The Hurry-Up: Damarion Witten Committed to Ohio State Because “It Felt Like Home,” Jordon Johnson-Rubell and Terhyon Nichols to Commit This Weekend

By Garrick Hodge on June 29, 2023 at 5:30 pm
Damarion Witten
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Ohio State's newest tight end commitment didn't want to keep the Buckeyes' football staff waiting long.

On the first night of his official visit Friday, four-star 2024 Ohio prospect Damarion Witten announced his commitment to the Buckeyes, giving OSU its first multi-tight end class since it took three in the 2016 cycle. 

“I decided to commit to Ohio State because it felt like home,” Witten told Eleven Warriors. “It’s also been a dream of mine to call myself a Buckeye.”

Upon hearing he was in the class, both Ryan Day and Keenan Bailey felt giddy.

“They were really excited,” Witten said. “We talked about getting to work early so I can be prepared for the next level when I get there.”

Witten committed on the same day as his high school teammate, Bryce West. West and Witten are now the third Glenville prospects to commit to Ohio State within the last two recruiting classes, restoring Ohio State’s vaunted Glenville-to-OSU pipeline.

“It felt really good on restoring the Glenville pipeline, it’s also an honor to do so because there were so many great players that have and for me to be another one is awesome,” Witten said.  

While on his visit, Witten said he enjoyed seeing how close the OSU players were with one another and that they hang out like they’ve known each other for years. With Witten in the fold, he’s already dreaming about his Ohio Stadium debut in 2024.

“The most appealing thing to me (about the commitment) is the fans, one of the best fan bases in the world,” Witten said.  

Witten will now focus on his senior season at Glenville with his recruitment behind him, but says he plans on attending as many OSU games as he can this fall. 

Johnson-Rubell to commit at 3 p.m. Saturday

One of Ohio State’s top remaining safety targets in the 2024 class is ready to make a decision. Four-star Florida safety Jordon Johnson-Rubell will commit at 3 p.m. Saturday and will choose from five finalists: Ohio State, Texas, USC, TCU and Michigan.

Johnson-Rubell has visited Ohio State twice, once in the spring and again earlier this month for an official visit. 

“It was a great visit, seeing coach Perry Eliano again,” Johnson-Rubell told Eleven Warriors after his visit in March. “We sat down in the film room, and it was definitely a great experience to go over things they do on the field and things they could see me doing in their defense. He sees me as a Lathan Ransom type of guy who is moving around the field, at safety and down in the box.”

Ohio State has made a strong pitch to Johnson-Rubell over the past few months, but the Longhorns are a strong favorite in the recruiting industry to land the IMG Academy product, who is from Fort Worth, Texas.

Nichols committing at 7 p.m. Sunday

Another defensive back prospect with an Ohio State offer will also make his college choice this weekend. Four-star Ohio cornerback Terhyon Nichols will commit at 7 p.m. Sunday and choose from six finalists that include OSU, Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Kentucky.

OSU offered Nichols in May, but the Withrow cornerback never took an official visit to Columbus, so it’s a safe bet he’ll be headed elsewhere.

Brown expecting to commit in July

Another one of Ohio State’s cornerback targets in the 2024 class is also nearing a decision. Four-star California prospect Zabien Brown told 247Sports this week he’s anticipating making a decision sometime in July. His three finalists are Ohio State, USC and Alabama. 

“I’m originally from Texas and didn’t move out to California until sixth grade,” Brown told 247Sports. “I grew up there, so I’m comfortable living anywhere. The big things for me will be the culture and the coaching I can get. Right now, I have three great options and I really enjoyed all my visits.

“I go back and forth and every time I feel good about a school, I’ll sleep on it and the next day, I’ll be feeling a different school,” Brown told 247Sports. “So I’m going to take some time now, have some good conversations with people and make my decision in July. I'm looking at the eighth or 15th, but nothing is locked in yet.”

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