Last month, Ohio State landed its first commitment in the 2022 class from four-star Louisiana cornerback Jyaire Brown.
Brown is everything Ohio State looks for in its cornerbacks. He is long, aggressive, athletic and plays with an alpha dog mentality. He has all the skills Kerry Coombs wants in his shutdown cornerbacks.
When Brown is lined up at cornerback he is a very sticky player in coverage that trusts his technique, rarely getting beat or missing a big-play opportunity. He's yet another ball-hawking player that Kerry Coombs in bringing into the secondary, but also possesses a willingness to be physical.
Let's take a look at the tape.
Sticky in Coverage
When we say sticky in coverage all that means is that Brown has an innate ability to stay in the wide receiver's hip pocket and not lose track of him in coverage.
Brown is a very good athlete with elite speed and refined technique allowing him to be a shadow any receiver in coverage. For a program that covets cornerbacks who can thrive in single coverage, it seems like Brown will have a bright future in Columbus.
- Play one: At first glance, this play is nothing special but we chose to include it because it shows Brown's trust in his ability and technique. Often times high school cornerback at Brown's age will bite on the deep route but not route he trust his recovery speed and technique. Because of that, he never falls too far back and even on the short bad throw and Brown is able to come up to disrupt the receiver.
- Play two: This play is a little harder to see as Brown is the cornerback at the bottom of the screen, but as he and the pass come into focus you'll notice him right on the wide receiver's hip where he breaks up the slant pass.
- Play three: Here is the first deep route we see Brown cover as the wide receiver tries to slip by him for the fade route. However, he runs stride for stride with the receiver and never allows him to separate which leads to an incomplete pass.
Brown is obviously still raw as he is only a sophomore in high school, but with his already solid technique and pure athleticism, he looks like a player that will thrive in Ohio State's scheme.
Effort and Willingness as a Tackler
One key aspect of Brown's game has nothing to do with talent or God-given ability – it's all about willingness.
Brown is a very willing tackler, doing all the little things as a cornerback like tracking down ball carriers and maintaining the outside edge.
When watching through Brown's highlight film, there are numerous plays that show his effort as a tackler at the cornerback position, and that sets him apart from other prospects.
- Play one: Another very heads up play that helped Brown's high school team win a state title last fall. On a sweep, run play the ball carrier turns the corner and bursts downfield but luckily for Brown's team he sees this and breaks off his man to make the tackle saving an even bigger gain.
- Play two: Brown shows some very good instincts here as he reads the quarterback pulling the ball around the edge on a sweep play and he flies upfield to make the tackle for loss on third down.
- Play three: This time Brown reads the short screen looking pass and quickly reacts by flying upfield to stop the receiver for a short gain.
Like we said above, this is no rare God-given skill. It's all about Brown's effort and team-first mentality.
It feels like this is a trait that we have talked about with every defensive back that Coombs has landed since returning to Ohio State and it remains true with Brown. Coombs clearly wants defensive backs that can get the ball back to the offense and create more opportunities to put points on the board.
Despite being the top cover man for his high school team last season, Brown still saw the ball come his way a fair number of times, coming away with a few interceptions.
Obviously, if Brown doesn't have the ball thrown his way, it's difficult for him to have great ball production, but he capitalized on limited opportunities.
He is already a ball hawk but the more he sees the ball come his way the more impact he can have.
- Play one: One of the bigger plays in Brown's state championship game last season. Here we see him lined up in a press stance to start but upon the snap, he drops deep into zone coverage. Brown reads the quarterback and leaves his original receiver to cover the man streaking open down the sideline. Once the receiver rises to catch the ball so does Brown and he goes above him to tip the pass to the ground.
- Play two: A really quick route by the slot receiver that would normally score a touchdown but not here as Brown reads it all the way. Seeing the slot break to the pylon Brown leaves his man to come up and play the pass nearly intercepting the pass in the red zone.
- Play three: The only interception we have in this clip and more of the sticky coverage we mentioned above. Once again the receiver tries to beat brown deep on a fade route but he runs it better than the receiver does. After he adjusts to the low throw Brown brings the ball in for an endzone interception that saves a touchdown.
Brown has a knack for getting his hands on the ball and either tipping it or hauling it in for an intersection. This is a trait that should carry over into his college career at Ohio State.
We still have two more football seasons until Brown graduates high school and makes his way up to Columbus but once he does get here sky is the limit.