Ohio State signed four defensive backs in the 2018 recruiting class, with two of those being cornerbacks and two being safeties.
The Buckeyes want to sign at least two corners every year, and they’ll try to do the same thing in 2019. They may even shoot for three, as OSU could be sending underclassmen Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield to the NFL.
They could also be losing Jordan Fuller, as he will be draft eligible as well. Due to the numbers they could be losing, the Buckeyes might be shooting for five or six defensive backs in the 2019 class. Most of those could be cornerbacks, and then one or two of them would eventually move to safety.
Ohio State has offered over three dozen defensive backs and will continue to offer them throughout the recruiting cycle.
Listed below are a dozen or so of the targets on the Buckeyes’ radar showing mutual interest.
Julian Barnett (6-1 186) No. 7 CB | No. 72 Overall
Belleville HS, Belleville MI
Barnett has been committed to Michigan State since December 22, which is one day after he received an offer from Ohio State. He visited OSU last month. He also holds offers from Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Michigan.
Sheridan Jones (6-0 170) No. 15 CB | No. 142 Overall
Maury HS, Norfolk VA
Some consider Ohio State the favorite to land Jones. He has been offered by OSU, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, and others. He was teammates with incoming Buckeye freshman Teradja Mitchell in high school. Will visit OSU this spring.
Jaden Davis (5-9 166) No. 19 CB | No. 204 Overall
St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale FL
Davis has an official visit to Ohio State scheduled for April 6. He took an unofficial visit to Clemson this past month. He has an official visit scheduled for Oklahoma the week after the OSU visit. Davis has also visited Florida.
Marquez Beason (5-11 173) No. 5 ATH | No. 54 Overall
Bishop Dunne HS, Dallas TX
Two weeks ago Beason released his Top 4, and the Buckeyes made the cut. He has official visits in the spring with his other three finalists, beginning with Illinois on April 6, then Texas A&M on April 13, followed by LSU on April 20. (Editor’s note: Beason committed to Illinois on Saturday afternoon, March 10.)
Ronnie Hickman (6-1 200) No. 12 ATH | No. 120 Overall
Depaul Catholic HS, Wayne NJ
Hickman visited Ohio State early last month. The Buckeyes are the favorites here, but Hickman also holds offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Florida State, and others. Hickman would likely project to safety for the Buckeyes.
Jaylin Simpson (5-11 165) No. 17 ATH | No. 225 Overall
Frederica Academy HS, St. Simons Island GA
Simpson is a talented cornerback from a state that produces talented cornerbacks. He holds offers from every major power in the South, so this will be a difficult pull for Ohio State.
Daxton Hill (6-1 190) No. 2 SAF | No. 27 Overall
Booker T. Washington HS, Tulsa OK
Hill released a Top 12 back in January and the Buckeyes made the cut. He was a First-Team All-State selection last season along with incoming OSU freshman safety Josh Proctor.
Lewis Cine (6-2 180) No. 3 SAF | No. 37 Overall
Trinity Christian School, Cedar Hill TX
Cine transferred to Trinity Christian from Massachusetts, which is why Penn State is the heavy favorite here. Ohio State is trying to get him to visit, but until they do, they will be on the outside looking in here.
Jaylen McCollough (6-1 190) No. 4 SAF | No. 75 Overall
Hillgrove HS, Powder Springs GA
McCollough visited Ohio State last season unofficially, but Alabama and Florida State appear to be the favorites here. He also holds offers from the rest of the SEC and most of the Big Ten.
Jalen Catalon (5-9 180) No. 8 SAF | No. 155 Overall
Mansfield Legacy HS, Mansfield TX
Catalon visited Ohio State for the Penn State game last season. He holds offers from OSU, Clemson, Alabama, Texas, and many more. He will likely visit OSU again before making his decision.
Nick Cross (6-1 207) No. 10 SAF | No. 183 Overall
Dematha Catholic HS, Hyattsville MD
Cross is a physical safety with offers from LSU, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, and all of the other usual suspects. He has a visit to OSU scheduled for next month. He is from an area where the Buckeyes have done well in the past.
Jalani Williams (6-2 170) No. 18 SAF | No. 252 Overall
Parkway North HS, St. Louis MO
Ohio State made Williams’ Top 8 last month and he has intentions of visiting the Buckeyes eventually. He also holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, and others. He visited Oklahoma and Illinois last month.
Cam’Ron Kelly (6-1 190) No. 13 ATH | No. 143 Overall
Oscar Smith HS, Chesapeake VA
Kelly visited Ohio State last season for the Penn State game. He also visited last month as well. He has expressed a desire to take official visits in the spring, and OSU is expected to be one of those visits. He also holds offers from Clemson and Alabama.
Moses Douglass (6-2 186) No. 24 SAF | No. 304 Overall
Springfield HS, Springfield OH
Douglass does not yet hold an Ohio State offer, but that could eventually change. He is arguably the top defensive back in Ohio. Michigan and Michigan State have offered, as have Pitt and Wisconsin. He has visited Ohio State in the past and likely will again.
Nyles Beverly (5-11 180) No. 116 CB | No. 1,276 Overall
Nordonia HS, Macedonia OH
Beverly is the No. 60 player in the state according to 247Sports. He attends the same high school that produced past B1G cornerbacks Jordan Mabin and Denzel Ward. Beverly does not have an Ohio State offer, but Michigan offered recently.
[Daxton Hill photo courtesy 247Sports.com]