What Jaiden Woodbey's Commitment Means for Ohio State's 2018 Recruiting Class

By Andrew Lind on February 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm
Jaiden Woodbey

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?

It's been more than six months since Ohio State landed a commitment from the Class of 2018. That all changed on Monday night, when Bellflower, California, four-star safety Jaiden Woodbey committed to the Buckeyes over finalists Nebraska, Oklahoma and USC.

Let's take a look at what Woodbey — the third-best safety in the country — brings to Columbus.


The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Woodbey not only has great size and instincts, but may be the hardest-hitting safety in the country. Simply put, he's an intimidating linebacker in a defensive back's body.

Woodbey has great ball skills, range and can change direction quickly, and he'll be ready to make an impact the moment he steps on campus. He sometimes gets burnt trying to jump a route, but always takes the right angle when coming up in run support or chasing down a player from the other side of the field.

Woodbey recorded 62 tackles and four interceptions this season to help the Braves to a 13-2 record and the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division Championship. His stellar play also earned him an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-America Game in January.


Ohio State held commitments from 10 of the country's top prospects at this time last year, so it's understandable if you think the staff is a little behind when it comes to the Class of 2018. 

That said, Woodbey only adds to a tiny, but impressive haul that includes five-star quarterback Emory Jones and four-star running back Brian Snead. 

The Buckeyes added six defensive backs in this year's class, but only one safety in four-star Isaiah Pryor. He projects to strong safety in college, though, while Woodbey is better suited to be a free-ranging free safety. 


If you were annoyed by the non-stop rumors surrounding Shaun Wade's recruitment, I hope you're prepared for the same roller-coaster ride with Woodbey. It's not to say his commitment won't stick, but the journey to signing day will undoubtedly be filled with rumors of a flip. 

Nebraska has made a strong push in Southern California in the last year under head coach Mike Riley, so the Cornhuskers will certainly try their best to steer Woodbey away from Columbus like they did with Tyjon Lindsey. USC, meanwhile, has long been considered the favorite in his recruitment because his father, Donnell, played for the Trojans in the early-90s.

Woodbey has changed his mind on several occasions, as is. He said just last week he wouldn't make a decision until after he took his official visits, yet here were are. Buckle up!

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