COLUMBUS — Ohio State added its eighth commitment in the Class of 2020 on Friday evening as 4-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos committed to the Buckeyes for the second time.
Who is Lejond Cavazos? What makes him special? What are the Buckeyes getting with this future cornerback?
Lettermen Row breaks down how this addition will impact the program moving forward under Ryan Day.
What Lejond Cavazos gives Ohio State on the field
One of the country’s best athletes in the class of 2020, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) standout Lejond Cavazos is a speedy two-sport star with a lot of raw football potential.
Ranked as the country’s 22nd-best safety prospect, Cavazos is a 4-star player for the Ascenders and will step into the spotlight on defense this fall once again after suffering a hip injury that cost him almost half of his junior season.
As a player, Cavazos is built to play cornerback in the Big Ten. He’s got the speed to compete for playing time already and the time to hone his craft as a defensive back, but what’s most appealing about Cavazos is his combination of length and speed. He’s the 6-foot-1, 195-pound cornerback that college coaches covet and is an explosive athlete despite the aforementioned injury suffered last season.
In his first real competitive action this year, Cavazos ran a blistering 4.40 in the 40-yard dash and recorded a stunning 44-inch vertical leap at The Opening regional in Miami. He’s still raw as a football player, but every tool is in the toolbox. He has the makings of a future NFL player with the right development.
What Lejond Cavazos means to Ohio State 2020 recruiting class
Expect Cavazos to emerge as a leader for the Buckeyes off the field in the next year, well before he ever arrives as a permanent resident on campus.
An eager recruiter and a great fit as the first defensive player committed in 2020, Cavazos is one of the true Pied Piper-type players in the country in this recruiting cycle. He’s well-traveled, well-known young man who others flock to join. He was acting as a leader for the Buckeyes when he was committed previously, and during his most recent visit to Ohio State in March, he was clearly recruiting for the cause when it came to the time he spent with top-ranked receiver prospect Julian Fleming — weeks before Friday’s commitment.
Cavazos held 21 scholarship offers at the time of his commitment, choosing Ohio State over Georgia and Oregon, the two schools that finished in his top three the first time he committed. Miami, LSU and others also emerged in recent month since his December decommitment. By picking Ryan Day’s program, he’s showing a tremendous amount of trust in what Day and co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley are building in Columbus, and that is likely to serve as a buoy for the rest of the class.
As the first cornerback committed in 2020, Cavazos will work to bring fellow 4-star prospects like Henry Gray and Clark Phillips into the secondary with him.
With the addition of Cavazos, Ohio State extends its lead over Michigan as the Big Ten’s best 2020 recruiting class.
What makes Lejond Cavazos stand out
One of the country’s fastest players, Cavazos intends to run track at Ohio State and would not choose a school that didn’t allow him to play both sports at the next level. He’s one of the nation’s best prep hurdlers.
Originally from Texas, the initial Ohio State interest from Cavazos was primarily because of his father, CJ, and his ties to Urban Meyer. Meyer was a receivers coach at Notre Dame in the late 1990s and recruited the Dallas area for the Fighting Irish, where the elder Cavazos was a coach at Dallas Carter High School. Despite that relationship with Meyer, the elder Cavazos believes the current iteration of the Ohio State coaching staff could provide an even better future for his son.
“Urban told us that Ohio State is big-time time program that’s only going to get better,” C.J. Cavazos told Lettermen Row. “To give Ryan a chance, give the new staff a chance and that’s exactly what we did. I’m always going to lean on my friends and Urban is my friend.
“I think Ohio State is a better fit now than it was a year ago. To have a coach like Hafley that has coached defensive backs in the NFL and that’s a great teacher, a great communicator, a great motivator — it’s phenomenal. For Lejond as a player and us as a family.”