COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Dijon Johnson committed to Ohio State following the Spring Game, it was viewed as a big-time get of a guy ranked in the 200s who could blossom into a top 100 recruit by Signing Day.
That proved to be true as he’s now rated as the nation’s No. 93 player and No. 10 cornerback. The only problem is that now he’s no longer part of the Buckeyes 2023 recruiting class.
On the same day that OSU found its 2023 quarterback, it lost one of only two defensive commits rated in the top 100 as Johnson reopened his recruitment following a visit to Florida. Four-star Jason Moore remains, joined by wide receivers Brandon Inniss, Noah Rogers and Carnell Tate and offensive tackle Luke Montgomery as top 100 commits.
Johnson’s departure makes him the latest edition of what has become a growing trend for Ohio State in recent years. It’s been capable of going into Florida and finding highly-rated defensive backs early in a recruiting cycle. The problem is that it hasn’t always been able to hold onto them.
Jordan Battle was a four-star safety in the 2019 class, flipping to Alabama once Urban Meyer retired. Then the Buckeyes had to face him in the national title game following the 2020 season.
“You know what’s funny? My mom, dad and my brother, we were all talking about it in a group chat this past week,” Battle said before the game. “It’s kind of funny that — either school I would have went to, I would have been in the national championship. I give all praise to Ohio State. Great coaching staff, great players.”
Battle’s time in that 52-24 win was cut short after he was called for a targeting penalty, but that doesn’t take away from the sting the Buckeyes felt from losing him. He has turned himself into a quality All-American candidate, and a player OSU could’ve used the past two seasons.
Jaheim Singletary was a five-star cornerback in the 2022 class. His commitment proved how quickly Kerry Coombs can have success as a recruiter, even if he left much to be desired as a defensive play-caller. Singletary picked the Buckeyes 24 hours after watching them beat Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, only to decommit nine months later and eventually end up at Georgia.
Now Johnson joins that list as a player Ohio State’s been fighting to hold on for most of the summer. Now fresh off a trip to Gainsville, the Gators have plenty of momentum to keep him in the state.
Quarterback Brock Glenn’s commitment on Saturday gave OSU 20 commits worth 288.50 points. But losing Johnson drops the 19-man group out of the top spot in the recruiting rankings and down to 283.19 points, with Notre Dame once again back at No. 1.
The Buckeyes still have commitments from Calvin Simpson-Hunt, Kayin Lee and Jermaine Mathews at cornerback.
To see Ohio State’s full 2023 recruiting class, click here.
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