St. Peter’s Prep head coach Rich Hansen knows all too well how versatile four-star safety Jayden Bonsu can be for Ohio State.
Bonsu, who became Ohio State’s 20th commitment in the 2023 class Sunday, played three different safety positions for St. Peter’s Prep last season and could play any of the three safety spots in defensive coordinator Jim Knowles’ scheme.
Bonsu’s skill set reminds Hansen of current Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman, a fellow New Jersey product who played his high school football at DePaul Catholic (Wayne, New Jersey).
“I think they share a unique combination of size and speed and athleticism,” Hansen told Eleven Warriors. “They’re the type of guys that have bodies that you’re looking for. I think there’s a lot there. To me, I think (Jayden) is a big physical safety, but also has that positional flexibility where at our level or the next level he can play wherever you ask him. A lot like Ronnie had to do last year for Ohio State because of the injuries and different stuff that was going on on the defensive side of the ball for Ohio State. (Jayden is) a similar kid that will never ever second guess what coaches are asking of him and skill set-wise can play everything.”
Bonsu’s recruitment was fast and furious, as his breakout junior season resulted in him picking up more than 20 Division I offers, including Ohio State in December. As he narrowed things down, the two programs that stuck out the most were Miami and OSU. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound safety originally set a commitment date for July 20 before later postponing it by three weeks. Had he kept his original commitment date, Bonsu likely would have selected Miami.
“It definitely was a really tough decision,” Hansen said. “I think he went back and forth a little bit internally. He hasn’t said that, but I got the feeling that at certain points over the last month and a half he was leaning in both directions. I think both staffs did an unbelievable job of recruiting him and made it hard for him to make a decision one way or another.
“I think in the end, Ohio State has so much to offer complete package-wise. It just makes so much sense. But when you come down to the final three or four types of programs he was looking at, there’s no bad decision.”
During his announcement Sunday, Bonsu said one of the main reasons he picked Ohio State was because his relationship with safeties coach Perry Eliano and Ryan Day were “second to none.” Hansen echoed those sentiments, praising the job both did recruiting the talented defensive prospect.
woke up a buckeye ! pic.twitter.com/a0wptIog8J— Jayden Bonsu (@JaydenBonsu) August 15, 2022
“They’ve been awesome,” Hansen said. “Coach Eliano has been here as many times as he could. He was here as early as anybody (was). He did a great job with him and expressed what he thought of him and how serious he is about him. Coach Day did the same. So I think they identified him pretty early, stayed on him and were honest with him. They didn’t change their story, their vision or their plans for the way they see him in their program. It was very consistent over the last six months or so.”
With his recruitment now behind him, Bonsu will now turn his attention to turning in one final standout prep season. After that, he’ll arrive at Ohio State with the mindset of getting on the field however he can.
“I’m pretty sure they’ve told him just safety in general,” Hansen said when asked if Ohio State had told Bonsu what safety position it would prefer to have him start his career at. “But again, his biggest thing stepping into a program like Ohio State will be ‘How can I compete? Where can I get anywhere on the depth chart where I’m getting meaningful practice reps and get ready to play?’ He’s a kid that’s going to do whatever it takes.”
Hughley considering OSU visit
Ohio State is looking into flipping a premier offensive tackle committed to Georgia.
The 6-foot-7, 290-pound Hughley is high school teammates with OSU tight end commit Jelani Thurman. If he visits Columbus, he’d likely make the trip with Thurman. Hughley is ranked as the 98th-best overall prospect and the 13th-best offensive tackle in the 2023 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.
“Their offensive coordinator has been trying to get at me pretty good,” Hughley told On3 of Ohio State.
Hughley is exactly the type of tackle prospect Ohio State is looking for if it’s going to add a fifth offensive lineman to its 2023 class, which already includes in-state prospects Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, Austin Siereveld and Connecticut three-star offensive tackle Miles Walker.
Ghea plans to attend OSU game
A 2025 tight end with an Ohio State offer plans on making another trip to Columbus soon. Georgia prospect Ryan Ghea told Eleven Warriors he is “for sure” going to make another visit to Ohio State sometime this fall, but is unsure of what date works best at the moment.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Ghea was offered by OSU on June 28, a few weeks after he camped with the Buckeyes. He was offered by tight ends coach Kevin Wilson while waiting at the DMV, of all places, to take a driving test.
“I was extremely proud and honored,” Ghea said in June after receiving the Ohio State offer. “(Coach Wilson) said I want you to know we want you. You had a great camp and we want to keep this relationship growing.”