jaylen johnson-jaylen johnson football-jaylen johnson cincinnati-jaylen johnson ohio state-jaylen johnson buckeyes-jaylen johnson la salle
Ohio State gained a commitment from 2021 defensive back Jaylen Johnson. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Buckeyes pick up another in-state 2021 commitment

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.

Jaylen Johnson commits to Buckeyes

It always seemed like Jaylen Johnson‘s commitment to Ohio State was an inevitability, and now, it’s a reality.

Johnson, a fast-rising in-state defensive back from Cincinnati La Salle High School, committed to the Buckeyes on Tuesday afternoon, giving them their eighth commitment — the fifth from Ohio — in the class of 2021. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound gives Ryan Day and the coaching staff their first defensive back in what could be an important recruiting cycle at that position.

Ohio’s No. 11-ranked prospect according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Johnson helps Ohio State expand its lead over Notre Dame as the nation’s top-ranked 2021 recruiting class.

For the full breakdown on what it means for the class of 2021, click here.

Which positions are priorities for 2021 recruiting class?

Ohio State had a great 2020 recruiting class, and it filled many of its needs for the health of the roster.

But 2021 will present new challenges and holes to fill for future rosters. It’s Ohio State, so many players will have decisions to make about their futures after next season, and the roster will turnover again. So, which positions will the Buckeyes need to address in the 2021 recruiting cycle? Lettermen Row recruiting savant Birm has the details:

So, let’s just talk about which positions it appears are the biggest priority in 2021. In my mind, there are three different spots that need to be hit hard and need to be home runs for the Buckeyes next year: Running back, offensive line and defensive line. I’m tempted to put the cornerback position in this mix but will hold off while Ohio State finishes the current crop in the next few weeks.

The running back conundrum in 2020 is well-documented, and I’m not going to rehash it. Tony Alford and Ohio State didn’t close the deal on top targets throughout this cycle, and though there’s still a well-concerted push for Jahmyr Gibbs underway, the need for 2021 is obvious.

After a rough stretch before last year, Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa has picked up the pace and done a great job on the recruiting trail in 2020 and 2021. Landing Ohio lineman Ben Christman was expected, though, and now Studrawa has to finish the recruiting efforts and score big wins in a group of players that includes 4-star talents like Donovan Jackson, Tristan Leigh, Jager Burton, J.C. Latham and others. Ohio State will need five offensive linemen or more in 2021, and it’s off to a great start.

For the full breakdown of what the Buckeyes need in the next recruiting cycle, check out Birm’s breakdown.

Chase Young, Jeff Okudah sign with Klutch Sports

Chase Young and Jeff Okudah were All-Americans, three-time winners of gold pants and three-time Big Ten champions.

Now, they’re both going to be represented by Klutch Sports Group, the sports agency run by Rich Paul, who also represents LeBron James. Okudah and Young become the first Buckeyes to be represented by Klutch Sports Group, as the agency looks to break in to the NFL and begin its football representation.

It seems like the Ohio State connection with Lebron is still strong, and that could lead to more Buckeyes using Klutch Sports in the future.

Ohio State basketball drops third straight

Ohio State had a chance to become the No. 1 team in the country just three weeks ago. But after a 67-55 loss to No. 12 Maryland in the XFINITY Center for their third straight loss, that shot at being the country’s best seems like an eternity ago.

No. 11 Ohio State fell to just 1-3 in Big Ten play, giving the Buckeyes flashbacks to last season, when they didn’t win a game in January. Now, they are 0-2 this January, and it won’t get any easier in one of the toughest conferences in America.

The offense putted through the first half and continued into the second. Key players found themselves in foul trouble. The Buckeyes were held under 60 points for the third straight game — all losses. Nothing came easy for Chris Holtmann’s team, and now it must pick up the pieces and find a way to win at Indiana on Saturday afternoon.

Lettermen Row has the details from the latest Ohio State loss here.

Lettermen Row app now available

Want an easier way to get free premium content from Lettermen Row?

The Lettermen Row app is here! Get all of the Ohio State news, analysis, videos and everything else you’ve come to expect from us in one free, convenient spot. It’s now available in both the App Store and Google Play — check it out!

The Lettermen Row app can be found for free here:

If you enjoy the Scarlet Sunrise posts, please consider having our newsletter delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. Click here to sign up!

Continue Reading