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Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes lose three-star commit from nation’s top-ranked class

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Ohio State lost a commitment Thursday. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes lose three-star commit from nation’s top-ranked class

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Buckeyes lose three-star commit from nation’s top-ranked class

Ohio State rarely loses commitments. But the Buckeyes lost one Thursday, when Devonta Smith decommitted from the top-ranked class in the country.

A source familiar with the decision-making process indicated to Birm that the decision by the Cincinnati La Salle recruit was primarily about a concern that Ohio State had “too many defensive backs” in the Class of 2021. The 3-star prospect, who verbally committed to the Buckeyes on March 16, reopened his recruitment and is no longer pledged to Ohio State. He was the lowest-ranked prospect in the Class of 2021 for the Buckeyes, but his departure leaves a hole in the secondary for Kerry Coombs.

The Buckeyes are back to 18 commitments in the Class of 2021 and will go back to the drawing board as they look to supplement a defensive back haul that now includes 4-star cornerback Jakailin Johnson, 4-star safety Andre Turrentine, 4-star athlete Denzel Burke and 3-star athlete Jaylen Johnson, a teammate of Smith’s at Cincinnati La Salle.

What does Smith’s decommitment mean for the Buckeyes and their top-ranked recruiting class? Lettermen Row recruiting expert Birm has all the details, including where the Buckeyes go next, here.

Reid Fragel breaks down Buckeyes pass protection

Ohio State had one of the top offenses in the country last season. But the number of sacks given up by the Buckeyes was a bit concerning.

The Buckeyes have a dominant offensive line, yet finished No. 12 in the Big Ten in sacks allowed. And near the end of the season, Justin Fields wasn’t as healthy as he could have been. So there’s room for the offensive line to grow yet again.

Did Ohio State have actual problems with pass protection last season? Where can the Buckeyes improve up front even after helping fuel the most prolific scoring attack in the Big Ten? What caused the program to finish No. 12 in the league in sacks allowed a year ago? Former Ohio State and NFL offensive tackle Reid Fragel was back in the film lab looking at some clips to answer those questions and more in the latest episode of BuckIQ.

Roll the tape!

Former Ohio State quarterback Matthew Baldwin retires from football

Matthew Baldwin, who began his college career at Ohio State before transferring to TCU last May, has retired from football due to a string of injuries.

The former four-star recruit from Lake Travis (Austin, Texas) High School redshirted for the Buckeyes in 2018 before entering spring camp with a chance at the starting job for the Buckeyes. When Justin Fields entered the fold, Baldwin was expected to be Fields’ backup before Baldwin transferred following spring camp.

Baldwin was set to have three more seasons to play at TCU, but now, he’s done playing football for good.

NCAA extends recruiting dead period again

Ohio State hasn’t been able to host a recruit on campus since the first weekend of March. A recruit won’t be visiting anytime soon, either.

The NCAA extended the recruiting dead period Thursday night, pushing it through the end of August.

The Buckeyes were scheduled to have a massive recruiting weekend in June, but that was canceled due to the dead period, and they won’t have the ability to host any of the country’s top recruits in the near future, but neither will any other program around the nation.

“The full Council and Council Coordination Committee will continue to review the dead period on a regular basis,” the NCAA said in a statement released on Twitter.

As of now, there won’t be any recruiting action on campus until at least September.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.