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 locked down a commitment from the top-rated junior college cornerback in the country on Tuesday when Brenham, Texas, Blinn College four-star Kendall Sheffield picked the Buckeyes over several offers closer to home.
Let's take a look at what Sheffield — the fifth-best JUCO prospect overall in the Class of 2017 — brings to Columbus.
ON THE FIELD
Sheffield has good size and long arms that will help him in coverage, but what stands out about him is his speed.
A standout on the track, Sheffield won the Texas high school state championship in the 300-meter hurdle and finished second in the 110-meter hurdle.
He isn't considered the most physical cornerback, but shows tremendous quickness and closes on the football better than any prospect in the country.
Sheffield wasn't asked to come up to make a tackle often, so he's still raw in that regard. But when he does, he can certainly make a game-changing hit.
IN THE CLASS
Ohio State wasn't certain to have room for Sheffield in its current recruiting class as recently as Saturday.
The Buckeyes were awaiting decisions from five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes and four-star safety Bubba Bolden at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, so Sheffield had to wait and see how that played out before making the call himself.
Sheffield becomes the second cornerback to commit to Ohio State in the last four days, joining the top-rated player at the position in Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah committed on Saturday during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Sheffield is also the sixth defensive back in the class, an unusually large group that includes Shaun Wade, Isaiah Pryor, Marcus Williamson and Amir Riep.
Point blank, Sheffield is coming to Ohio State to start.
He left Alabama after because he was forced to redshirt, so finding a school that offered a chance to see the field immediately was his top priority.
Sheffield narrowed down his offers to Ohio State, Texas and Texas A&M, but things started to trend toward the Aggies because of his desire to run track. That all changed, however, when Gareon Conley and Malik Hooker announced their intentions to enter the NFL Draft.
The Buckeyes expect an announcement from Marshon Lattimore in the coming days, as well, so Sheffield's arrival will be an instant boost for secondary short on experience. He'll have three years to play two seasons in Columbus.