Finding the right fit for your college football program isn't just about what happens on the field, but off it as well. Today, Ohio State added a key piece. How will that commitment impact the Buckeyes?
Ohio State added a major piece to their 2016 recruiting class moments ago as Olney, Maryland four-star linebacker Keandre Jones flipped his verbal commitment from Maryland to the Buckeyes.
What does the latest addition bring to the Buckeyes? Let's take a look.
ON THE FIELD
Ohio State's linebacker unit was one of the country's best the last two years but with the loss of Joshua Perry and Darron Lee and questionable depth behind 2016's starters, the need for another player at the position was vital. Jones is one of the country's best and fits the need, especially from Lee's departure.
As an outside linebacker, Jones is an aggressive, fast and hard-hitting prospect. He's Maryland's fourth-ranked prospect and a USA Today second-team All-American at linebacker.
One source close to the Buckeyes had this to say about Jones.
"Have you seen that film," the source questioned. "He's an absolute physical monster. Great size, long, fast, and physical, he has Shazier qualities."
Ryan Shazier was a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and like Shazier, Jones' needs a bit of weight added but the tools are there.
"(He's like Shazier) Right down to needing to put size on him," the source continued. "He'll have to work on developing strength to take on blocks between the tackles, especially against those Big Ten offenses. Going sideline to sideline though? There's not much to complain about."
IN THE CLASS
The 20th commitment in Ohio State's 2016 class, the commitment of Jones moves the Buckeyes back ahead of Michigan and LSU and into the No. 1 spot in the national recruiting rankings.
The second linebacker for the Buckeyes in this cycle, Jones joins Bolingbrook, Illinois' Tuf Borland, who has already enrolled at Ohio State. The Buckeyes had been content for months with only one linebacker, but as it became apparent that Darron Lee would become an early NFL departure and questions percolated regarding the career-threatening injuries suffered by Kyle Berger and others, it became a priority for the Buckeyes.
Rivals.com lists Jones as a five-star prospect and their top-ranked player in Maryland.
One of three Maryland natives in Ohio State's 2016 class, Jones' commitment comes on the heels of a last-minute official visit to Columbus this past weekend, a trip that shows beyond a doubt the impact Urban Meyer can make when narrows his focus on a recruit.
To bring in Jones, who'd been committed to Maryland for over a year and was a key figure in the Terrapins' class is a shot across the bow to his former protege and friend DJ Durkin at Maryland.