensive tackles, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, two safeties, and one athlete still looking for a home.

You can check out the entire class below. The player links take you to our coverage of each signee, and we have also added the player bios from Ohio State’s press release.

Ohio State Recruiting Class Roster

PlayerPos.Ht.Wt.Hometown / Last SchoolPos RkNat’l Rk
Kamryn BabbWR6-1189St. Louis, Mo. / Christian Bros. College1373
Matthew BaldwinQB6-3195Austin, Texas / Lake Travis12331
Sevyn BanksCB6-1180Orlando, Fla. / Jones23221
Cameron BrownWR6-1175St. Louis, Mo. / Christian Brothers College54323
Tyler FridayDE6-3262Ramsey, N.J. / Don Bosco Prep693
Dallas GantLB6-3225Toledo, Ohio / St. John’s Jesuit10166
Jaelen GillHB6-1182Westerville, Ohio / South230
Marcus HookerSAF6-0185New Castle, Pa. / New Castle60641
Antwuan JacksonDT6-2305Ellenwood, Ga. /Blinn J.C.1 (JC)1
Javontae Jean-BaptisteDE6-5215Oradell, N.J. / Bergen Catholic16219
Tyreke JohnsonCB6-1191Jacksonville, Fla. / Trinity Christian Academy221
Matthew JonesOL6-4315Brooklyn, N.Y. / Erasmus Hall168
Teradja MitchellLB6-2235Virginia Beach, Va. / Bishop Sullivan244
Chris OlaveWR6-1170San Marcos, Calif. / Mission Hills68399
Nicholas Petit-FrereOT6-6272Tampa, Fla. / Berkeley Prep17
K’Vaughan PopeLB6-2210Dinwiddie, Va. / Dinwiddie9217
Josh ProctorSAF6-2190Owasso, Okla. / Owasso771
Jeremy RuckertTE6-6240Lindenhurst, N.Y. / Lindenhurst237
L’Christian SmithWR6-6205Huber Heights, Ohio / Wayne5 (ATH)126
Tyreke SmithDE6-3260Cleveland, Ohio / Cleveland Heights434
Brian SneadRB5-11200Seffner, Fla. / Armwood380
Master TeagueRB5-11210Murfreesboro, Tenn. / Blackman11228
Tommy TogiaiDT6-3290Pocatello, Idaho / Highland355
Taron VincentDT6-2285Bradenton, Fla. / IMG Academy120
Alex WilliamsATH6-7250Pickerington, Ohio / North33 (DE)616
Max WrayOT6-6289Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin9121

2018 Ohio State Recruiting Class Bios

Kamryn Babb
Wide Receiver — 6-1, 189
St. Louis, Mo. / Christian Brothers College

A top 175-ranked prospect by each major recruiting service … consensus four-star prospect … a top-100 ranked player by ESPN and 247Sports … the nation’s No. 5-ranked wide receiver and No. 22 overall player according to 247Sports … missed most of his senior year due to an injury but when healthy, caught 45 passes for 784 yards with nine touchdowns in just seven games for head coach Scott Pingel … from his defensive back position, intercepted three passes and returned two for touchdowns … ran the third leg on CBC’s school record and state championship 400-meter relay … selected for the Army All-American Game in San Antonio … participated in Nike’s “The Opening” last summer … parents are Alana Templeton and Tyrone/Amanda Babb.

Matthew Baldwin
Quarterback — 6-3, 195
Austin, Texas / Lake Travis

Talented prospect who is in his first year starting for Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas … the 18th-ranked pro style quarterback in this year’s class according to 247Sports … had thrown for over 4,000 yards and 44 touchdowns in leading Lake Travis to the Texas 6A Division I state finals … in a semifinal upset of sixth-seeded Katy, Baldwin completed 22 of 30 passes for 225 yards … Lake Travis is 13-2 with a state title game still to play … completed over 70 percent of his passes this season … Lake Travis, under head coach Hank Carter, has sent six quarterbacks to Power 5 schools over the past 12 years, including Todd Reesing (Kansas), Michael Brewer (Texas Tech, Virginia Tech), Charlie Brewer (Baylor) and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) … parents are Mindy and Michael Baldwin.

Sevyn Banks (7)
Cornerback — 6-1, 180
Orlando, Fla. / Jones

Top 100 player in the ESPN 300 and a four-star recruit by ESPN and 247Sports … invited to play in the Under Armour All-American Game … a consensus top-25 ranked cornerback by all major recruiting services … was the ninth player to give Ohio State his verbal commitment, doing so shortly after Ohio State’s 2017 spring game … missed his junior season with an injury but returned as a senior for head coach Elijah Williams … played as a freshman and sophomore at Orlando First Academy before transferring to Jones … his older brother, Marcell Harris, played safety at Florida … participated in “The Opening” last summer in Beaverton, Ore. … parents are Andrea Tate and Raymond Banks.

Cameron Brown
Wide Receiver — 6-1, 175
St. Louis, Mo. / Christian Brothers College

Four-star wide receiver from the same high school program as fellow signee Kamryn Babb … a member of the ESPN 300 … rated as the sixth best player in the state of Missouri … a two-way player, Brown had 1,023 yards receiving with 11 touchdowns as a junior and had four interceptions from his defensive back spot for head coach Scott Pingel … CBA went 13-1 in 2017 and won its eighth straight MCC title … caught six passes for 165 yards and four TD in a 42-35 victory over Vianney to clinch the conference title … named the St. Louis Post Dispatch Super 30 … caught 58 passes for 934 yards and 13 TD this past fall, averaging 16.1 yards per catch … parents are Shantay and Wayman Brown

Tyler Friday
Defensive End / 6-3, 262
Ramsey, New Jersey / Don Bosco Prep

Rated as a four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … a Top 100 prospect and rated as high as No. 68 by Rivals … the nation’s No. 4 strong side defensive end by Rivals and No. 6 defensive tackle according to 247Sports.com … selected to the Prepstar Dream Team as the No. 55 prospect … selected as one of 50 Seniors to Watch by NorthJersey.com … a two-way lineman for head coach Mike Teel at Don Bosco Prep, one of the traditional powers in New Jersey … began his high school career as an offensive guard before moving over to the defensive side the ball as a junior and senior … is rated as a defensive lineman but projects as a defensive end … tallied 25 tackles for loss and four sacks during his senior season while playing both inside and outside for the Ironmen.

Dallas Gant
Linebacker – 6-3, 225
Toledo, Ohio / St. John’s Jesuit

A top-200 ranked player by 247Sports … four-star prospect … member of the ESPN 300 … the nation’s No. 9-ranked outside linebacker and No. 5 player in the state of Ohio by 247Sports … U.S. Army All-American … four-year starter for head coaches Doug Pearson and Larry McDaniel … rated as an outside linebacker but also had the skill set to play in the middle … 2017 Toledo Blade Player of the Year and first team All-Ohio … totaled 96 tackles, seven TFLs, seven sacks and an interception … doubling as a tight end, caught 27 passes for 456 yards and seven touchdowns … also a three-year starter on the St. John’s basketball team … parents are Rhonda Kimmons and Jim Gant.

Jaelen Gill (JAY-lin)
H-Back – 6-1, 182
Westerville, Ohio / South

A consensus top-50, five-star prospect who is considered to be one of the best all-around athletes in the country … Ranked No. 23 by 247Sports, No. 33 by ESPN and No. 28 by Rivals … the nation’s top-ranked all-purpose back and No. 2 player in the state of Ohio … Army All-American Bowl honoree … missed nearly his entire junior season with an injury but returned to post 138 yards rushing and four TDs in the 2017 season-opener for Westerville South and head coach Matthew Christ … was the fourth commitment in the 2018 class and first from Ohio … rushed for 1,553 yards and 19 TDs as a sophomore … first team All-Offense at “The Opening” last summer … elite baseball player who also is a member of the school-record setting 4×11 meter relay team … parents are Shelly and Rod Gill.

Marcus Hooker
Safety – 6-0, 185
New Castle, Pa. / New Castle

Consensus three-star prospect out of New Castle High School … is the younger brother of former Buckeye and current Indianapolis Colt Malik Hooker, a 2016 All-American for the Scarlet and Gray … coached by Joe Cowart … on offense, played running back, wide receiver and quarterback throughout his career … was a cornerback, safety and linebacker on defense … Hooker scored 17 touchdowns as a junior, helping the Red Hurricanes reach the WPIAL Class 4A final, and had over 1,100 yards rushing as a senior … 44 tackles, two forced fumbles and a sack during his junior season … New Castle News Player of the Week following his 262-yard effort on 40 carries in a 48-47 double OT win over Northwest this past fall … also a star basketball player for New Castle who has scored over 1,000 career points … Mother is Angela Dennis.

Antwuan Jackson
Defensive Tackle – 6-2, 305
Ellenwood, Ga. / Cedar Grove/Blinn J.C.

The nation’s No. 2-ranked JUCO defensive tackle and No. 3 JUCO recruit overall by 247Sports … originally attended Auburn and redshirted the 2016 season … was rated as the No. 49 overall player in the 2016 class … played in 10 games for Blinn J.C. last fall and had 70 tackles, nine sacks and three forced fumbles … named the Southwest Junior College Football Conference Most Valuable Player … had three multi-sack games … season-high 10 tackles, three TFLs and a fumble recovery versus Tyler Junior College … Georgia Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Cedar Grove High School … played in the U.S. Army All-American Game … coached by Ryan Mahon at Blinn J.C. and Jermaine Smith at Cedar Grove … parents are Sonya Benton and Antwuan Jackson Sr.

Javontae Jean-Baptiste (juh-VON-tay jeen-bap-TEEST)
Linebacker / 6-5, 215
Oradell, New Jersey / Bergen Catholic

A four-star prospect and top-10 rated prospect (No. 6) in the state of New Jersey … played defensive line for Bergen Catholic High School – but is ranked among the Top 16 outside linebacker prospects – and head coach Nunzio Campanile, helping the school win the non-public Group IV state title this past fall … first team all-New Jersey and NJ.com’s Defensive Player of the Year … in the state championship game, had two sacks, two TFLs, two pass breakups and a forced fumble in a 44-7 win over St. Peter’s Prep … contributed two sacks against Mater Dei, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team … keyed a fourth-quarter come-from-behind win over rival Don Bosco Prep with a tackle for loss on a third-and-short late in the third quarter … two sacks and a forced fumble in a win over defending state champion Paramus Catholic … finished his senior season with 88 tackles, 14.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks.

Tyreke Johnson (tie-REEK)
Cornerback – 6-1, 191
Jacksonville, Fla. / Trinity Christian Academy

Consensus top-50 ranked player by all major recruiting services … a five-star player, No. 12 overall prospect as well as the nation’s No. 1 safety according to Rivals … a top-five ranked player in the state of Florida by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN … finished with 113 career tackles with 4.5 TFL, 28 pass breakups and nine interceptions for Trinity Christian Academy and head coach Verion Dorminey … six of his nine INTs were returned for touchdowns … U.S. Army All-American … comes from the same high school program that produced Shaun Wade, a member of last year’s Ohio State signing class … Super 11 selection … Times Union 2017 Defensive Player of the Year … parents are Pamela Jones and Edward Johnson.

Matthew Jones
Offensive Line – 6-4, 315
Brooklyn, N.Y. / Erasmus Hall

Consensus top 150-ranked player … rated as high as No. 21 on ESPN’s Top 300 list … four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … a two-way lineman at Erasmus Hall, the same program that produced H-back Curtis Samuel and second-year Buckeye Jahsen Wint … coached by Danny Landberg … is the nation’s top-ranked center by 247Sports but can also play guard … at the time of his commitment, Jones was ranked nationally as a defensive tackle … selected for the Under Armour All-America game … helped Erasmus advance to the PSAL championship game as a senior … parents are Bernadine and Ian Jones.

Teradja Mitchell (tuh-RAW-zha)
Linebacker – 6-2, 235
Virginia Beach, Va. / Bishop Sullivan

A four-star prospect by every major recruiting service … the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker and No. 2 player in the state of Virginia by 247Sports and a top 40 player by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports … selected to play in the 2018 Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando … one of five finalists for the High School Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker … led his Bishop Sullivan Catholic team with 106 tackles, 12 QB hurries, three sacks and three fumble recoveries as a junior to earn first-team CBS MaxPreps Junior All-American honors … played for head coach Chris Scott … in a win over previously unbeaten Cheshire (Ct.) Academy this past October, had 12 tackles, two sacks and an interception in a 47-20 victory … parents are Shawna Harvey and Terry Mitchell.

Chris Olave (oh-LAV-aye)
Wide Receiver / 6-1, 170
San Marcos, California / Mission Hills

Earned a four-star rating from 247Sports … finished his senior season in record-breaking fashion as he caught 93 passes for a San Diego Section-record 1,764 yards and 26 touchdowns as Mission Hills went 12-1 … played for head coach Chris Hauser … ranked as the nation’s No. 54 wide receiver by 247Spsorts.com … a three-sport athlete who also played basketball and ran track, Olave has run a 10.8 100-meter dash and has long jumped 23-feet, six inches … caught 12 passes for 150 yards and a TD for Mission Hills in the San Diego Section Open Division championship game … Hauled in TD catches of 82 and 18 yards to go along with a 60-yard punt return TD in the quarterfinal round … sat out his junior season after transferring to Mission Hills from Eastlake High School.

Nicholas Petit-Frere (puh-TEE fuh-rare)
Offensive Tackle / 6-6, 272
Tampa, Florida / Berkeley Prep

The nation’s consensus top-ranked offensive tackle prospect with ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports all ranking Petit-Frere No. 1 … rated as high as the No. 7 overall prospect, by 247Sports.com, and among the Top 15 by every major service with a No. 11 rating from Rivals and No. 13 on the ESPN 300 … consensus five-star recruit … one of just three offensive tackles in the 2018 class to receive a five-star designation … Under Armour All-America Game selection … finalist for the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award, given to the top African-American high school football player in the country … won the lineman strength competition at the Under Armour All-American game … MaxPreps first team All-American … No. 1 on the Tampa Bay Times HomeTeam 100 … helped the Buccaneers reach the Class 3A state semifinals as a junior … coached by Dominick Ciao … also played basketball.

K’Vaughan Pope (KAY-von)
Linebacker – 6-2, 210
Dinwiddie, Va. / Dinwiddie

The nation’s No. 8-ranked inside linebacker according to 247Sports … a consensus four-star prospect and the No. the No. 4-ranked overall player in the state of Virginia … a top-100 player by Rivals … a fine all-around athlete who in addition to playing linebacker for Dinwiddie, was also a slot receiver for head coach Billy Mills … caught 33 passes for 630 yards and seven TDs in 2016 to help his team reach the 4A state title game … from his linebacker spot, registered 31 tackles-for-loss as a junior … participated in The Opening last summer … Mother is Leticia Smith.

Josh Proctor
Safety – 6-2, 190
Owasso, Okla. / Owasso

A four-star prospect and a member of the ESPN 300 … the No. 130 overall player by Rivals … rated as the nation’s No. 8 safety, No. 76 overall prospect and No. 3 player in the state of Oklahoma by 247Sports … selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game … in addition to playing safety, Proctor also lined up at wide receiver for Owasso and is a member of the school’s basketball team … had a 100-yard interception return in the 2017 season opener … played for head coach Bill Blankenship … led Owasso to a 12-1 record and the school’s first Class 6A-I state championship since 1974 … parents are LaVonia and Kevin Proctor.

Jeremy Ruckert
Tight End – 6-6, 240
Lindenhurst, N.Y. / Lindenhurst

The nation’s top-ranked tight end according to 247Sports … No. 22 overall in 247’s composite rankings … a five-star prospect by 247Sports and four-star by ESPN and Rivals … led Lindenhurst to the school’s first-ever Long Island Class I title last fall … selected as New York’s Gatorade State Player of the Year … will play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio this January … three-time Newsday All-Long Island first team selection … caught 61 passes for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior and added 61 tackles with 13 sacks and two INTs from his defensive end/linebacker position … career totals of 222 receptions for 3,133 yards and 37 TDs for head coach Nicholas Lombardo … participated in The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. last summer … parents are Jamie and Bill Ruckert.

L’Christian Smith
Wide Receiver – 6-6, 205
Huber Heights, Ohio / Wayne

The nation’s No. 32 overall player according to Rivals … a member of the ESPN 300 list … four-star receiver who is ranked as the No. 4 player in Ohio and No. 120 nationally by 247Sports … a talented two-sport athlete who also drew recruiting interest from schools as a basketball player … first team All-Ohio during his senior year … comes from the same high school program that produced current Buckeye DT Robert Landers and former Buckeye QB/WR Braxton Miller … coached by Jay Minton … helped Wayne advance to the Division I state title game as a sophomore in 2015 … caught 54 passes for 1,311 yards and 17 touchdowns that season … parents are Tasha Cochran and Lorenzo Smith.

Tyreke Smith
Defensive End / 6-3, 260
Cleveland, Ohio / Cleveland Heights

A Top 50 overall prospect with 247Sports and Rivals each ranking him No. 34 nationally … a member of the ESPN300 … the No. 3-ranked strong side defensive end by Rivals with 247Sports ranking him as the No. 4 end … a consensus four-star player and one of the top players from the state of Ohio … the No. 41 prospect on the Prepstar Dream Team … announced his commitment to Ohio State during the Under Armour All-America Game in January … as a senior at Cleveland Heights for head coach Mac Stephens, Smith accounted for 70 tackles, 23 tackles-for-loss and 11 quarterback sacks, while also hauling in eight receptions for 192 yards and four touchdowns at tight end … 2017 Cleveland.com Defensive Player of the Year and All-Ohio Division I co-Defensive Player of the Year … is also the leading scorer and rebounder for the Cleveland Heights basketball team … is the second Cleveland Heights product to choose the Buckeyes in as many years, joining WR Jaylen Harris, a member of the 2017 recruiting class.

Brian Snead
Running Back – 5-11, 200
Seffner, Fla. / Armwood

A four-star prospect by 247Sports composite rankings … the country’s No. 82 overall prospect, No. 4 running back and No. 17 player in Florida … ranked No. 59 by Rivals … was the first member of the 2018 recruiting class to give his verbal commitment … rushed for 1,378 yards and 16 touchdowns in 15 games during his senior year, leading Armwood (14-1) to the 6A state finals under head coach Evan Davis … in three seasons as a starter, ran for 3,506 yards and 48 touchdowns whole adding 49 receptions for 569 yards and five TDs … opened the season with a 200-yard performance with two touchdowns in a victory over Tampa Bay Tech … chosen to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … parents are Hollis Simmons and Brian Snead Sr.

Master Teague (TEEG)
Running Back – 5-11, 210
Murfreesboro, Tenn. / Blackman

Rivals No. 50 overall prospect and No. 3 running back … the No. 11 running back prospect nationally by 247Sports … four-star prospect by 247Sports and Scout … carried the ball 242 times for 2,031 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior for head coach David Watson … had his senior season cut short due to an ankle injury … prior to that, rushed for 186 yards on 18 carries while adding two receptions for 58 yards and a 97-yard kickoff return TD in the season opener … a week later, had 234 all-purpose yards with two TDs in a 52-21 win over Rhea County … rushed for 709 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first six games of the season before the injury … led Blackman to the Class 6A quarterfinals as a junior … parents are Emily and Corey Teague.

Tommy Togiai (TOE-gee-eye)
Defensive Tackle – 6-3, 290
Pocatello, Idaho / Highland

Rated as the No. 9 defensive tackle in the country and No. 126 overall player by 247Sports … four-star prospect … a top 200 national recruit by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports … U.S. Army All-American … played for head coach Gino Mariani at Highland High School … is the first-ever player from the state of Idaho to sign with the Buckeyes … named the Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year and was a three-time first-team all-state selection … racked up 93 tackles with 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception last season while helping his team win the 5A state championship … parents are Jodi and Talalelei Togiai.

Taron Vincent (tuh-RON)
Defensive Tackle – 6-2, 285
Bradenton, Fla. / IMG Academy

Five-star prospect by 247Sports.com and Rivals.com … ranked the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle by Rivals … a national top-20 ranked prospect regardless of position … composite rank of No. 13 overall by 247Sports.com … selected to play in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio … strong and explosive in the trenches … totaled 85 tackles, three sacks and eight QB hurries during his senior season for head coach Kevin Wright …IMG has been unbeaten in each of the last three years and been ranked in the top-five nationally in each of those seasons … is the son of five-time NFL Pro Bowler Troy Vincent … parents are Tommi and Troy Vincent.

Alex Williams
Athlete – 6-7, 250
Pickerington, Ohio / North

Consensus three-star recruit and a top 20 player in the state of Ohio … earned honorable mention All-Ohio honors by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and also all-Central District first-team accolades while helping Pickerington North High School to a 10-3 record for head coach Nathan Hillerich … amassed 38 tackles, 13.5 tackles-for-loss, four quarterback sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble as a senior … was rated the No. 32 weak-side defensive end prospect by 247Sports and he is considered a superb athlete for his size … a member of the Columbus Dispatch All-Metro team … played on both sides of the line during his high school career … parents are Jen and Dan Williams.

Max Wray
Offensive Tackle – 6-6, 289
Franklin, Tenn. / Franklin

A consensus four-star prospect and top 100-ranked recruit … the No. 9 offensive tackle by 247Sports … was the sixth player to give his verbal commitment to the 2018 class last April … is one of two signees from the state of Tennessee, joining running back Master Teague, from Murfreesboro … rated as the third best player in the state of Tennessee … selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January … No. 1-ranked player on the 2017 Tennessean Dandy Dozen, a collection of the top college prospects in the Nashville area … played both right and left tackle in high school … as a junior, helped pave the way for a Franklin offense that totaled nearly 375 yards and 34 points per game … Tennessee All-Midstate first-team selection … parents are Stacy and Sam Wray.

 

2 Responses

  1. Great great class. Doesn’t have much of a homegrown feel with only 5 of 26 kids being from Ohio (might have to change the name to THE National State University Buckeyes), but this is where the program is at this point.

  2. Just another remarkable job by Urban and his staff. So great to know OSU will remain near the top for years to come.

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