The writing was on the wall.
After four-star cornerback Dijon Johnson visited Florida over the weekend despite Ohio State preferring committed prospects to no longer take visits to other schools, it was only a matter of time before the Florida prospect decommitted. Johnson also was scheduled to visit Miami Saturday, but never ended up making the trip.
Johnson officially announced his decommitment from Ohio State on Saturday, re-opening a spot for OSU to fill at cornerback and delivering a blow to the Buckeyes' top-ranked 2023 recruiting class. With Johnson no longer in the fold, the Buckeyes now have 19 commits total in the current cycle.
BREAKING: Four-Star CB Dijon Johnson has Decommitted from Ohio State.— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) July 30, 2022
The 61 190 CB from Tampa, FL had been committed to the Buckeyes since April.
Ranked as a Top 100 Player in the nation.
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A top-100 prospect nationally, Johnson was Tim Walton's first commitment when he originally pledged to the Buckeyes 24 hours after attending OSU's spring game on April 16. OSU hadn't been recruiting Johnson for very long, first extending an offer to the lengthy cornerback on Jan. 25.
While Johnson's commitment may have seemed sudden, it made sense at the time considering how fondly he thought of Ohio State legendary running back Eddie George, who was one of his football idols growing up.
Ohio State has seen its fair share of top-100 prospects decommitting, including two in the last recruiting cycle. Both Jaheim Singletary and Terrance Brooks were committed to Ohio State in the 2022 class before Singletary flipped to Georgia and Brooks signed with Texas.
After pulling off an upset and landing top-55 prospect Jason Moore on July 10, Ohio State has not had much momentum since then on the defensive side of the ball. The Buckeyes failed to convert on several top targets, including Caleb Downs, Tackett Curtis, Troy Bowles and John Walker.
Obviously, no one on the Ohio State staff is going to be thrilled about the loss of Johnson, considering they viewed him as a multi-year starter at the collegiate level. But cornerback is a position the Buckeyes can withstand a blow at in the 2023 cycle.
With Johnson out of the picture, Ohio State's three remaining cornerback commitments are Jermaine Matthews, Calvin Simpson-Hunt and Kayin Lee. In 247Sports’ updated composite rankings, both Matthews and Simpson-Hunt made significant jumps in their rankings from where they were ranked when they committed.
Walton thought he was done with cornerback recruiting after Mathews committed on July 1, though now he does have a scholarship open should OSU decide to re-engage with past targets or identify new ones. There are three current 2023 cornerbacks who are still uncommitted but hold OSU offers: Cormani McClain, Javien Toviano and Ethan Nation.
McClain is a longshot at best and Toviano isn't likely either, though the Buckeyes have a better chance there than with McClain. It will be interesting to see if contact with Nation is reignited or if OSU has other targets in mind.
The Buckeyes envisioned Johnson as a premier cornerback prospect capable of shutting down opposing wideouts consistently. Now, they'll have to readjust and consider other options at cornerback in the 2023 class.