Kerry Coombs and Co. might have just completed their defensive backs haul for the 2021 class.
Four-star athlete Denzel Burke, a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback out of Arizona powerhouse Saguaro High School, has committed to Ohio State.
God got me 110% Commited. pic.twitter.com/P2zbHiJmmD— Denzel Burke (@King10Burke) May 24, 2020
Following the April commitment of safety Jantzen Dunn and the March commitments of cornerbacks Jakailin Johnson and Devonta Smith and slot corner/safety Andre Turrentine, Burke is potentially the final defensive back in Ohio State's first recruiting class since Coombs' return to Columbus – though the Buckeyes may not be done on that front just yet. (Jaylen Johnson, as we've noted often, is likely to transition to outside linebacker as a Buckeye.)
The Burke File
- Class: 2021
- Size: 6-foot/190 lbs
- Pos: CB
- School: Saguaro High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 7 (ATH)
Just like three of the other four defensive backs (with the exception of Smith), this was far from a solo effort from Coombs. Ryan Day and Corey Dennis were also instrumental in Burke's recruitment. A strong relationship between those three and Burke was established via consistent communication after Day himself offered Burke on Jan. 27.
During the initial stages of Burke's recruitment, the Buckeyes were unsure of what position they wanted Burke to play if he ever joined the scarlet and gray. He told Eleven Warriors that he was being recruited by Day and his staff as an athlete, as the coaches saw him as either a receiver or cornerback.
By spring, though, it was crystal clear that Ohio State viewed Burke as a defensive back – specifically a cornerback – and his recruitment ramped up.
Burke was planning to come to Columbus for a spring practice in either March or April, but the COVID-19-induced shutdown prevented that from happening.
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JACK SAWYER||DE||No. 3||No. 3||FEBRUARY 3, 2019|
|KYLE MCCORD||QB||No. 26||No. 3 (PRO-STYLE)||APRIL 30, 2019|
|JAYDEN BALLARD||WR||No. 68||No. 11||JUNE 21, 2019|
|BEN CHRISTMAN||OT||No. 104||No. 15||JUNE 26, 2019|
|REID CARRICO||LB||No. 70||No. 2 (ILB)||SEPTEMBER 10, 2019|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||No. 59||No. 8||OCTOBER 31, 2019|
|SAM HART||TE||No. 373||No. 16||DECEMBER. 30, 2019|
|JAYLEN JOHNSON||S||No. 346||No. 23||JANUARY 7, 2020|
|DONOVAN JACKSON||OG||No. 21||No. 1||JANUARY 8, 2020|
|MIKE HALL||DT||No. 57||No. 5||FEBRUARY 1, 2020|
|JAKAILIN JOHNSON||CB||No. 43||No. 4||MARCH 15, 2020|
|DEVONTA SMITH||CB||No. 395||No. 30||MARCH 16, 2020|
|EVAN PRYOR||RB||No. 84||No. 5||MARCH 16, 2020|
|ANDRE TURRENTINE||S||No. 141||No. 4||MARCH 17, 2020|
|TREVEYON HENDERSON||RB||No. 19||No. 2||MARCH 27, 2020|
|TUNMISE ADELEYE||SDE||No. 30||No. 4||APRIL 15, 2020|
|JANTZEN DUNN||S||No. 205||No. 11||APRIL 20, 2020|
|JESSE MIRCO||P||N/A||N/A||MAY 6, 2020|
|DENZEL BURKE||ATH||No. 183||No. 7 (ATH)||MAY 24, 2020|
That put Burke's potential commitment to Ohio State in a holding pattern, as the Buckeyes rarely accept a commitment without a visit, and Burke has still not visited campus outside of virtual visits. So the fact that Ohio State accepted Burke's commitment, when it would not accept the commitments of other players (specifically California cornerback Jaylin Davies) without a visit says plenty about how the program views him.
It also says a lot about how quickly Ohio State is able to make impressions on the recruiting trail. The Buckeyes cruised past Colorado, USC, Washington and Oregon, the other four programs in a final five list he released on May 12, the latter three of which Burke told us in January had established the best relationships with him to that point.
Because Ohio State proved to be the best relationship-builder here, Burke has become the Buckeyes' 19th commitment in the class as they continue to speed toward securing the No. 1-ranked class in the country for the first time in the modern recruiting era.