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Black Stripe alert: Tyreke Johnson ready to represent Ohio State

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Ohio State cornerback Tyreke Johnson had his black stripe removed. (Keenan Bailey/Twitter)

Ohio State Football

Black Stripe alert: Tyreke Johnson ready to represent Ohio State

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State talent pipeline in the secondary doesn’t appear to be going dry any time soon, and now there’s a new member ready to play a role for the unit. Tyreke Johnson has been officially given the go-ahead to represent the Buckeyes this season.

In a ceremony inside the team meeting room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the freshman cornerback became the latest member of Ohio State’s vaunted 2018 recruiting class to have his black stripe removed. And while there isn’t exactly a lot of playing time up for grabs thanks to all the veterans returning at his position, Johnson has made an early impression for his work on special teams throughout training camp.

“We’ve got a stripe to get off,” director of player development Ryan Stamper said in a school video. “This man busts his butt on [special teams].”

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Tyreke Johnson got a head start at Ohio State by enrolling for spring practice. (Greg Bartram/USA TODAY Sports)

Doing work in the kicking game is the next step to contributing for the Buckeyes, right after initially earning the right to play by having the black stripe removed.

Johnson, a rangy, 6-foot-1 and 191-pounder recruited out of Florida, brings undeniable athleticism that at a minimum should allow him to make an impact covering punts and kickoffs this season. And the future looks bright for him down the road as Ohio State works to keep cranking out first-round draft picks at cornerback, with Johnson now in line to eventually develop into a contributor for one of the deepest units in the country.

“We’re excited about this position group,” acting Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in his training-camp letter. “All of the guys are working to be consistent in everything they do.”

The standard couldn’t be any higher for cornerbacks at Ohio State. But Tyreke Johnson has now taken a key step in the journey to keep the tradition alive.

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Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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