The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
Ohio State's 2019 recruiting class wrapped up in a big way this evening with the commitment from three-star Indianapolis tackle Dawand Jones. At 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds, he's a multi-sport star who brings a ton of size and athleticism to the Buckeyes' greatest position of need.
The Jones File
- Class: 2019
- Size: 6-foot-8, 360 pounds
- Pos: OT
- School: Ben Davis (Indianapolis)
- Composite Rating: ★★★
- Composite Rank: 87 (OT)
“We are really pleased to add Dawand Jones to our 2019 recruiting class,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said after Jones' signing. “He is a terrific, two-sport athlete who was offered scholarships in both football and basketball. We love his athleticism and length. He comes from one of the premier high school programs in Indiana and the Midwest. We are thrilled he chose to become an Ohio State Buckeye.”
As recent as a few months ago, Jones was known more for his play on the hardwood. He holds numerous Division I basketball offers from programs like Bowling Green, Ball State, and Kent State. He didn't play football his sophomore year and basketball was always the greater passion. However, at some point he realized that a future on the gridiron was the best path.
After returning to football as a junior, several of college football's top programs also took notice as Jones' recruitment blew up over the winter months. The offers were coming in hot and heavy in November and December as he garnered attention from the likes of USC, Penn State, Michigan, Auburn, Florida, and Oregon. The Buckeyes threw their hat in the ring on Nov. 21 following an unofficial visit to campus.
The Trojans looked to be out in front for a bit, but Ohio State and Penn State seemed to be the most realistic options. Jones took his official visit to Columbus on Jan. 11th and then to Happy Valley a few weeks later. Day and Greg Studrawa then went in-home with the Indy product to help seal the deal. Kevin Wilson was the point man for this recruitment and his ties to the Hoosier State clearly paid off in a big way.
COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/3C08mAw4E9— Dawand Jones (@dawand_jones) February 7, 2019
Dawand Jones is more of a developmental prospect who should need a redshirt, but his athleticism and footwork are certainly reason for optimism. He's going to need to shed some pounds under Mickey Marotti's tutelage, but that's far from unprecedented. Thayer Munford was 360 pounds as a junior in high school and he now checks in at 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds. Jones could take a similar path before seeing the field in Columbus.
Jones joins Harry Miller, Ryan Jacoby, and Enokk Vimahi to help replenish an offensive line unit that still could use a bit of a boost before the 2019 season kicks off. The final piece may be Rutgers' transfer Jonah Jackson, and we should know whether he'll head to Ohio State or Oklahoma in the coming weeks.