Inked: Four-Star Defensive Back Jamel Dean of Cocoa, Florida is Officially a Buckeye

By Jeremy Birmingham on January 25, 2015 at 11:00 am
Florida defensive back Jamel Dean surprised many just by sticking with the Buckeyes.

The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers today as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent. Signing Day is here.

Eleven Warriors would like to officially welcome Jamel Dean to the Ohio State football program. 

It was July of 2013 when Cocoa, Florida's Jamel Dean made his first visit to Ohio State. He camped at Friday Night Lights prior to his junior season and immediately named the Buckeyes as his favorite school.

The Dean File

  • Class 2015
  • Position CB
  • Size 6-2/200
  • School Cocoa (Cocoa, FL)
  • Composite ★★★★
  • Rank 31 (CB)

"I like the environment around campus and the coaching staff," Dean told Eleven Warriors in mid-2013. "They make sure their players will perform at their full potential every single rep, helping them get better for the team's sake. I like their coaching style too, they are intense."

As a 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback, Dean's physical skills were apparent immediately to the Ohio State coaching staff. What they didn't anticipate was how sincere he was about his interest in the Buckeyes. Dean visited Ohio State in July of 2013 and then again in October of 2013 and then committed to the Buckeyes on December 2nd, 2013.

The decision was met initially with skepticism by not only Ohio State fans and fans of recruiting, but by Ohio State's coaching staff who were not sure that Dean would honor his commitment. He was, after all, an "early" pledge from Florida, and that combination more often than not leads to theatrics later in a recruitment. That was not the case with Dean, who from time he visited Ohio State made it perfectly clear: Ohio State was where he wanted to be. He made one other visit, to Florida, and that was all he needed to know about his future.

"Coaches from USC, Nebraska, and Pitt have been talking to me on Facebook," he said prior to his commitment. "But I've not done much in the way of recruiting because I knew from the summer (of 2013) where I wanted to go. Florida was nice, but it's not like Ohio State."

A track star at Cocoa High School, Dean excelled in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash — as a junior he ran a blazing 10.58 in the 100 — but saw the last year of high school track derailed by a torn ACL in November on 2013. After surgery, Dean's rehab and recovery went exceptionally well: he was back running — and posting ridiculous times considering the severity of his injury — less than five months later.

By the summer of 2014, Dean had developed into a 200-pound specimen.

Although he made an early June visit to a camp at Florida, he did not participate. Adamant that his visit to Gainesville was only to support his teammates who were there, Dean returned to Ohio State for his second Friday Night Lights performance as solidly committed to the Buckeyes as ever. 

As a senior, Dean was an explosive offensive weapon for the Tigers of Cocoa. Although only caught 22 passes on the season, he gained a Devin Smith-esque 33.7 yards per catch and hauled in 12 touchdown passes. He also 234 yards rushing, including a 95-yard jaunt for a score, good for a team high. On defense, Dean recored 20 tackles in 13 games and although he was not thrown at often, recorded seven pass breakups on the season.

In December of 2014, Dean graduated from high school and began preparing for his move to Columbus. A student who held a weight 3.8 GPA, Dean will major in mechanical engineering at Ohio State. 

As the second commitment in Ohio State's 2015 class and a young man who didn't seek out the glory or attention that can come via today's recruiting insanity, Jamel Dean has often been overlooked in the last two years. As one of the four early enrollees already on campus in Columbus, he'll now have every opportunity to get noticed by the people who matter: Ohio State's coaching staff.

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