What Lathan Ransom's Commitment Means to Ohio State's 2020 Recruiting Class

By Taylor Lehman on July 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm
Lathan Ransom

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 earned the commitment of four-star Arizona safety Lathan Ransom, he announced Tuesday. The No. 4 safety chose the Buckeyes over LSU, Notre Dame, Texas and Oklahoma.

Overall, Ransom is rated as the No. 76 player in the country and the No. 5 prospect out of Arizona.

Let’s take a look at what his commitment means to Ohio State’s 2020 class.

On The Field

Ransom has all the tools to be a player that eventually solidifies Ohio State’s secondary as one of the best in the Big Ten, along with guys like Lejond Cavazos and Clark Phillips.

At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Ransom ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds and the shuttle in 4.25 seconds. He serves a lot of roles at Salpointe Catholic, where he recorded 82 tackles, six interceptions, eight pass deflections, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 1,242 all-purpose yards and eight total touchdowns.

He’s done nearly everything at the safety position. He can play a traditional role as a defensive back playing center field, line up across from a receiver in man-to-man, blitz from the box and return kicks. His physicality and knowledge of the game is what makes him one of the best defensive backs in the class.

His ability to track a ball in the air is elite at the high school level, and he can go up and make the tough, contested catches.

Because Ransom plays all over the field, he has made himself unavoidable to opposing offenses in a way that many of the top cornerbacks can’t. That’s why in his two years of varsity play, he’s recorded 11 interceptions, 11 pass deflections and 13 touchdowns in 27 games.

In Columbus, Ransom could immediately challenge for a role in the secondary if he gets his body into further Big Ten shape, and he will certainly be in line for a special teams role during his freshman year if he doesn't land in the secondary.

In The Class

Ransom’s commitment is another victory for secondary coach Jeff Hafley, who exercised his ties to the West once again. Hafley already earned the commitment of four-star cornerback Clark Phillips out of La Habra, California, but he also went down to Arizona and convinced Ransom to come to the Midwest too.

Getting prospect commitments and getting prospects’ interest are two completely different things. Ohio State has been in the room with guys like Kelee Ringo and Bijan Robinson – neither has committed yet – and Ohio State has offered the top two recruits out of the state in the 2021 class, like Quinton Somerville and Bram Walden, but while already having the commitment of Jack Miller and now having Lathan Ransom, things move from interest to commitment quickly. That’s a good sign for the future of Somerville, Walden and whoever else might earn an Ohio State offer in the state. That’s important for a Big Ten team poaching players from the Pac-12.

The class also has its first true safety of the class. Lejond Cavazos was classified as a safety, but he will be starting at the cornerback spot when he arrives in Columbus.

Ransom, who is rated as the No. 4 safety in the class, becomes the sixth top-five prospects in the top-five at his position to commit to Ohio State, and rated No. 76 overall, he becomes the ninth top-100 recruit to pledge to the Buckeyes.

Off The Field

Ransom is the teammate of Bijan Robinson and has expressed a desire to play with him at the same school. That hasn’t been an active dialogue within his recruitment but certainly gives Ohio State another feather in its cap for the five-star running back’s future.

He and Robinson intentionally scheduled their visits to Ohio State and Texas – two programs on both of their top schools lists – on separate dates so that they could have their "own experiences," Ransom said. They reconvened later to discuss their thoughts on both places.

“We’re not going to change one of our decisions to play with each other, but we’ve been playing since we were younger, and we’ve watched each other grow up,” Ransom said. “We tell each other the good things and the bad things because we look out for each other. We’re brothers.”

Ransom has made it clear that they won't go out of their ways to play together, but with the confidence that has been expressed in Robinson's interest, from the media and Robinson both, the teammates might not need to go out of their ways when Robinson announces his commitment Aug. 2.

In a very talented 2020 Arizona class, Robinson is rated as the No. 2 overall prospect behind Kelee Ringo and Ransom is rated No. 4. Jack Miller is rated No. 5.

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