A decommitment typically spells bad news for a particular program. Not only is a prospect backing off of their pledge, but it's pretty uncommon for the school in question to circle back and ultimately land the recruit's signature.
Four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos committed to Ohio State last June. A Texas native who transferred to Bradenton, Florida's IMG Academy, he joined offensive lineman Jake Wray as the Buckeyes got off to a hot start for the Class of 2020.
Cavazos' father was an important piece to the commitment. C.J. Cavazos used to coach the wide receivers at Carter High School. It was during his time at the Dallas powerhouse that he crossed paths with Urban Meyer; a wide receivers coach himself at the time. This connection was crucial as the Buckeyes hosted the star defender multiple times before his commitment last summer.
“I would say that this is the best relationship with any college I have by far."
Considering that connection, I suppose it wasn't a total shock that Cavazos backed off his commitment on Dec. 4th; the same day Meyer announced that he would be retiring following the team's Rose Bowl appearance against Washington.
A lot has happened in Columbus since that time. Ohio State was victorious in Pasadena, Ryan Day officially took over and made several changes to the defensive staff, and signing day brought with it 17 new faces for the Class of 2019. Overall it was a fine job by Day and the staff, but Jordan Battle's flip to Alabama during the early signing period meant that the Buckeyes would fail to land a single cornerback in the class. That's now one of the pressing needs for the current cycle.
It's been a busy few months for Lejond Cavazos as well. Recruited as some to play safety at the next level, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has been fairly adamant that he'd like to play cornerback. At The Opening's Miami regional event last month, he blazed a 4.40 in the forty and was named as the combine's champion. He subsequently earned an invitation to the prestigious Opening finals, which will be held June 30th through July 3rd in Frisco, Texas; a few hundred miles north of his former school in Seguin.
The fact that he prefers lining up at corner also has to be appealing for Jeff Hafley and Ryan Day. The Buckeyes are expected to take three cornerbacks in the Class of 2020, and while the staff has its sights set on several national prospects, Cavazos probably has to be considered the most likely option at this point in the process.
Urban Meyer is still in Columbus and around the program, but serving as Assistant Athletics Director certainly isn't the same as being around the day-to-day operations of Ohio State football and all of its intricacies. Still, his presence may still be something that helps in the pursuit of the four-star defender.
Day met with Cavazos back in January and he's since made trips to both Florida and Miami. This weekend he's all set for a return visit to Columbus in what's expected to be one of the bigger recruiting weekends of the spring. Ohio State has seven commitments in the fold, but not a single one of them is on the defensive side of the ball.
Comfort and relationships are always two of the more important pieces to the recruiting puzzle. Cavazos had that before with Meyer at the helm, but a new regime and new-look defensive staff means there's plenty of work to be done in that department.
While a decommitment typically spells bad news for a particular program, this may be a situation that actually works out quite well in the end. And this weekend's visit could go a long way in getting one of Ohio State's top targets back in the fold.