COLUMBUS — Ohio State has added a commitment from 2021 wide receiver Jayden Ballard.
Who is Ballard? Why is this young athlete such a high priority for the Buckeyes so early in the 2021 class?
Lettermen Row has all the angles on the wide receiver and what his commitment means to Ohio State, the Big Ten and more.
What Jayden Ballard gives Ohio State on the field
If you were building a young receiver in some sort of football lab, there’s a good chance he’d come out looking like Jayden Ballard.
6-foot-2 and 170-pounds, the Massillon Washington standout is one of the more natural receivers — and athletes — that you’re going to find in the Class of 2021 and he’s just scratching the surface of what he’s capable of becoming as a football player.
Simply put: Ballard makes it look very easy and sometimes it may be too easy for him and that is what sometimes gives out an air of nonchalance about him that is often confused with disinterest. Don’t be mistaken though, when Ballard is competing, he’s aggressive, fast and focused and that makes him exactly the type of talent that will thrive with a receivers coach like Brian Hartline who will help him stay on track with the technical side of the receiver position.
By the time Ballard makes his way to Ohio State, he should be somewhere in the 6-foot-3, 190-pound range and as long as he does that without losing any of the 4.60-type speed he has now, he’s got everything it takes to be a Top 10 receiver in the Class of 2021 before it’s all said and done.
What Jayden Ballard means to Ohio State 2020 recruiting class
The Buckeyes are off to a steady — but special — start in the Class of 2021 and an early commitment from Ballard helps lock down one of the players that can be a difference maker in the class and in the state of Ohio.
It also means that Buckeyes 2021 quarterback commitment Kyle McCord has his first weapon among what could be a special group of receivers for Brian Hartline and Ohio State in that cycle. McCord and Ballard will pair up in their efforts to add standouts like Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., Beaux Collins and Lorenzo Styles to the Buckeyes 2021 class in the hopes of creating one of the country’s premier position groups in 2021.
What makes Jayden Ballard stand out
It’s very early in Jayden Ballard’s athletic life but it’s clear to see, no matter the arena he performs in, that he’s a rare physical talent.
Talk to me nice 🤩!! pic.twitter.com/h71pxjQzG0
— JB (@J_Ball21) June 5, 2019
What is going to separate Ballard from his peers is the coaching he’s receiving at Massillon Washington and the chances ahead of him to receive not only practical football advice from Brian Hartline and the Ohio State staff, but to mentored — closely — by Hartline over the course of the next two years from a stone’s throw away from Ohio Stadium.