When he visited Ohio State over the summer for Friday Night Lights, Jamel Dean was not shy in his praise of Ohio State. He quickly named the Buckeyes the leader in his recruitment and made it known that it was the school he wanted to commit to. He saw Ohio State as a launching point for his career and realized quickly that good football can be played anywhere you take it, not just in the south. Today, he ended his recruitment when he called the Buckeyes and made a verbal pledge to join Ohio State's 2015 class, joining Canton McKinley's Eric Glover-Williams.
"I'm most likely leaving Florida. They play NFL football in Ohio, New England and Wisconsin," he told Eleven Warriors in July. "I know most people want to say in Florida because of the weather, but I like doing new things so I don't mind leaving Florida."
A 247Sports.com composite four-star talent and the 16th-ranked cornerback in the country, Dean fits the mold of the "bigger" cornerbacks sought by Buckeye defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs. He's 6-foot-1 and a solid 180-pounds, but runs a reported 4.42-forty yard dash and will bring the Buckeyes a commitment from Florida in 2015 after striking out in the Sunshine State in 2014.
The Jamel Dean File
School: Cocoa (Cocoa, FL)
Composite Rating: ★★★★
Composite Rank: 16 (CB)
In July, Dean told 11W about the reasons Ohio State stood out to him, but he also said he'd be waiting a while to decide, only the latter has changed.
"I like the environment around campus and the coaching staff. They make sure their players will perform at their full potential every single rep, helping them get better for the team's sake. I like their coaching style too, they are intense."
Today, Dean says it's about comfort with the Buckeyes that led to the decision. Comfort in their defensive scheme, comfort with the coaching staff and comfort at the school.
"I feel like I fit in at Ohio State," Dean said after his commitment. "I've talked with (Buckeye coach) Tim Hinton once a week, every week since the summer visit. I've talked to Coach Meyer a few times as well, I just feel comfortable. After I went to the Penn State game and saw how the atmosphere really was. I was like 'I can see myself playing on this team and playing in front of thousands of fans. Coach Meyer told me congratulations and that he was going to come down to Florida to see me after the holidays to get know my family and me a bit better. This is the best feeling ever, knowing I am going to be where I want to be."
Dean visited Florida this past weekend as the Gators took on Florida State. He currently has scholarship offers from the Gators, Miami (Fl.), Temple and Mississippi State as well as the Buckeyes. He's heard from other schools, but hasn't put much stock in them because he says he knew where he wanted to be.
"Coaches from USC, Nebraska, and Pitt have been talking to me on Facebook," he said of the schools attempting to reach out to him. "But I've not done much in the way of recruiting because I knew from the summer where I wanted to go. Florida was nice, but it's not like Ohio State."
You can see highlights of the newest Buckeye commitment, Cocoa, Florida's Jamel Dean, here.