There was a time in early June when segments of the Ohio State fanbase were worried that the Buckeyes’ defensive recruiting was lagging behind the offense.
At the time, OSU had commitments from 10 players on offense and special teams, but only one from the defensive side of the ball.
It’s probably safe for those people to stop worrying.
Ryan Day and his staff just added their sixth major defensive commitment since mid-June, and this one is a big deal.
Lathan Ransom, a 4-star safety from Tucson, Ariz. just committed to the Buckeyes.
He announced his commitment via Twitter.
The Marathon Continues… COMMITTED? pic.twitter.com/E6HgycNHxF
— Lathan Ransom (@L8thanRansom) July 16, 2019
Ransom is ranked as the No. 4 safety in the 2020 class and the 76th-best player overall. He is also considered the 5th-best player in the state of Arizona.
That has suddenly turned into a productive pipeline state for the Buckeyes. OSU already held a commitment from the Copper State’s No. 4 player, QB Jack Miller.
Bijan Robinson, a 5-star running back ranked as the No. 2 player in Arizona this cycle, will announce his decision in less than three weeks and OSU is a heavy favorite.
The defensive backfield was a major point of concern in the 2020 recruiting cycle for the Buckeyes, but those big questions are quickly getting answered.
Ransom is the third defensive back to commit to the class, joining 4-star corner Clark Phillips and 4-star safety Lejond Cavazos. Phillips and Ransom are both ranked in the top-5 in their position nationally. Recent 2020 commit 3-star athlete Cameron Martinez is likely to end up in the defensive backfield as well.
The Buckeyes will likely end up taking another defensive back this cycle. They missed out on all of their cornerback targets in 2018, and could have to replace the majority of their starting defensive backfield in 2020 if Jeff Okudah, Shaun Wade, or Brendon White turns pro early.
Ransom’s offer list is a who’s who of college football bluebloods. Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame, LSU, Texas, USC, and Michigan all offered him a scholarship.
It doesn’t take too long of a look at his highlight reel to figure out why.
Ransom showcases strong open-field tackling ability in both the passing game and coming up to the line in run support. He blitzes off the corner and sacks the quarterback.
He drops into a zone, reads the quarterback’s eyes and intercepts a pass. Oh, and he runs back a couple punts for touchdowns. And that’s just in the first two minutes.
Ransom likely profiles as a strong safety for the Buckeyes, given his apparent ability to cover slot receivers and play a big role in the run game. That is the position that Wade is projected to fill for OSU this fall.
However, at a little over 6-feet tall and 200 lbs, he could end up as at the Bullet position as well.
You can watch his junior season highlights below.